Gregory Manchess

Freelance Illustrator

Creating a moment that communicates emotionally with the viewer is the essence of Gregory Manchess’ artwork. A native of Kentucky, he spent two years working with Gary Kelley as a studio illustrator at Hellman Design Associates in Iowa, before striking out on his own in 1979.

Manchess combined his love for fine art and science fiction and began his freelance career painting for OMNI magazine. His versatility and broad range of interests allowed him to expand his client work to include covers for Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, and Time Magazine, as well as spreads for Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Smithsonian, and numerous book covers. The USPS commissioned him to paint the Mark Twain Forever Stamp and the 1963 March On Washington Stamp released in 2013.

Gregory’s interest in history and his excellent figure work have made his paintings a favorite choice of the National Geographic Society on many occasions, including The Wreck of the C.S.S. Alabama, and recently, ten paintings for the exhibition, REAL Pirates: The Untold Story of The Whydah, from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship, still traveling to science museums around the country.

The Norman Rockwell Museum featured an exhibition of paintings for his visual novel, Above the Timberline, in November 2018. A futuristic tale of Earth completely buried in snow, written and painted by Manchess, it was released to stellar reviews in 2017. The Coen Brothers contacted Gregory to create 7 oil paintings and 7 drawings to illustrate a novel featured in their latest movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, released in 2018.

Manchess has been widely awarded within the industry, including two gold and four silver medals from the NY Society of Illustrators. His peers honored him with the coveted Hamilton King Award in 1999, and the Stephan Dohanos Award for the best illustration of the year by a member in 2000. His work has been featured in, and on the cover of, Communication Arts Magazine and included in Walt Reed’s latest edition of “The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000.”

Gregory teaches a week long, intensely focused painting course along with eight other artists in Amherst, MA known as, The Illustration Master Class. He currently teaches an online class in painting for SmArtSchool and lectures frequently at universities nationwide. He also holds workshops on painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.

Conveying emotion through rhythm and timing drives Manchess’ masterful, alla prima brushwork as the hallmark of his style. He is consistently pushing the limits of the brush today, searching for renewed expressions.




Above the Timberline

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000