Archive for Traditional Art

Dave Dorman News: Star Wars Original Paintings On Sale Now — $2,000 Each

Posted in 2013 New York Comic Con, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Convention, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Entertainment, Facebook, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, IDW Publishing, Illustration, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, Wasted Lands with tags , , , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all enjoying a Happy Labor Day! Our 8-year-old son Jack proudly hung our American flag  in front of the house first thing this morning, and we’re hitting a barbecue in a few hours, so a fairly traditional day over here. And now, here’s my latest news:

My Wasted Lands/RAIL project: The IRON WARS Game by the team at Silent Gunfight (Mike Bawden and Tim Bawden) is coming along nicely. We will have a playable prototype to show at New York Comic Con, which Mike Bawden and I will be attending in person this year! I will be joining the Artists Alley section with Kevin Eastman, Joshua Ortega and Digger T. Mesch, all of  whom I partnered with in a variant President Obama cover for their The Other Dead comic book by IDW Publishing, plus I’ll be promoting my creator-owned work

Since this is Labor Day, I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts on the fruits of my labor–my art work. During the 30 years of my art career, I taught myself many mediums to stay on top of my game. When I decided to begin painting, I blindly chose oil paints, because that’s what I thought painters used. I was very much a novice and didn’t know about acrylics. (Besides, my most influential artist at that time Frank Frazetta, worked in oils.) I taught myself how to paint with oils and used that medium almost exclusively for 20 years, before finally feeling comfortable with them!

I began experimenting with acrylics, markers and pencils as mediums to augment my work about 10 years ago, and I’ve been very happy with the results. However the Digital/CGI Age came creeping up. I have attempted to keep it to the side, as I felt the art and imagery I was producing could hold its own against digital art. However, today I’m finding  in many instances, I am losing work opportunities and being marginalized by editors and art directors because I am NOT producing digital art. While I see no difference between a digital image and a traditionally painted image as the end result–the art should speak for itself, not the medium it was produced in–there are some art directors and editors who turn away the moment they learn your specific art is NOT produced digitally, even though they want to hire you based on your specific style and your previous traditional body of art pieces. (I have very strong opinions on this, and you can hear them in this interview with Hypno Comics owner George Chase )

To remain competitive in today’s field, I am now being forced to learn a new tool–the digital tool. I have researched what I will need to work digitally, which is mainly software and a tablet. I have decided to get a CINTIQ tablet because that will offer me a more natural feel like traditional work;  I will be able to watch my hand paint on the tablet surface without having to look up at a monitor from a separate tablet surface.  I will work with PAINTER and PHOTOSHOP to start out, so if you are one of my many digital artist friends, don’t be surprised if you get a call in the middle of the night asking for help or tips!

To fund this costly move to digital, I am offering my fans the rare opportunity to grab just a few of my ORIGINAL STAR WARS PAINTINGS for sale at a cost of just $2,000 each. These are STAR WARS paintings that have been used as covers for Dark Horse Comics. I don’t usually offer my original paintings on my blog, but I felt this would be the best way to get the word out that these pieces are available, and to offer to my fans an exclusive opportunity to purchase some art without having to travel to a convention or signing. The art is listed on my webpage with purchase buttons for PAYPAL. These are one-of-a-kind paintings, not prints.

All of these original  pieces are oil and acrylic on gessoed illustration board. They are 20″ x 30″ in size. Take a look at the art below and visit the webpage. If you have any questions please feel free to email me directly

Original Art Price: $2,000. Dave Dorman Darth Maul cover for Dark Horse Comics

Price: $2,000. Dave Dorman Original Painting of Darth Maul cover for Dark Horse Comics


Price: $2,000

Price: $2,000 STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE COVER #4 by Dave Dorman, Cover for Dark Horse Comics

Price: $2,000
STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE COVER #4 by Dave Dorman, Cover for Dark Horse Comics

Price: $2,000 Dave Dorman Original STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE Cover for Dark Horse Comics

Price: $2,000
Dave Dorman Original STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE Cover for Dark Horse Comics

Price: $2,000 Dave Dorman Original Art - Star Wars Invasion, 25th Anniversary, Dark Horse Cover

Price: $2,000
Dave Dorman Original Art – Star Wars Invasion, 25th Anniversary, Dark Horse Cover

As a friendly reminder, please be sure to “Like” my Fan Pages on Facebook. They are as follows:

On Twitter, I’m @DaveDorman.

As always, I thank you for reading, getting in touch, and supporting my work. I’ll keep you posted on my digital efforts.


Dave Dorman’s The 5 Essential Truths of Art Directing

Posted in Alpha Nerd Podcast, Blog, Blogger, Blogging, Charity, Chicago Comic Book Artists, Collectibles, Collections, Collectors, Comic Book Art, Comic Book Artist, Comic Book Convention, Comic Book Cover Art, Comic Books, Darth Vader, DAVE DORMAN ART FOR SALE, DAVE DORMAN NEWS, Del Stone Jr., Denise Dorman, Entertainment, Facebook, Fan Culture, Geek, Geek Culture, Hasbro, Holiday Gifts, Illustration, LinkedIn, Lucasfilm, Military, Military Art, Military Veterans, Nerd Culture, Painting, Pop Culture, San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Social Activism, Social Commentary, Social Networking, Star Wars, The Dennis Miller Radio Show, Transformers, Twitter,, Wasted Lands, WriteBrain Media, Writer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

After a lecture at Chicago’s Columbia College this past Thursday night for Dave P.’s character visualization art class, my wife Denise asked me to write an article on boiling down art direction to five essential truths. Below is what I came up with.  I sit on both sides of the desk, doing the art for art directors, and doing the actual art direction, so I have very definite opinions based on my 30 years of experience. I even taught a class for the Florida 4th District Advertising Federation on How to Art Direct the Art Director. All of you artists and art directors following me, let me know if you agree, disagree or have tips you would like to add to this list?

Dave Dorman’s 5 Essential Truths for Art Direction

#1. You MUST review the artist’s comprehensive portfolio. Don’t judge an artist by just one piece in their portfolio. Look closely at all of the elements.  Ask them to show you the pieces that aren’t online. Does anything contained within match your needs for your project? What are the strengths of the artist? What are their weaknesses? Do they or can they paint in the style you need? Ask yourself, “Is this artist capable of giving me the art I need for this particular project?”

Real-World Example: Someone looking at my portfolio might think I only do muscled super heroes or hyper realism, but truth be told, I did a lot of manga early in my career for Robotech covers, I did toy design for Hasbro,  and I did very loose children’s illustration for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings trading cards.

#2. Always provide a thorough review of the project with the artist. Ensure they understand your needs for the art and that they are comfortable in delivering the goods. An artist who does killer character design may be strong in creature art, but weak in landscape or architectural backgrounds.

Real World Example: Just because I did a detailed background on one painting doesn’t mean that I want to put that amount of work into every single painting I do. Personally, I hate painting architecture. If an art director wanted me to do a Stephan Martiniere cityscape, I would be up front in declining and saying, “No thanks. Here’s Stephan’s phone #.”

#3. A good art director should never ask the artist if they paint traditionally or digitally. First off, the art director’s eye should be trained to see the difference. There are effects you cannot get with digital, and there are effects you cannot get with traditional. Secondly, the final art is the final art, delivered digitally, no matter what tool(s) you used to get the final product. Any Star Wars painting I do with light sabers, I am taking into Photoshop to get that perfect glow on the light saber, although the original piece is oil on illustration board or a combo of oil and acrylic. Mind you, I could whip out my old air brush and get that same effect, but why go through the hassle when I can do it in PhotoShop?

Here's a painting with traditional and Photoshop Combined

With the plethora of art directors now being of the age that they came through their art education via digital art and very rarely–if ever–touching traditional media to produce their final art, I have seen a definite bias in those art directors to choose artists who work in the directors’ preferred medium: digital. The art should speak for itself regardless of the medium in which it’s created. I believe that if the art director is contacting the artist to do a project, then they are judging the artist by the art they see, whether it’s digital or traditional.

Real World Example: I had an art director call me once, absolutely raving about my Alien art. She had a big project for me, and I was eager to do the project, because it was right in my wheelhouse. Then she asked dreaded question: Do you paint digitally? I don’t, and the project instantaneously evaporated, despite the fact that my look and feel was a perfect match for her project. I believe this art director is short-sighted and I hope she has wizened up since then.

Graphic Novel Cover of Aliens: Hive by Dave Dorman

#4. Never, EVER assume an artist is outside of your budget. If you like someone’s art, speak with them FIRST about your budget before you strike them off of your list. Any freelancer can attest, we have months when we make a king’s ransom, and we have months when we go hungry. There’s rarely consistency unless you’re working on a videogame project, and even then, that consistent money can go away after a year or two.

Real World Example: As a traditional artist, I will often take on projects for little to no money, because I know I’m working on a licensed piece and I will have an actual painting that I can sell to collectors for top dollar once the project is completed. Obviously, digital artists are at a major disadvantage here! I once did a cover for the now-defunct but uber-cool GEEK Monthly magazine, for their San Diego Comic-Con issue. I was the first-ever painted cover they’d published. They were afraid to ask me to do a cover because they assumed they’d never be able to afford me. I did the piece for free. My piece was a modern day Transformer alongside a 1980s Transformer. I did it for free because I knew it was great publicity for the audience I wanted to reach, and then there was the value of the physical painting. I turned around and donated the painting to my favorite charity,, to help raise funds for their not-for-profit, helping financially challenged active military families.

GEEK Monthly Cover I Did for FREE

Side note: I wish someone would revive a magazine like GEEK Monthly. It was brilliant, I never missed an issue and I miss it.

#5. As an Art Director, it’s your duty in fairness to your artist to have your project details organized properly. 

Real World Example: I once painted a beautiful sci-fi comic book cover, based on a major license you would all know. AFTER I delivered the piece, they broke the news to me that they didn’t have likeness rights. You can imagine my disappointment. I think the fans were less than satisfied with the piece, probably thinking to themselves that it was lame without the likenesses.

Another Real World Example: I painted a beautiful sci-fi cover for a major license you would all know, but they were in the midst of filming the movie, and they were afraid to provide me with photo reference of an actor I had never seen before, for fear it would “leak out.” First of all, that would never happen on my watch, and it was frustrating for me that they trusted me enough to paint their licensed characters, but not enough to provide me with proper reference. They literally provided me with a postage stamp-sized photo reference and I could not get the facial features right without decent reference.  Eventually they capitulated, but it took a lot of back and forth.

So…let me know your thoughts. I am interested to hear your frustrations with artists and art directors and your “master list.”

In other news, I think I will be converting my Facebook Group Page for The Wasted Lands to a Facebook Fan Page soon, so please watch for that. For those of you unfamiliar with it, The Wasted Lands is my own I.P. (Intellectual Property) – an alternate universe, adrenaline-pumping motorcycle western action adventure with Steampunk aesthetics. If you like it, let me know. Given the rate of growth of my personal page on Facebook, I will likely transition it over to a Fan Page soon as I’m going to hit the limit soon to people I can friend.

I recorded a 2-hour interview last night with Alpha Nerd podcast out of Australia, so I will be posting that link here as soon as I have it.

Well, I’m off to watch Godzilla v. Mothra with my son. It’s so much fun having a mini-me!

As always, thanks for reading,



Twitter: @DaveDorman


Website: and

Publicity Firm: | @writebrainmedia


Illustrators: Take Dave Dorman’s LinkedIn Poll

Posted in DAVE DORMAN NEWS with tags , , , , , , on June 8, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dear Friends,

I am asking illustrators from around the world to take my poll on LinkedIn. I’m asking, “Do you derive more satisfaction from creating traditional art or digital art?” To take the poll, you must be a LinkedIn member, sign in and click here:

Vote here:

I will post the results of my survey on this blog, once I get a high number of respondents.

BTW, if you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, I will never IDK a connection, unless you’re the woman whom I identify as “Hell Mouth,” and it is unlikely that the she-beast will be requesting a connect.

Thanks for reading,



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by DaveandDeniseDorman

Dave Dorman & Friends Helping Artists Break Into Comic Book Industry:
Comix Academy 6-Day Illustration Course in San Diego Will Dovetail with Comic-Con

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your patience – I apologize for the delay in releasing this announcement, but I wanted to be sure there was a Web site up for you to check out. I am told it will go up tonight late, so the moment it does, I will Tweet that it’s up and also put an addendum on my blog. My longtime friends/colleagues and I decided it was time to share what we knew with those of you who wanted to break into the comic book industry. To that end, we formed The Comix Academy. Here are some succinct details:

What: The Comix Academy – A course mentoring artists one-on-one with the intention of bringing their work up to the level that will meet the scrutiny of professional comic book editors. This is six days of lecturing, mentoring, observing how we work while we observe how you work, and in the end, your one-on-one portfolio review with T.B.D. professional comic book editors. I know who some of them are, but I cannot say publicly just yet. You will KNOW these names, as they are industry giants.

Where: San Diego
When: July 15 – July 20th, 2010
Who: Dave Dorman, Scott Hampton, Christopher Moeller, Durwin Talon, John vanFleet, and special guest presenter Mike Mignola.
The Cost: The early registration fee for the course is $950 before April 30th, 2010 and $1,150 after May 1, 2010. Discounts on lodging are also available to students.

We are offering a limited number of seats to this exclusive course. Once the site is up, which should be soon, it will be We will post the official press release on my blog as well. Our publicity firm is WriteBrain Media, so if any of you are writers, editors, bloggers or producers reading this and you need access to any of us for print or electronic interviews or appearances, please contact Denise Dorman —