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I've attached the prelim drawings for this piece for those who were interested.
Here is a cover for a science ficiton anthology to be published by The Science Fiction Book Club. A second take on a theme I first visited ~ 6 years ago, just finished on Friday. Inspired by the writings of Asimov and Donald Kingsbury on the nature of Psychohistory and involving a wonderful sense of intrigue. Graphic inspirations come from Kandinsky and the modernists. Narrative ones from the Romantics and Northern Renassiance. Reference from aircraft guts, and high tech machinery.
Size 20" x 30", oil on paper on masonite.
Larger scan at:
Psychohistorical Crisis II
Don't ask me what those guys are up to...you don't want to know.
The preliminary drawing/cartoon on the green toned paper is ~ 16" x 23" the other is ~ 8.5" x 11".
Last edited by Donato; January 27th, 2005 at 10:24 AM.
Sweet... can you post some details as the large image is limited by browser window size.
I think it's a bit strange that the metal, though badly corroded in parts, can still be so shiny. I like it though... except for the main highlight on the stairs, seems either to forced or too repetitive...
Still... wonderful detail, great design and beautiful technique!
Wacomitis - fear of an empty bank account.
Oh wow, hey Mr. Donato....I was a student at VCU when you came and did a demonstration in the Franklin terrace...great to see you share with us your great work
illustration web space:
general portfolio website:
careful, if you click on the sketch book link while you are viewing my ca sketchbook you might get stuck in a causality loop
You have amazing skills and i love the enviroment you created. But i just have a doubt.
Those guys seem to be inside of some kind of chamber or something closed and i can see an open space with a city at the background that i think does not fit to much. Otherwise, i love it.
I had a slightlier lengthier post, that somehow didn't show up, but let me say that I enjoy the fact that the figures, though well rendered, are somewhat secondary to the rest of the design. It appears as though the viewer is inside of this chamber, and that the mystery of what this mammoth wall contains is of far greater importance than what the figures are doing there.
Nonetheless, I have a few questions, about working on paper with oils. As I'm relatively new to painting, having briefly practiced with acrylics, and more recently gouache, soon I'll be making a foray into oil painting. Are there specific advantages to painting on paper as oppposed to canvas?
I imagine that the hardness of masonite-mounted paper is more conducive to the addition of fine detail, as it has a rigidity that canvas does not. Is this the case?
I know that there's the obvious warping issue that comes into play when painting on paper, but is there a particular mounting process that eliminates this problem?
I would imagine also, that it helps to have a fully finished drawing to build off of, as is possible when working off of paper. Obviously, one would be unable to add such fine line detail onto canvas.
Anyway, just thought I'd ask, and the main reason I do so is because my (again, admittedly brief) experience with painting on canvas versus paper was less than impressive. I found the texture of the canvas to be distracting, and I typically prefer a smoother, more consistent surface on my paintings.
Any insight you could offer would be greatly appreciated, and when I turn pro, and pass this information onto other students, I could say Believe me, this works. I learned it from Donato Giancola.
holy b-geezus Donato... Those paints are incredible.. There are some incredible painters on this forum... Im going to try to make a trip to CT to visit Dansadad's studio... He's a cool guy.. I just wanna sit and watch him paint...! Keep up the great work man... Love your site.. Truely inspiring.
Mainloop- man i must be dyslexic.. cuz i thought you asked how many people are on lsd
Donato, thanks for posting in the forums. Been a fan of your work for a long time. At some future point, if possible, could you post your concept art with the paintings? I've always learned so much from those times on your site when you post the different preliminaries you've done with the painting.
I think ive heard your name before....mmmm lol
Awesome job of course, and you did this and oils right?
looking forward to seeing more of your stuff
OMG, Donato Giancola ! How is it that I missed the previous posts of yours ?!
Thanx a lot for sharing your art and your inspirations on this piece. I wouldn't have mentionned Kandinsky at first glance but this is obvious now that you point at it. It reminds me that we all have to keep an open mind in order to grow in our job.
lovely image, the large scale of the machinery creats a great abstraction of the shapes.
both of the covers are great! Thanks for sharing them!
*saved in inspiration folder*
I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.
Cyril here. Very nice seeing you posting here. I particularly like the link to the big version: lovely renderings, great textures.
Big fan, I am.
I hope you're doing well. See you sometimes.
Cyril Van Der Haegen - www.tegehel.org
great work! I 'm your big fan!
Thanks for sharing your new artwork.
Awesome stuff. The metal details are very cool. Looks very real but artistic at the same time.
>>Nonetheless, I have a few questions, about working on paper with oils. As I'm relatively new to painting, having briefly practiced with acrylics, and more recently gouache, soon I'll be making a foray into oil painting. Are there specific advantages to painting on paper as oppposed to canvas?
I imagine that the hardness of masonite-mounted paper is more conducive to the addition of fine detail, as it has a rigidity that canvas does not. Is this the case?<<
You partly answered the question. The other reason is that I create a highly detailed cartoon (see the new post) which I then follow as a guide to the application of color in oils. I mount this drawing down onto my panel with matte medium. Check out my site , under technique, to see how I do this.
Not to be a stickler for detail, especially on such a well painted piece...but did you notice that the hatch can't actually close, due to that water vent intruding into the hatchway? Might work if there was a matching depression in the door, but I didn't spot one.
"Every generation sees the past though the lens of its own time." - Thom Hartmann
Wow, Thanks for the info! I'll be sure to give that a try as soon as possible. So you're using just a medium? Hmm...It just so happens that I bought a mammoth bottle of it just yesterday. How convenient.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond, and I look forward to experimenting in the coming months.
don i would love to know how you map out the lighting on a piece with this much metal envolved, could you do a tutorial of some sort for us?
Beautiful stuff. Very Foundationish
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There are not many artists that I am in perpetual fanboy mode with, but you are #1. I always want to comment intelligently on your work, but it's impossible. My brain freezes every time. Thank you for joining and posting! Still enjoying your book. It's my constant deskside companion and reference piece. I go through that more than *any* other reference book I have.
An interesting parallel is that much of the theme of Kandinsky and the modernists was "Embrace the machine". Up until then machines were seen as something to be hidden and avoided or disgised as something else. This was holding society back from modernizing. So the modernist movement was intended to get people to see machines as things of beauty and value so they would accept them and be willing to incorporate them into their environment.
Here we see an environment that is all machine, unembellished and undiguised, beautiful, but not impervious to decay. The rust and sludge outside the chamber mirror the apparently decadent events happening inside.
I don't know how much of this was intended, but it works.
There is something about the green paper sketch that i'm really digging...
Yeah someone who's into old masters! Sweet Stuff man!
There is one Portrait on your Site, the Cartographer. Is it done with Oil or Airbrush? I'm arguing with my mother right now about it hahaha
Keep it up!
Amazing, and beautiful.
just got done looking at your site and i have to say, very helpful stuff on there
I'm relatively new at all this and this is the first time I've seen your work, sir. And I just heard my jaw clatter to the floor. Thank you for sharing. The abstact qualities of the piece are lovely. So much to marvel at and learn from just by looking. Thank you.
Amazing work. You did an awesome job painting the metalic surfaces. wow. I always have trouble with metalics. you rock!
The metallics look good, the environment design is cool. But I got a few critiques with this.
1. EVERYTHING is in focus, the foreground and the far background, and the characters in the midground, all 100% focus.
2. With everything in focus, nothing is the focal point, I think the top of the door might be the focal point, it's first, then second is the characters. The only focal points appear to be out of contrast. You can also get focal points from color and having non focal point areas more blurry (out of focus) than others.
3. The skin tones of the characters look like studio lighting that's way too bright making everyone look peachy. I checked your website and this isn't a problem you always have. The hobbit: Expulsion painting has a dwarf in the foreground right in the middle that appears to be lit by the same light source as the background, that's good, whereas the hobbit himself is glowing from an unnatural light source, that being bad.
I dunno why no one is mentioning any of this to you. You've got a lot of talent and the more I look at how much you work at it the more painful it is to see these things ignored. Most of the paintings look beautiful if you just take the background out entirely, or the character out entirely, most things look like a composite of several photos with no focal points or accidental focal points. I honestly shouldn't be the one telling you all this since I'm not that great at painting. But if you have any doubts, compare your stuff to Rembrandt and John Singer Sargent and check out the consistency of the lighting and focal points.
i disagree that the large depth of field confuses the viewer as to the focal point. I believe he makes an excellent use of frame within a frame here. The initial moment you look at the piece your eye is automaticially drawn to the figures through the doorway.
I'm not saying it isn't nice and you can't see those guys, it's just that they seem unimportant, as if just as much drama is involved in the metal. I think a real argument against my critique if anything is - hey this is how a lot of book covers are styled. That is mostly true too, a lot of book covers out there really just look like photos repainted and composited on a fantasy background and you can't easilly get work without hitting that style. At the very least though, if this artist wants to improve, there should at be more attention paid to matching up the light sources of models with backgrounds, other models, and keeping the lights realistic so we don't feel like the characters in the painting are well-lit models, but instead feel they are characters in their own realm.