Gregory Manchess is who I want to be when I grow up. Seriously, have you ever seen anything as cool as this painting? It's a rare ability to be able to make a painting as epic as a big-budget movie, but Manchess has it.
in 2005, I interviewed him over the phone as part of an assignment for all RIT Illustration seniors. As I recall, we talked for quite a while, and he didn't shy away from some personal subjects. He told me a little of his personal struggles, and the idea of him creating such grand paintings while truly suffering seemed as heroic as his work.
Two years later, I saw him demonstrate his process at the Society of Illustrators. Basically, he doesn't make mistakes. That's an overstatement, obviously, but most of his brush strokes are put down once. The finished product is created in one go. Look. Plan. Mix Paint. Plan Stroke. Brush to Canvas. Done.