Having returned from an inspirational week at the Illustration Master Class in Amherst, I am dying to continue the work on a large panel I began as a demonstration there. Today I’ll lock the door of the studio and enjoy some time with Frodo, his orc torturer in Cirith Ungol, and a long session of Phillip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi… I hope your day is as pleasurable!
In the Tower of Cirith Ungol: Prisoner
48″ x 36″
Oil on Panel
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, USA, art was always a hobby for Donato as a young man, he would steal away into the basement of his parents' home to work on drawings, create his own maps for the game Dungeons & Dragons, paint figurines, read comics, and construct model tanks and dinosaurs. His love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of twenty Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, the beginning of his professional training. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 1992, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene. Formative years in the early nineties were spent as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio, and long days of study in the museums of New York. It was then that his love and appreciation of classical figurative art took hold. He continues his training even now, visiting museums regularly, learning from and sometimes copying original paintings by Rembrandt or Rubens, attending life drawing sessions with illustrator friends and constantly challenges himself within each new project. Pilgrimages to major museums are his preferred reason to travel.
Donato has released a revised hard cover compilation of his works on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend from Dark Horse Comics.
(With fist in air…) Damn, you. Damn you to heeelll! That foot and hand are just gorgeous! And I always enjoy seeing an artists workspace. My only question is where are the references? Keep up the great, inspirational work.
I was going to ask the same thing question as the above commenter. Do you not use reference once you start painting? I would think that you would have to to get this sort of result.
Love the dirty toenails!!!
If I was a woman, I would have your baby after seeing this painting.
So damn awesome!
Wow! Never thought I would drool over dirty toenails:)
Donato, my friend, that's an inspirational foot!
I sorely missed seeing you this year at IMC.
I hope it was fun.
Your work is getting pretty good, keep it up (Nyuk, nyuk).
I don't know how this post escaped my attention. After seeing the beginnings of this at IMC, I can't wait it's completion. I'm loving the zoom in on both this piece and your Joan of Arc. I feel as if I'm hiding in a corner of the tower, personally witnessing Frodo's mistreatment.
This was a really inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.
It's lovely to know that Lord of the Rings and Koyaanisqatsi is a means of inspiration for other painters 🙂