Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Epic Painting - The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship in Hollin     Donato Giancola   2017  Oil on Panel   65" x 34"
by Donato

In pursuit of my continued explorations in landscape painting, and love of seeing the immense canvases of the Hudson River School painters, a new oil painting was premiered at the Balticon Science Fiction Convention this past memorial Day Weekend - The Fellowship in Hollin from J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth.

This image was initialized five years ago while exploring possible scenes and compositions for a private commission showcasing the Fellowship of the Ring.  I feel in love with the idea of the adventurers reflected in a still body of water, a foreshadowing of their impending journey underground into Moria.


The motivation to jump into the final oils struck when cleaning out my studio storage.  I was reminded of a large, empty frame waiting to find a new image to be placed within.  It was of landscape format created from dark warm wood...a near perfect vessel for the Fellowship concept in Hollin.

A few visits to Albert Bierstadt and Frederick Church paintings at the Metropolitan Museum and Brooklyn Museum of Art helped prime the desire to pull this off in a grand, epic way.  Although much in the shadow of these landscape giants, it is a pleasure to play within their aesthetic. The saturated colorful paintings of Thomas Moran were also an informing source.

Attached are a few detail shots as well as the rough abstracts which laid the groundwork for this piece.

Limited Edition Giclee Prints of this painting are available within my store:


Below is a detail of the art with a US Quarter to provide scale...those were some small heads to paint!

The Fellowship in Hollin     Donato Giancola   2017  Oil on Panel   65" x 34"  detail

The Fellowship in Hollin     Donato Giancola   2017  Oil on Panel   65" x 34"  detail

The Fellowship in Hollin     Donato Giancola   2017  Oil on Panel   65" x 34"  detail

I enjoy using the palette knife to create controlled, chaos within organic forms such as rocks and vegetation.  A wonderful way to force choices upon the image without deliberate brush strokes.

The Fellowship in Hollin     Donato Giancola   2017  Oil on Panel   65" x 34"  detail

The prime motivating factor - the frame!


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