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.
We were having a conversation about chainmail bikinis in Linkedin recently, great to see Red Sonja without one!!
Its funny you say “lovingly or threateningly”
I see it as he loved her, but shes toying with him in a psychotic, “I'm about to take off this helmet and drown you way.”
Judging by the diver's pose, I'd say he's been caught unwary of the mermaid's presence. He's scared. Something tells me things are going awry.
The presence of the jellyfish (albeit beautiful as they are) also suggests danger. But I might be reading too much into it.
Both are beautiful pieces, Donato. I like the Red Sonja illustration – she's obviously someone you don't want to mess with, but she's still looks beautiful.
Something's fishy here 😉
Beautiful mythological women have a vile streak to them. She might be enjoying terrorizing (and killing?) the submerged bystander.
Also, I like the 'unfinished' look of Red Sonja.
Two great images! The soft ethereal quality that you've created in the mermaid is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished version of Red Sonja.
Since the jellyfish is a sign of danger to the human man, I see her protecting him from danger.Almost gripping his mask with one arm floating upward toward to shore . His gripping a rope with one of his hands with maybe leads to the a ship? I see her lovingly concerned for him. I guess art speak differently to all it's just how you percieve it. 😉