by Donato

A couple of months ago I posted the progress and reference shots to a recently developing image, The Silk Road. I am happy to announce that the piece is now finished, ready to ship to the client when the final coats of medium harden enough to safely package the work.

This is the second commission for my client, and it has been a real pleasure to tackle his ‘very difficult constraints’ for the assignment. I state that jokingly, as the only requirement from him was to incorporate three women, a dog, and a dragon within a fantastic setting, somehow desert themed. My first assignment placed those characters within a jungle/forest environment.

To set up a challenge for this project, I wanted something a bit more exotic, a theme I had not tackled yet. The orientalists came immediately to mind, but the big tipping point was after a wonderfully coincidental visit to an exhibition of the Silk Road at the Museum of Natural History here in New York. At once I could ‘feel’ the place which this story needed to occur, and understood why so many European artists tackled the theme of North Africa. It was familiar yet alien all at the same time – much in the way fascinating fantasy and science fiction art and stories are woven. To top it off, the idea of traders played right to my love of group compositions through the venue of a marketplace where goods are exchanged. If you need to do three figures, why not do 15!

Of course this image ended up being more than I originally planned to manage. But as the work came together through the drawing stages, then into color, it was a true joy to have fulfilled the dream of the art I love to create.


Silk Road
25″ x 34″
Oil on Panel