-By Dan dos Santos

Like many of you, I just got back from IlluXcon, and one of the truest highlights of my weekend was seeing new works by Dorian Vallejo.

Dorian has had a pretty eclectic career. Following in his father Boris’ footsteps, he quickly rose to the top of the illustration game in the mid 90’s. Growing bored with the genre, he moved past it, and into the far more lucrative field of portraiture. But recently, Dorian has turned his eye toward fine arts. And like most things he chooses to pursue, he excels at it.

Dorian debuted 5 large scale works at IlluXcon this past weekend. The pieces ranged from just a few feet across, to widths greater than 7 feet. They were so large, in fact, that Dorian easily filled the entire room just a few pieces. By contrast, I fit all 6 of my works in a space smaller than a single one of his paintings. And yes, I know what they say, but in this case, size DOES matter!

Because of their scale, you couldn’t help but to feel immersed in the image. Some of the figures were painted life size, which creates an odd sense of empathy when you look at them.

I regret not having a better camera with me, as I was only able to grab a few horribly grainy cellphone shots of Dorian’s work. Believe me when I say, these photos do not begin to communicate just how beautiful these paintings were in person. I can only hope that Dorian has an exhibition soon so that I can drool over them once again.

You can visit Dorian’s website for more info. And if you like his work, I highly recommend his book, Drawings: Inspired By Life, which I honestly consider one of the finest books in my collection.