Broad & Walnut Pop up Gallery Show

Dominick Saponaro and Christina Hess Pop up Gallery Show.jpg

Christina and I will have work on display until August 15th at a center city pop up gallery on the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. There's a nice little write up about the exhibition over at Philadelphia Weekly's Philly Now website. Check it out and if your in the area stop on in and have a look!

Update (August 22):  I just received word today that the show has been extended!  I wasn't given a definitive end date but was told it will run well into the Fall.  So if you haven't had the chance...  head on over and check it out.

Update (October 11):  The exhibition is still running!

Upcoming: Spectrum Live III

Dominick Saponaro Illustration Spectrum Flyer.jpg

In less than a week I'll be heading out to Kansas City MO for one of the best art and illustration shows of the year!

Join me and 200 artists May 9th, 10th & 11th in Kansas City for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3.  Spectrum is a three-day celebration of the best in fantasy, science fiction, horror, and comics art. You will interact with Traditional medium artists, Digital artists working in the Film, Animation, and Video Game fields, Sculptors, Cover Illustrators, Comics Artists, and more. Additionally, there will opportunities to attend workshops, live painting and sculpting demos, panels, meet art directors, conduct portfolio reviews and attend the Spectrum 21 awards ceremonies. If you enjoy my work and would like to experience a wide variety of what the field of fantastic art has to offer I hope you will meet me in Kansas City, May 9-11, 2014.

I'll be showcasing my work along with some 200 others amazing artists and will also have plenty of prints available for purchase.  Stop on by adjacent booths 703 & 602 and say hello.  I hope to see you there!

Facebook: Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

Twitter: @SFantasticAL

SFAL television spot


The convention center Layout.  I'll be in adjacent booths 703 & 602.

The convention center Layout.  I'll be in adjacent booths 703 & 602.

Some of my works that will be on display and available for purchase.

Some of my works that will be on display and available for purchase.

Spectrum 21

thief of war - dominick saponaro.jpg

I'm thrilled to announce that three of my pieces were accepted into this years Spectrum 21!  Thief of WarA Princess of Mars, and Swashbuckle Dom will all be included in the annual this fall.  Every year I am blown away by the sheer number of AWESOME entries that are included, so it's always a feat just to have one piece accepted.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that THREE of my works have been chosen.   I am honored to say the least!  A big thank you to the judges (Cory GodbeyJ. Anthony KosarGeorge PrattShelly WanAllen Williams), John Fleskthe Fenners, and the entire Spectrum team.

I'm especially excited for my Thief of War piece as it was a commission for a really great short story by Beth Bernobich of the same title.  A huge thank you to Irene Gallo for the opportunity and Art Direction on that one.  Being as its such a great little story and featured in Some of the Best From I'm so happy to see the illustration get a little bit of recognition from the art community as well.

This news couldn't come at a better time as I have just begun the planning for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live in May.  I'm really looking forward to the show this year and can't wait to see everyone!  Stop on by and say hello if your at the show.  I'll be in adjacent booths 602 & 703.  Hope to see you there!

Spectrum 20 & Expose 11

Dominick Saponaro - 20 Spectrum Annual.jpg
Dominick Saponaro - Expose 11 Annual.jpg

A few shots of my work from the most recent Spectrum 20 & Expose 11 illustration annuals. I was thrilled to have both Destroyermen II (In glorious full page detail!) and Destroyermen III included in Spectrum. Destroyermen III is also featured in Expose as well. A Huge thank you to Matt Kalamidas over at the Science Fiction Book club. This series has been so damn rewarding!

The quality and number of entries seem to grow considerably for both competitions every year so I am simultaneously thrilled and shocked when my work does get in. It's an insane honor to be included with some of the top illustrators working in the field today.

This just reminded me... Call for entries for Spectrum 21 is coming up! 1/25/14!!! Get those entries in people!

Really looking forward to seeing everyone at Spectrum Live in May!

Iron and Fire... and Sweat!

In celebration of the last day of summer, the SFBC crew thought we'd take a fond look back at one of the sweatiest moments of the season. So, without further ado, please enjoy the spectacle of our editor's mind melting before your very eyes!

The awesome folks over at The Science Fiction Book Club had some fun chatting up Taylor Anderson's fourth Destroyermen cover I recently finished for them. All on the hottest day of all time anywhere! Such a great series to be a part of. Thanks guys! You can check out the final cover art right here.

Did he just say my cover was hot as balls?

Imagine FX Expose... Traditional!?

Dominick Saponaro Imagine FX FXPose Feature

Dominick Saponaro Imagine FX FXPose Feature

Every month Imagine FX features an artist in the FXPose section of their magazine. They have both a traditional & digital showcase. Back in their April issue I was fortunate enough to be featured in... traditional!

"Traditional you say. That's an outrage! Who do you think you're fooling?!"

Hmmm... so what happened here? I'm not sure if someone actually thought my work was executed traditionally or if their criteria for the showcase is a little more open. It's hard to tell but I think it was probably the later. Maybe they just look for work that has a traditional feel to it without actually worrying too much about what medium was used.

Either way it was a welcome surprise and I was honored.

While I'm certainly not out to fool anyone as to the medium I use, I do put ALOT of effort into giving my digital paintings a traditional oil painting look and feel. After all, I worked in oils for many years, most of my influences have or do work in oils, and for the love of god I just cant take another super digital lens flare! :-) 

If your not familiar with Imagine FX head on out and grab yourself a copy. Every month features some of the best workshops and interviews with artists from the science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and comic disciplines. It really is a great resource for beginner and seasoned artists alike. Also of note, the iPad version of the magazine is outstanding. While being identical to the print version in every way, it also has just enough interactivity with galleries, videos, and slideshows without trying to reinvent the whole magazine format for a tablet experience. Download the app here and subscribe today. You can also get past issues such as the April 2013 issue from above.

So... who out there thought I worked traditionally? Comment below.

Spectrum 19 & Expose 10

Dominick Saponaro Expose 10 Award of Excellence
Dominick Saponaro - Destroyermen 1 - Spectrum Illustration Annual
Dominick Saponaro - Expose Illustration Annual
Dominick Saponaro - Expose Illustration Annual - A Princess of Mars
Dominick Saponaro - Spectrum Illustration Annual - Destryermen: Unknown Seas Book Cover

Some shots of my work in the most recent Spectrum 19 & Expose 10 illustration annuals.  I was certainly honored to be included, but when I received my artist copies in the mail I was downright ecstatic!  Destroyermen I was printed full page showing off all the brush work and Swashbuckle Dom (Printed full page as well) received an award of excellence.  My A Princess of Mars1027, & Destroyermen II pieces were also included.  Really looking forward to Spectrum Live this May!



While I don't have any, Ive always loved tattoos.  So when the good folks over at Spirit Gallery Tattoo contacted me and said they had a client that wanted to use my 1027 painting as the basis for some ink, I said "Absolutely!"

Since I used myself as the model for the main figure in the painting I love the fact that someone now has my face permanently tattooed on their body.  Poor guy.

Now, if I can only get someone to tattoo Swashbuckle Dom on themselves.  Im thinking very large sprawled across their back would be best.  Any takers?  Anyone...


Destroyermen Thumbnails - Dominick Saponaro.jpg
Champion of Mars Thumbnails - Dominick Saponaro.jpg
Treasure Hunter Thumbnails - Dominick Saponaro.jpg

I have a confession to make...  

I hate thumbnails!  Let me rephrase that by saying, I hated thumbnails.  Up until recently I have always felt my thumbnails left a lot to be desired, not only for myself but also the client. While I have never gotten a complaint as to the level they were ever at I just felt they never really showed my final intentions.  I’d always be chomping at the bit to move along and get started throwing value down on the final canvas as quickly as possible.  I just didn't enjoy all the preparatory work involved with creating the final image, even though I knew it all was necessary.

Recently I have forced myself to really push my thumbnails as far as possible, trying to create full blown miniature black and white paintings of the image I have in my mind.  This has helped me immensely!  Even though I spend more time on these sketches it saves time down the road at a later stage of the illustration.  Everything is now figured out and there is no trial & error moving forward.  I know what I am looking for in reference, what I have to do for the final drawing, and even know what’s happening value wise with the final painting.  Best of all, I have really come to enjoy the thumbnail stage of a project now!

Check out the thumbnails above (click to enlarge) from some recent projects and let me know what you think.  Also let me know your thoughts on preparatory work.  Love it or hate it?


Frazetta Tribute Show for Juvenile Diabetes

Dominick Saponaro.jpg

My A Princess of Mars piece was selected from over 300 entries for inclusion in the upcoming Frank Frazetta tribute exhibition at Gallery Provocateur.  The Exhibition will open concurrent to the Chicago Comic Convention which runs from March 18th - 20th. Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for Frank's granddaughter Jessica, who has type 1 juvenile diabetes, in hopes for a cure.


Like so many, Frazetta’s work was a tremendous inspiration for me as a young artist and continues to be to this day.  More specifically Frank’s Dark Kingdom piece from above was probably the single greatest influence on me and fueled my desire to pursue illustration.  Copying from my older brothers Molly Hatchet album, I would spend countless hours trying to recreate the masterpiece as a child.  That original album hangs in my studio to this day.


More info on the artists and exhibit can be found here, and many thanks to Veronika Kotlajic of Gallery Provocateur for putting together such a great show for such an awesome cause.


I am very honored to be a part of this show.

Lincoln: Process

Lincoln Process - Dominick Saponaro.jpg

Just in time for his birthday here is a recently completed portrait of our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. I have always been fascinated by Lincoln and have wanted to paint him for quite some time. Such great sunken eyes!

I also thought this would be a good opportunity to show off a step by step of my painting technique. I’ve added a new section to the website called “Process” which can be accessed from the site’s main navigation bar. So if you've been curious as to how I go about a typical painting click here and check out the step by step process and video slideshow.

Happy birthday Abe!

Spectrum 17

Spectrum 17, a compilation of the years best fantastic art has arrived in book stores everywhere.  I am both honored and fortunate enough to be included in this year copy.  Ive had the pleasure of owning every single copy of Spectrum since its inception in 1994 and still to this day find myself flipping through past years for inspiration.  With the awesome Manchess cover (which I had the pleasure of seeing created before my very eyes at IMC 2009) on the crisp white background, amazing type design, beautiful reproductions, and new artist info next to the specific art, it is in my opinion the best Spectrum to date!  Heres a small list of some fellow artist friends & colleagues I have the pleasure of sharing the pages with.

Aaron Miller
Greg Manchess
Boris & Julie
Howard Lyon
Donato Giancola
David Palumbo
Allen Douglas
Scott Fischer
Teetering Bulb (Zelda & Kurt)
Rebecca Guay
Steven Belledin
Terese Nielsen
Kristina Carroll
Raoul Vitale
Matt Stewart
Allen Williams
Justin Gerard
Joe Devito

Congratulations to everyone who got in this year.  If you've already got a copy Im on page 249, if you don't... what are you waiting for?  Its awesome!  Run on out and grab yourself a copy or get a really great discount from Amazon here.


Imagine FX 60

Head on out and pick up the latest issue of Imagine FX magazine.  Besides being a really great resource for illustrators it has a cool article on the Illustration masters class I attended this past summer.  I was fortunate enough to have my Maid of Orleans piece featured with some other really great artists that attended the class.  In addition to the IMC article theres a neat little piece on the science behind visual perception by Jim Gurney and nice article on legendary illustrator William Stout.  So run on out and grab yourself a copy!

Here are links to the two previous articles I posted about the Illustration Masters Class:

IMC 2009
IMC 2010

Go check them out if you haven't already.


Illustration Master Class: Joan of Arc & Imagine FX

Here is my assignment for this years

Illustration Masters Class

I attended a couple of weeks ago in Amherst Massachusetts.  (For those unfamiliar with IMC check out my previous blog post on last years



For this years Assignment I chose to take on the Maid of Orleans... Joan of Arc.  We were free to interpret this book cover anyway we wished through either a historical viewpoint or, as I chose here a more fantastical one.  I’ve been wanting to do an angel piece for quite sometime and this was the perfect opportunity to take on the challenge.

You cacheck it out in my portfolio


or check out a larger view with some zoom details of brush work


.  Enjoy!

This years IMC class was a little different than last in that

Imagine FX Magazine

chose 10 artists to be featured in an upcoming article.  I just found out that I was fortunate enough to be one of the select artists.  Ill post an update when the article hits the stands, but in the mean time here is a list of all the artists that were chosen.

Anthony Palumbo

Clark Huggins

Dominick Saponaro

Andrew Baker

Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

Marc Scheff

Michael Hayes

Rebecca Solow

Sam Kennedy

Winona Nelson

Congratulations to everyone, Im honored to be in such good company!