SmArt School 2019 Fall Online Mentorship with Donato

14 Sessions of Comprehensive Critiques and Lectures on Art, Aesthetics and Business

September 11, 2019 - January 8, 2020
Wednesdays 4:30pm-7:30pm EST

For information on enrollment:
The SmArt School

With twenty-three Chesley Awards, nine medals from Spectrum, three Hugo Awards, and over twenty-four years of teaching experience, Donato Giancola offers nearly unparalleled insight to professional practices and techniques within the freelance artist's marketplace. This mentorship runs online thirteen sessions meeting once a week for three hours in a Fall-Spring semester schedule. Extensive critiques, workovers, lectures, and presentations on painting and narrative image creation will be covered in intensive work sessions as well as discussions on business experiences - from contracts to self promotion to client negotiations.

Artists wishing to develop their pictorial image making skills do so under Donato's direct tutelage. Group and individual critiques are emphasized and cooperative development is fostered as a means toward resolving visual solutions. Traditional and Digital media are equally welcome.

This is a 13 class semester with a built in 14th class for unexpected student absences.

One class session will be dedicated to the exceptional professional guest, Irene Gallo, publisher of near the end of the term in December.

One of the great strengths of the SmArt School program is that mentorees can live anywhere in the world and take part in classes provided they have access to moderate to high speed internet connections. Sessions are run using group meeting software compatable with Macs, PCs, iPads, and even iPhones.

Illuminating examples from art history, samples from Donatos portfolio, and works of contemporary artists will be utilized to provide clarity in the discussions. Lectures and critiques transpire via desktop sharing and digital draw overs of mentorees work in Photoshop. Class size will be limited to no more than ten students in order to offer the greatest interaction on individual critiques as well as inspire rich dialog based upon frequent, formal lectures on topics relevant to the production of high-calibre, polished professional art and illustration.

Topics of discussion slated to be covered include:

Painting Between the Lines - Developing Complex Narrative and Emotional Content
Abstract Thumbnailing and Preliminary Drawings
Compositional Aesthetics - Balance, Pattern, and the Modern Eye
Marketing and Self Promotion
Photographic References - Manipulation and Sampling

Creativity Consciousness

Mastering Metal, Textures and Complex Visual Effects

Controlling Color - Theory and Implementation
Composing with Multiple Figures
Challenges - Advancing your Artistic Career
Business Negotiations - Communication, Correspondence, and Collaboration

Visit for information about this class with Donato and classes with seven other professional artists.



What Dreams Are Made Of

Exhibition Featuring works from Michael Whelan, Donato Giancola, Michael Alfano and Robert Remsen Vickrey

August 3 -16, 2019

Opening reception August 3rd from 5-7PM

In a first time showing at the gallery, Donato will be sharing new works related to his astronomical series and fascination with the merging of nature and humanity.  Donato will be in attendance for the opening, and willing to sign items related to his published book and game artwork, from Middle-earth to Magic:The Gathering.  Come join us for an exceptional exhibit!

Free and open to the public.

Below are a few of the images to be on display.


Middle-earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend

Published by Dark Horse, April 2019

After three years of working with editor Scott Allie, I am very happy to announce that the revised edition of my book on Middle-earth art will be avialable coming this April from Dark Horse Publishing. It has been a real pleasure putting this together and the talents of Chris Horn and Patrick Satterfield have insured its absolutely gorgeous production quality.

The new edition will be massive at 14" tall by 10 wide, offering great panoramic views of double page spreads for all the large scale paintings depicting landscapes inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as viewing many drawings at 100% scale. The tome is now 200 pages, adding over 100 new works of art to this collection beyond the first edition!

As a peek into working methods in the studio, included is a five page process section on the epic canvas, Beren and Luthien in the Court of Thingol and Melian

200 pages, large format

14" x 10" full color hard cover
April 2019 publication date

To pre-order the book visit:

For those who wish for a little more special edition, Shawn Speakman of the

and I are offering signed and embossed books. The emboss is that of the sigil of the Kings of Gondor!



IMC 2019

June 10-16, 2019

Amherst College
Amherst, Massachusetts

This June will find Donato once again at the twelfth annual gathering of the Illustration Master Class.  Begun by Rebecca Guay to bring together some of the most talented teachers and students in science fiction and fantasy illustration, this week long, mind numbing, action packed and sleepless night filled experience has no rival in other workshops.  In addition to the usual faculty of Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Irene Gallo, Greg Manchess, Rebecca Guay, Dan Dos Santos,  Scott Fischer, and myself, The IMC welcomes back the incredibly talented and respected Iain McCaig, Mike Mignola, Lauren Panepinto, Marc Scheff, and new comer Karla Ortiz as its guest additions for the week.  A handful of visiting artists and professionals, will also fill out the engagements throughout the week.

Visit for information about this years housing and registration. Spaces still available!


Spectrum Live! & Planet Comicon Kansas City

March 29-31, 2019

Kansas City Convention Center
Bartle Hall
301 W. 13th St
Kansas City, MO

Planet Comicon Kansas City this year will be co-hosting the gathering and exhibit Spectrum Live as a sub-convention within their event. One of the largest gatherings of science fiction and fantasy artists, Spectrum Live offers a chance to connect with other professionals within the industry while reaching out to interact with the thousands of fans attending the Comicon.

Respected talent within the science fiction and fantasy genre will be presenting and lecturing at Planet Comicon - Ian McCaig, Miranda Meeks, Chris Claremont, Amanda Conner, J.A.W. Cooper, Bill Carmen, Tran Nguyen - as well as scores of other exhibiting artists.

Donato will be featuring many new works, including the newly expected revised edition of art on J.R.R. Tolkien's world - Middle-earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend published by Dark Horse and due in the states the same week as the convention! The Donato Arts booth will also including nearly 30 interior drawings from the recent Limited Edition novel illustrations for Naomi Novik's Uprooted, interior illustrations for Warrior by Terry Brooks, a new Empathetic Robot painting, and new fantasy and science fiction oil paintings, drawings and prints - From Middle-earth to Game of Thrones - the full range of Donato's interests will be on display.

For more information about Planet Comicon and SpectrumLive, visit: