Ice Bridge: by Donato Giancola

Donato Giancola is one of my favorite artists. His paintings have a classical beauty which is unusual in many of today's fantasy illustrations. The idea for this painting came from a bedtime story I told my children. It was a made-up tale of stalwart adventurers delving deep in an ancient cavern looking for a long lost treasure. The treasure was hidden in a subterranean chamber and guarded by a terrible fire demon, who was kept imprisoned in the chamber by a bridge made of ice. When I got to the part of the story where the creature finally appeared and began chasing the heros, my kids got so scared that they began screaming. I got scolded soundly by my wife, and had to stay in my kids' room that night until they were finally able to get to sleep. Since then, this incident has become something of a joke at my house, and my bedtime stories are now usually preceded by a warning not to make anyone scream or cry.

When I commissioned this painting, I knew that it needed to be fairly large to accomodate the dramatic background, the big monster, and the heros, without being too compacted. It is 36 inches tall, and 70 inches wide, which gives ample room for all of the elements. Luckily, I have a large empty wall in my library to hang it on. The commission process went very smoothly, and Donato produced the painting relatively quickly. This was due in large part to the help of Jane Frank of Worlds of Wonder, who acted as agent for the transaction.

Donato originally sent me several rough sketches which provided me with some choices as to how I wanted to painting to proceed. After some suggestions from me, he refined his vision of the painting and gave me a detailed sketch, which formed the foundation for the final painting. Click on this LINK to see the progression of the sketches. The commission process for this work was a lot of fun. I tried not to dictate too closely what the artist should paint, as I wanted to take full advantage of his imagination and creative talents. This flexibility paid off, as he produced a painting that captured the essence of what I had imagined much better than I had actually imagined it.

I got to meet Donato at a fantasy convention. Here's a picture of me (the geek in the armor) and Donato, in front of an amazing Lord of the Rings painting that Donato painted for the organizer of the convention.

Donato Giancola's Homepage: Donato has an excellent web site with galleries of his paintings, and information on his techniques.

Back to Kai's Art Page

Back to Kai's HOME Page