WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING . . .
I took an oil painting course from Robert through his studio gallery. I probably learned more in six weeks than I did throughout 6 years of college when it came to painting technique. Robert was accessible, personable, patient, enthusiastic and communicated a great deal of information in an easy, fluid manner. He has an astute eye, a quick and engaging mind, and is well-educated in many aspects of the arts including theater, music, and writing. He is a Renaissance man without pretense and willingly shares his knowledge with ease and likable informality. I recommend him highly. Anne Garavaglia
Just need to let you know how much I enjoyed your introduction to me of the Reilly Method of Painting and your Power Palette approach to predetermining hues and values! Freedom is the result of this structure! As we paint and enter the flow of the visual communication between the artist and the model, having the power palette permits color selections and modification without gaps in the flow. The Creative Energy can stay higher! Thank you for keeping the Masters’ Secrets alive for a new generation of painters! — Cessily Thalacker, Artist and Teacher
Just wanted to thank you again for your artist talk last week at your gallery. Your generous lending of knowledge, expertise and forthright encouragement was a much appreciated and valuable to this learning artist. You are a very articulate communicator. Juribi Young
Thank you for such a wonderful workshop here on Salt Cay island. You are an inspiring teacher and will be a hard act to follow. All the best for your new gallery. We miss you…Candy Herwin
On behalf of Leadership Oakland, thank you for all your help in making this year’s Art & Entertainment Session so successful. The session was very highly rated with some great input and kudos as well. Your valuable insight and experience really impacted our participants and helped them understand issues facing businesses, organizations and our community. — Dawn D. Magrett, Exectuvie Director
During the two-hour drive home from the Raleigh workshop, I had time to review all of the valuable information you provided. I am anxious to put these new ideas to practical use in my studio. I know now that those first strong, decisive strokes I apply to canvas are the same ones I end up blending away. You will perch on my shoulder as I paint. I’ll hear you say, “Stop apologizing!” and “Lose some of those edges!” From now on, I’ll allow most of the mosaic brushstrokes to remain and carefully choose which strokes should blur into others. You confirmed the things I kinda/sorta already knew, but didn’t quite know what to do about them. This insight has given me more confidence. Of the many workshops I’ve attended, I have to say that yours is my favorite. — Donna Claybrook
Just wanted to let you know that your workshop has worked miracles for me!!!! I was still having a little trouble so I decided to watch your DVD! Wow! It’s like a Kleig Light went off in my head! Everything I ever learned anywhere suddenly made sense! Value is Key! (But you do choose warm and cool over hue! I’ve noticed!) I am no longer plagued by muddy color! I’ll send you a pic as proof once it dries a little more and I can add a few glazes to the background. You told me you would help me and you did! — Karen Silvestro
Just a note to thank you for sharing your incredible expertise and wisdom these past four weeks in our portrait painting class. As a portrait student, I’ve been refreshed and revived and inspired by your teaching. Your witty way not only makes receiving easy and fun but you are quite entertaining too! Thanks for yours and Cate’s sweet hospitality. I’d endorse you any day, Artistically yours, Mary Hoffman
Painting class was an eye opener today… I thought I was out of my league but with the right teacher anyone can be a beautiful creator. Thank you to my art instructor Rob Maniscalco! Alicia Mendoza Barrineau
The Paint with Wine party was wonderful for us, thank you for opening your home to us and letting us invade your life! Your patience, sense of humor and talent are abundant and for that, we are very grateful. We will pass along recommendations to all those we encounter, trusting in the knowledge your class kicks ass above and beyond those painting party factories!!! See you soon, Tracy
I have been to other BYOB Painting Parties before, but this was the best! It was an honor and privilege to be in the presence and being instructed by a true artist like Robert Maniscalco! Both he and his wife were so gracious and entertaining. I want to go and take private lessons with him in the future. Marian Mills
I am impressed by your book, Point of Art, and I have read, underlined and included your words in my art journal. So many times you condensed and verbalized my thoughts and feelings about art and the creative process. I even found the line on page 61, in “The Easy Way vs the Right Way,” to describe your workshop in Chapin. You gave us “the necessary information presented in a way we can understand and assimilate.” You presented in an extremely entertaining, fun, non-intimidating, and fact-filled manner. Your comments throughout the two day workshop were as important and informative as the more concrete methods you taught. Jean S. Kirkley.
I just wanted to let you know that I have already gotten so much out of our sessions. I see much improvement in my paintings and my drawings. I see more than I did before meeting with you. I realize I need to slow down (way down) and focus on every foundational element you have taught me one step at a time. Thank you so much for your time and accommodations, it is exactly what I need! I am a huge admirer of your work, especially “Quench.” I am excited to learn from you as an artist. I enjoy exploring your studio work as well as your website. Sarah Harris
I am so pleased with the improvement in my painting that was visible immediately as a result of your instruction. You do the critiques so candidly and without allowing personalities to effect your comments. I will certainly recommend you and your workshops whenever possible. — Brenda Delle
I absolutely got my money’s worth! Now I know I can paint a face & all the parts will be in the right place! Painting the P3 way is a lot of fun! — Caroline Goodman
The P3 is packed with knowledge! There is no better starting point for realistic painting than Frank Reilly’s teachings, and Rob Maniscalco delivers this information in easily digestible prose, along with inspirational advice and technical know-how. — John Ennis, Portrait Artist, author of The Reilly Papers blog
Thank you for sharing your incredible expertise and wisdom. As a portrait student, I’ve been refreshed and revived and inspired by your teaching. I’d endorse you any day! Artistically yours, — Mary Hoffman
Put Robert’s lifetime of study to work for you because the best way to learn is to learn what a master has discovered, so they can save you at least some of the headaches. You cannot avoid them all, but Robert deeply understands the how of teaching, and what you must go through to learn. The Power of Positive Painting focuses on the craft aspect of painting. Certainly, Robert’s artistry comes through but no attempt by him is made to sway the reader stylistically. His method is intended to equip you for any representational genre, style or subject. Robert explores that place between art and craft and science with courage and sensitivity. — Eric Rhoads, founder and publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air magazines.
Rob Maniscalco is a distinguished artist, writer, art teacher, playwright and actor. I applaud him for that. As you might expect, I am a tough critic. I think your book will be a success! The Power of Positive Painting gives many valuable insights. It’s been my pleasure and honor to be able to get this “sneak peak” of his wonderful book. Rob, your dad was a wonderful artist! I see you are as well. You have learned from the best! — Jack Faragasso, Frank Reilly authority, Professor Emeritus at the Arts Student’s League
IF I was an artist, especially a painter, I would insist this book goes into the curriculum in every art school in the country. Amazingly thorough, insightful, and full of views from 30,000 all the way down to the runway. — Doug Crowe
I really do appreciate you and what this instruction is doing to lift up my artwork to a higher level. As an artist, this has been a dream come true, to be able to understand light and shadows. You’re a very special teacher. I thank you. — Maureen Gonzalez
Your eye for seeing this child was right on. He is an extremely intelligent young man. He is a builder, wants to be an engineer. He builds cities in his house with train sets, building blocks of all kinds.
I really do appreciate you and what this instruction is doing to lift up my artwork to a higher level. As an artist, this has been a dream come true, to be able to understand light and shadows. You’re a very special teacher. I thank you. — Marueen Gonsalez
Great studio for all levels of emerging artist! Challenging yet rewarding classes. Group or private available. Robert teaches tricks of the masters in a way that gets results. The studio is on the marsh, so plain air is available. All ages and levels are welcome Oil is the medium of choice but acrylic are welcome:) Commissioned Oil portraits, pets, and fine art available. — C.A. Yelp Customer review
I’ve learned so much from Robert in the classes I’ve had with him. It’s been a great opportunity, learning from someone who reads his students well – someone who has taken the time to listen to specific concerns and then has systematically taken the time in class to address them. Through his classes I feel that I’ve reached a breakthrough and have moved into bolder, more deliberate brushstrokes, in addition to utilizing a much better, more well-prepared palette. Friends and family are commenting on how these lessons have so enormously improved my painting. Of course, I’m really looking forward to future classes. Who wouldn’t be, after experiencing such great results! — Jane S Yelp Customer review
This was one of the best adventures we’ve had while on our “girls” beach trip!! Though Robert typically does classes for six, he made an exception and did a class for all eight ladies. We had an absolute blast! Initially, a couple in our group were apprehensive about “painting”… …not anymore! This event has already been requested for next summer’s Folly trip!! Everyone LOVED their finished product. This is a MUST DO adventure! We really loved that this was tailored to OUR group and that we were not just “a part” of a large class of 30 people! HIGHLY recommend!! Reba L. Yelp Customer review
Just like art, we view certain things differently. How you see it, or how I see it, may be totally different. I will give you a perfect example of what I mean, and it has nothing to do with politics. When I was in 8th grade we spent a semester of poetry. We each had to stand up and give our interpretation of a certain poem. From my reading I got hope and beauty….yea right! Teacher said it is about death. I asked, “did the author say it was about death?” “NO, he is dead.” I said “then we really do not know what he was trying to convey. I saw beauty, you see death.” Was he wrong, was I wrong? I got a D-. Next year I was published in Poetry, and became a member of the debate team.
I have seen your work and your father’s, to me not only beautiful, but interesting, it conveys one message to me that might be totally different for the next person. I loved you coming to do a presentation of your work, when I was President of the Artist Guild, you give a wonderful program, interesting, talented, and nothing run of the mill. — Debra McKinley
The DVD on the Power of Positive Painting is one of the best DVD’s I have ever seen. It taught me so much and I felt like I was actually a student in your class. I learned so very much and I don’t ever know how to thank you for all you taught me. To me it was a true gift. Someday when I get better. I hope to be able to afford to take your mentoring program. I know it would be the best thing I could ever do for myself. I could not fail with you in my corner. I just need some more time to learn more and reach the level I need to – Sylvia
Growing up, I never thought I could be much of a painter. I am now interested in giving it a try, and bought this book (in person) to help me. What a great decision!! This book gives anyone, regardless of experience, great help in creating an interesting painting! From the basics of sketching, proportion, and subject, to color and lighting, plus more. Great photo examples along with text are extremely helpful! I The author shares so much with the reader…I can’t recommend this enough! Sue Jaissle Williams
I’ve been painting a little here and there over the years, but have gotten good feedback from teachers. Expect that after retirement, I can devote more time. This book is just what I needed to inspire me. Rob has a way with explaining how to paint portraits, something I find the most challenging. There are many examples of how to do it at each stage that really helps to envision what you’re trying to do before you do it. This gives me confidence that I can do it too.— Believer (from Amazon)
I feel honored to know Robert Maniscalco, the master artist featured in this very recent television interview. We met and became friends through our common interest in the federal capital trial of Dylann Roof. I was researching a book and Maniscalco had been commissioned by media for visual depictions of the defendant and courtroom scenes during that trial in which photos and video of the proceedings were forbidden. Watching this interview with Maniscalco will also enable you to view some of his most consequential works of art. Bravo, Rob.* Your approach to the creation of art is as impressive as the incredible works you produce. — David Gillespie
I am very pleased with all that I am learning in private instruction and I am about half way through the book. As you warn against in your book, the more I paint, the more I find myself not looking at the photo as much as the painting. The book is a great compliment to your lessons as well as a great reference. In my opinion the book is very helpful. It explains exactly what you teach, i.e., envelope, blind and modified, couture drawing, color components, etc. Teaching along with the book is very helpful. They reinforce one another. — Angie Pierce
A great introduction to drawing and painting. Robert’s “No experience required” approach means a student can learn step by step without fear of getting lost or overwhelmed. — Robert Schefman, Professor of Fine Art, College for Creative Studies, Detroit
The P3 is packed with knowledge! There is no better starting point for realistic painting than Frank Reilly’s teachings, and Maniscalco delivers this information in easily digestible prose, along with inspirational advice and technical know-how. — John Ennis, Portrait Artist, author of The Reilly Papers blog
Your instruction is sound and you are so good at articulating what you are trying to explain. This book has reminded me of all of the good things people said to me in the past, as well as some things I need to hear today like, “don’t apologize!” — Cessily Thalacker, Artist/teacher
Rob Maniscalco is a distinguished artist, writer, art teacher, playwright and actor. I applaud him for that. As you might expect, I am a tough critic. I think your book will be a success! The Power of Positive Painting gives the reader many valuable insights. — Jack Faragasso, Author of The Student’s Guide to Painting,
I never thought I could be much of a painter but now I’m interested in giving it a try. I bought this book to help me. What a great decision! It gives anyone, regardless of experience, great help in creating an interesting painting, from the basics of sketching, proportion, to color and lighting, plus more. I can’t recommend it enough! — Sue Jaissle Williams
Just need to let you know how much I enjoyed your introduction to me of the Reilly Method of Paining and your Power Palette approach to predetermining hues and values! Freedom is the result of this structure! As we paint and enter the flow of the visual communication between the artist and the model, having the power palette permits color selections and modification without gaps in the flow. The Creative Energy can stay higher! Thank you for keeping the Masters’ Secrets alive for a new generation of painters! — Cessily Minda, Artist and Teacher
I am so pleased with the improvement in my painting that was visible immediately as a result of Robert’s instructional painting video. You do the critiques so candidly and without allowing personalities to effect your comments. I will certainly recommend you and your workshops whenever possible. — Brenda Delle
Well you are not only a very gifted painter, but an effective inspirational teacher. Your instruction is sound and you are very good at articulating what you are trying to explain. Well I’ve been under your influence all day as I started my judge painting. From a practical aspect, I am developing a new approach as I am a 60% acrylic painter, a 37% watercolor painter and a 3% oil painter. I also have years of doing things my way and they are habits, not necessarily all good ones either, however they have served me over the years. Well, let me wrap this up by saying that I really think you are the real deal, and I’ve enjoyed your instruction. Years of theater has set you up for making a cool video and it’s great that you combine all of those skills at once. – Betsy Wilson-Mahoney
Put Robert’s lifetime of study to work for you because the best way to learn is to learn what a master has discovered, so they can save you at least some of the headaches. You cannot avoid them all, but Robert deeply understands the how of teaching, and what you must go through to learn. The Power of Positive Painting focuses on the craft aspect of painting. Robert explores that place between art and craft and science with courage and sensitivity. —Eric Rhoads, founder and publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and Plein Air magazines.
This The Power of Positive Painting presents an organized comprehensive overview of a broad variety of techniques and ideas which make up the systematic approach to representational painting developed by the late Frank Reilly. It serves as an excellent refresher course for those who have previously studied Reilly’s teachings in great depth, and it’s a good basic introduction for those artists who have not been so privileged. The underlying principles that informed Reilly’s teachings are clearly evident in the works of history’s greatest master painters. — Marvin Mattelson, award winning portrait artist and educator
Being unemployed due to Corona virus I decided to take up a new hobby and try painting. I bought the necessary supplies, sketched out several ideas, plotted my canvas…and froze, afraid to place the paint on the canvas for months. This week I read The Power of Positive Painting and very early on Rob eased my fears with his good humored and memorable approach to sharing a lifetime of knowledge. I recommend this book highly for anyone interested in painting, either as a new hobby, or for more experienced painters ready to garner great tips from a Master Artist. Thank you Rob for showing me a new way to see.— Dawn Campion
Review of “Procession” and Robert’s solo show “Quench” at the Grosse Pointe Art Center (1-13-22 to 3-26-22) (GP War Memorial, 32 Lakeshore Blvd), by Donald Cronkhite
I met Rob Maniscalco in 2004, when he hosted Art Beat Detroit, a local weekly PBS series that was broadcast on WTVS Public Television. In 36 episodes that ran from 2003 to 2005, Rob introduced and profiled Detroit-based artists in their studios. I was one of his interviewees in 2004, when I had a studio in the 4731 Gallery building northwest of downtown.
As an art show host, his manner seemed a bit odd to me, kind of offbeat, like a showman’s. It was the very opposite of what I had expected given my early exposure to PBS artists Bill Alexander (The Magic of Oil Painting, 1974-1982) and Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting, 1983-1994). While I never really was impressed by their work, they did define for me the manner in which I thought TV artists should conduct themselves. Not Rob. As with his art, Rob had his own approach.
I did know that Rob was a practicing artist but was unaware that he also had had formal training as an actor, director and playwright. Looking back, I would say that that served him well as an entertainment host for a TV show about artists, each of whom had their own quirks and uniquenesses. As I learned more about him, in particular about Rob the artist, my first impression faded…not entirely; His wit, puns and penchant for surprise continue to amuse, for I, too, have acting, writing and directing within my artistic repertoire.
What I discovered about Rob is that before much formal training, his father, portrait artist Joseph Maniscalco, provided formable lessons in their unique style of painting. Joseph was schooled in the (Frank) Reilly Method, which emphasized a value-based palette. His ability to render also was steeped in the traditions of Rembrandt, Velazquez, Hals and Sargent. So, it is not surprising that color or hue is inherent in the signature Rob Maniscalco style today. When you look at a Maniscalco painting, father’s or son’s, the influences are apparent in how light and form are used to create mood or in revealing a subject’s character. Another inherent aspect of a Maniscalco portrait or in other work even of animals is the detail within the subject’s eyes, a reveal of the soul it is often said.
Rob, the actor/painter describes himself as an Expressive Realist, no doubt drawing (pun intended) from both art and theatre backgrounds. Every artist is categorized one way or another, so I guess his descriptor is as fitting as any other. Simply put, in all genres of landscape, figure, and still-life, I would summarize Rob’s work as a blend of amorphous, colorful backgrounds with distinctly rendered subjects and foregrounds: simultaneously expressive and realistic, with an employ of strong side-lighting to define and render shapes. He is not timid when it comes to laying on the paint evidencing his mastery of brushstroke and use of impasto.
I believe that artists must be willing to leave what they know and attempt to push forward, to explore and extend their knowledge yet not having to surrender what they’ve accomplished or achieved. While doing what he knows best – portraits – Rob is unafraid to step out from what he excels at, to express in paint in multiple ways. Even in his quasi-Daliesque/surreal works or pure abstractions, the Expressive/Realist will tell a story, or present his point of view, or manifest an emotion based in the Maniscalco tradition.
The 32 pieces in his exhibition, “Quench,” on view through March 26, at the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) Artists Association, retrospectively demonstrate his lingering thirst to make and teach art. Yes, Rob also is an instructor, passing along his knowledge as a painter and artist and TV host. His exhibition features recent works as well as some of his favorite landscapes, still lifes and portraitures. In each, the Maniscalco signature of hue, light and form is amply revealed.
Detroit. Mich. 48207
Here’s a short video created in 2014 by my friend, Victor Pytko. “The last Artist” is a witty, sharp critique of our society’s throw away culture. We no longer seem to value original artwork. Our image driven, selfie obsessed society cares little for the original work of the creative, postulating that we have so many images we no longer need artists to create more, something myself and other creatives have been railing about for years. This satirical account of the last artist bites hard into the superficiality of our culture, imagining a world without artists. Why own an original with so many ways to experience (steal) the image? Because one is real, the other is imitation.
Hello! Thanks for the email! I really enjoyed your Portrait Demo of Larry at the Goose Creek Art League. I’d love to take one of your classes one day! I couldn’t believe how fast you did that. Thank you for your comments on my 2 paintings at the G.C.A. L. Art Exhibit hanging in the Activities Center now. And thanks for the 1st place in Oils for the attached photo. Your comment on my beach scene was right on regarding my lack of detail (modeling I think was the word you used). I did buy your P3 book the evening of your demo and I’ve started reading it. Hoping to have some more time to delve into it more when I’m on vacation in May. Sharon Mills
Hey there Robert! This is Holly, the redhead from the Unitarian Church in Myrtle Beach. It was SO nice getting to meet you and your lovely wife today! You’re words really spoke to me on a personal level, the endless possibilities of dreams.
In Wicca, we believe in Astral Projection, aka Out of Body Experiences. And along that line of thinking, when the body separates from its “id” so to speak, it enters a place known as the Astral Plain. Then one would theoretically be drawn to the conclusion of meeting a passed loved one on the Astral Plain. You’re not physically meeting with them, but your souls are able to be together again for how ever long.
Maybe its the only time a certain part of the brain becomes active when we truly sleep. And some people’s minds are more concerned with themselves and their own struggles in the here and now, so their dreams reflect that. However I think your mind can be in that special place, when we sleep, its like the deepest meditation the mind can be in, where you’re able to blur the veil between everything. From our alternate selves, to defying physics, to yes, speaking with someone who’s passed. I don’t mean in like a Ouija board, but you’re mind being able to be at its most open and able to receive the most information from all types of origins and sources.
I hope you enjoy reading this, I could go on for hours and hours with all sorts of ideas and connections and theories I have. In the meanwhile, here are the links to your presentation that I streamed earlier. Thank you so much!
Rob, I saw your show at the War Memorial with a friend, and we very much enjoyed it. What struck me, as it usually does with your work, is its virtuosity. You can do anything! And do it well, to boot. My favorite was a certain still life with cut flowers, but I really liked all of it, especially the different techniques used to apply color and achieve remarkable effects with it.
Hi Rob, I enjoyed your class and am so proud of how your techniques helped me paint such a good portrait! Thank you again for being such an amazing teacher and helping me to want to become a more skilled painter. Take care. Gale (Canton VAF P3 workshop 2022)
Totally agree- Leyla is so professional and smooth talking creating such a comfortable atmosphere for you to expertly answer her great questions. I hope that this is just the beginning of many many more interviews for you. Besides your great and warm personality and amazing acting skills, your talent as an artist is outstanding and you deserve all the recognition that comes your way. Wishing you continued great artistic success stories! Bari Berger Engel
I thoroughly enjoyed your one-day portrait class. I have to be honest… when the actual painting started… I was sooooo nervous! Your calm demeanor and friendly, humorous approach to painting was amazing, and I soon calmed. Thank you so much for your help… every addition of color by you on my portrait was startling, but well received and appreciated!
“Yesterday, I took a one-day portrait class from Charleston’s well-known Artist and Author, Rob Maniscalco. His style and techniques are very different from my detail-oriented, slo-mo methods. Rob paints uninhibited and quickly… no blending, minimal detail… just lay the oil colors on the canvas and leave ‘em be! Way out of my comfort zone, but I did it with Rob’s encouragement and knowledge. I decided to paint a portrait of our middle son, Brian… from a photo of Brian & Lisa taken in Sint Maarten in the Caribbean. As Pablo Picasso was quoted as saying, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” This is why I continue to take art classes. Lessons allow me to continue growing (old) as an artist, artiste & artisan.”
With respect and gratitude,
Summerville Artist Guild since 2017