Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dragon Attack!


Shivan Dragon   Donato Giancola  2001  copyright Wizards of the Coast
by Donato

Having a little fun today with this post, tracing back the years and my various approaches to dragons.  If there is anything to be learned from this, it is that your first drawings and paintings of dragons will never come out the way you see them in your mind's eye, you need to revisit the theme again, again, and again....and again. And again. Did I mentioned revisiting the theme?

With each interpretation, I find a new quality or characteristic I wish to emphasis about my particular relationship with dragon mythology - Are they an adversary? Companion? Recluse? Beast? Threat? Weapon? Mystic?

Hidden Kingdom   Donato Giancola  2012, private commission
As the years pass, I am more interested in portraying a dragon as an intelligent, mindful individual, representing tremendous potential energy, withheld, but ready to be released.  I think this expression of power in reserve, rather than power outwardly amplified is what I love best about dragons.  I also find these qualities of checked power a theme running through many of my other works.

Keep an eye out for me and my dragons this summer as I return to GenCon for their 50th Anniversary convention and my appearance as the Artist Guest of Honor!  I am honored, and thrilled to be attending!


Green Dragon   Donato Giancola  1981 Inspired by, and copied from, the D&D Monster Manual drawing by David C. Sutherland

Dragonrider   Donato Giancola  1989, first dragon painting in oils

Dragon Warrior   Donato Giancola  1990, personal project while attending Syracuse University
Dracologist   Donato Giancola  199, personal project

 Dragon Egg   Donato Giancola  1991, personal project

Dragon Hunter  Donato Giancola  1991, personal project while attending Syracuse University


St. George and the Dragon    Donato Giancola  1991, portfolio project

The Pen and the Sword   Donato Giancola  1992  One of my first samples to land book cover illustration work after college

The Road Home   Donato Giancola  1994   First published dragon novel cover illustration 
Sacred Seven    Donato Giancola  1996, book cover for novel by Amy Stout

DragonSight   Donato Giancola  1998  Cover for a Science Fiction Book Club Edition

Ebon Dragon   Donato Giancola  1998,  Portal Expansion for Wizards of the Coast
Wyvern Hunting   Donato Giancola   1999  Cover for David Drake's novel The Mirror of Worlds
Cromat  Donato Giancola   2000   Magic: the Gathering card for Wizards of the Coast
Dracopaleontology   Donato Giancola   2000  cover art

DragonFlight   Donato Giancola   1999 cover art

DragonShadow   Donato Giancola   1998 cover art


Smaug the Golden    Donato Giancola, 2000, cover for Science Fiction Book Club edition of The Hobbit

St. George and the Dragon    Donato Giancola  2010,  DragonCon promotional image
Vanguard - Saga of Heroes  Donato Giancola  2008   Kieth Parkinson makes a guest appearance in the group of adventurers on the left side.

Adventurers  Donato Giancola  2008, private commission
Silk Road  Donato Giancola  2010, private commission

Fall of Gondolin    Donato Giancola  2011, Middle-earth book project

Daenerys in Meereen   Donato Giancola   2016,  inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire

Road to Meereen   Donato Giancola   2015,  personal project inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire


Mother of Dragons    Donato Giancola  2014, cover to the 2015 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar
Sack of Nargothrond   Donato Giancola  2016, Middle-earth book project & personal piece


Nienor and Glaurung    Donato Giancola  1991, personal piece 





Shivan Dragon   Donato Giancola  2016  Copyright Wizards of the Coast 
Voyager    Donato Giancola  2016, private commission
St George and the Dragon - Fear    Donato Giancola   2016

9 comments:

  1. A great collection of beasts. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I really love the toned paper drawings. I'm still hoping to see one of these on Every Day Original early enough to buy it.

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  3. This feels very apropos, as I'm struggling with a dragon in a painting right now. I wish I'd seen that 2016 Shivan dragon before starting my painting!

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  4. Great to see the evolution over the years and admire them together as a collection. Amazing to see the nuances and character you've given to Dragons among the many pieces.

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  5. You missed my favorite one, the one with the dragon carrying away a horse. -Dan

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  6. Hmmm, they're ALL my favorite one! You are the BEST Donato!

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  7. What happened between 1994 and 1999? It seems like you really discovered your style and voice in that time and it really shows in your work. Very inspiring!

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    1. I discovered that publishers wanted my internal 'voice'. Rather than trying to make art that pleased them, I began to make art that please my inner self first, then solved their narrative needs. Nice catch and notice that something big happened around 1998-1999.

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