Justin Manning was born in Porterville, California, which sits just below the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Being raised and still residing in that area has given him beautiful scenery and subject matter for his drawings, which are done in pencil.
He is also a big family man with three beautiful daughters and a family he truly treasures. He feels that this is a factor that makes it easy to draw subjects which touch his heart. Having no formal art training, he has used his talent to such perfection that controversy has occurred, with some claims that his drawings were photographs.
Many of Justin's works have been showcased as cover illustrations for magazines and books. While Justin's passion for drawing predates his memory, his career as a professional artist did not begin until 1997. Since then, he has enjoyed steady progression as a working artist with prints and originals selling all over the USA and abroad. He is also an avid historian and enjoys researching and gathering material for current and future works.
Each image is done in pencil. The same type of pencil one would use in school. It can take 300 - 600 hours to complete a major original. After the "drawing" part is completed, so begins the etching process. The etching technique brings out individual blades of grass or single blossoms on plants or even the strands of hair on animals and people. The lifting and separating of certain elements in the pictures creates a three dimensional effect that cannot be accomplished by traditional forms of drawing.
So as to make the complicated understandable. After the drawing is completed, it is then "cut" with various blades and cutting instruments to bring out the highlights. The image is also "embossed" in the darker areas to recede the shadows, thus creating a more 3-D effect. It can take as much time to complete this process as it does to draw the picture itself. This stage of the artwork requires surgical precision, and is what the artist has dubbed the "etching process".