Art Video Review: Donato Giancola's "Joan of Arc"



This post is the first in a series of reviews of art videos I have in my personal collection.

Several months ago we made the decision to lose the extra cable box we had in our bedroom and use the bedroom TV to watch videos exclusively. Little did I know that this decision would lead to me being more productive & organized as I have taken to folding laundry while watching my many art DVDs. Before now, I never seemed to find the time to do either. Now it is something I dare say, I almost look forward to.

What sets Donato's video apart from other art videos I have seen is that he shares his entire process from conceptualization (which includes thumbnail sketching), compositional design, historical research, photography of models and source materials to preparing a surface, underdrawing, underpainting and through all the stages of painting his large multi-figurative narrative piece, "Joan of Arc". Joan of Arc by the way is one of my favorite saints because she is the patron saint of female bad assery. Donato is a much revered artist in the illustration and imaginative realism fields and has studied with some big names in the fine art world including Vincent Desiderio and Jerome Witkin. I think it is his unique perspective as an artist in these particularly deadline driven fields that has allowed him to create and hone such a strong working process which for me tends to be a bit of a moving target.

My favorite take aways are these:

-Use chroma shifts to help turn a form, not just value shifts. This was a timely nugget to absorb as I was able to use this technique a lot on my current portrait commission. -Donato refers to his paint palette as his "mud pile" and will pre-mix all his colors along with all the chroma shifts possible prior to painting his subject. -Keep a good book on anatomy handy as you model the form and constantly refer back to it for greater definition of the figure. -Donato is constantly referencing a lot of Master painters and their paintings to help inform his painting such as Rubens, Van Dyck and Bouguereau which I found really inspiring.

To purchase Donato Giancola's "Joan of Arc" click here. I highly recommend it.