Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SmArtSchool Online

Greg Manchess

I’m one class away from finishing my first semester teaching with Rebecca Guay’s SmArtSchool, the most practical, effective online mentorship I’ve seen. Like the Illustration Master Class, my instruction is direct and no-nonsense.

I want my students to come away with real-world, useable skills for developing compelling images, building a portfolio, understanding basic business practices in illustration, pushing their abilities, and learning how to uncover their own particular methods through focused training and practice.

It starts with lots of thumbnails and lots of memory drawing. Then step-by-step learning to structure a piece to fit their portfolio, to make each successive image better than the last, and how to keep that process moving.

Lots of draw-overs, paint-overs, and just this Monday, a live painting session. (Time-lapse video here.) My students were fascinated, intrigued, and finally inspired to use what they saw. Even when the cat jumped onto the painting and destroyed an eye I had worked on, they learned how to stay calm in the midst of tragedy as I repainted the eye and brought it back to life. They learn to turn problems into successes.

We learn fast from focused observation, so more painting demonstrations are planned for the coming year.

My next semester of teaching starts in February, and there are still some spaces left. I’ve worked in all types of media, oil painting being the closest to my heart for powerful communication. If you love oil painting, and are not getting the results you crave, then consider spending time in an intimate class environment, with one-on-one instruction from anywhere on Earth, to embrace those skills.


  1. Amazing. Those warm reddish strokes to the side of her nose - damn! Just that one passage alone made my day...

  2. Greg, this portrait of The Bride kicks ass so hard I won't be able to sit down for a week.

  3. Greg knows the true!


  4. Greg, how long was that painting real time? Damn, sir, that is amazing.

  5. You guys....I love these comments. Makes me smile knowing how long it's taken me to learn paint!

    Arnie, I'm getting pictures of me kicking you down the street! LOL!

    Hey A....2 hours. Half hour to talk to the class about what I was going to do, answer palette questions, and thrown down a wash to seal the pencil sketch. Then an hour and a half of painting, no breaks, except to get the cat off the painting. Rex jumped up on my back during the demo, then decided to jump onto the painting.

    He managed to wipe out the left eye....but no matter, I brought it back into play. I think the students liked that the most. Destroy a section, then recapture it. Took me a while to get comfortable with that. I think they're excited that something like that can happen and there's no need to panic.

    Real live lesson.

    Stupid cat.....errr, genius Rex!


    1. Well, now we know that it's Rex who actually kicks ass. :-)

  6. Incredibly awesome. It is my goal to learn to use oils effectively in this next year. I'm starting a bit late myself!! Just wish that your upcoming class wasn't in the middle of the day since I have to be at my 9-5 job :( Oh well! I'm planning on attending your TLC workshop next November :)

  7. Wow Greg, that was simply amazing!
    When I saw you add the browns and reds onto the left side, that was when the painting suddenly roared to life!

  8. Studio cat of doom, huh? =)

    I gotta save up for smART tuition....:(

  9. I really want to save up to take a semester of this with you as the instructor. Love that oil painting, the brush strokes really makes it come alive.

  10. The cat as critic. "Looks good but needs tuna."

    Seriously, this is wonderful. You can almost hear the voice over: "She hate me!"


  11. I believe .. I will have at least one of those painting at my house.


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