Artist in res­i­dence

Philadel­phia-based il­lus­tra­tor David Palumbo talks cats, cam­era gear and cos­tumes.

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

My stu­dio setup oc­cu­pies what would nor­mally be the din­ing room por­tion of your typ­i­cal South Philadel­phia row home. It’s not a large space, though the high ceil­ings, mas­sive mir­ror (came with the house, that’s how they do it in South Philly) and plenty of day­light make it feel ex­pan­sive.

My pre­vi­ous stu­dio area was the size of the rug pic­tured here, so I’m happy to be able to stretch my arms out. Speak­ing of mir­rors, the small one in that closet door (left of the tall book­shelf) is very use­ful for quick mir­ror-checks on my paint­ings.

Ev­ery­thing that I need for an av­er­age day’s work is here (aside from my com­puter, which is in an­other room). Fresh brushes and tubes of paint are right next to my easel. Art books are all around, for in­spi­ra­tion and ref­er­ence. Cam­era gear is sprawl­ing out above the book shelf and boxes of props and cos­tumes are in the closet be­hind my paint­ing sta­tion. I tend to lis­ten to mu­sic and watch movies while work­ing, so the stereo is just two paces to the right.

I like to keep fur­ni­ture sim­ple. My easel is the same sim­ple A-frame I’ve owned since col­lege, slightly mod­i­fied so it can travel in my car. My lights and work ta­ble are cheap hard­ware store pur­chases. I have a tri­pod for hold­ing ref­er­ence print­outs.

Of course, the stu­dio’s best fea­tures are the cats, who keep me com­pany. Roy is the tuxedo, pos­ing with such dig­nity in front, while Bones (or­ange) and Manos (black) plot mis­chief in the kitchen.

David is a Spec­trum- and Ch­es­ley-award­win­ning il­lus­tra­tor who’s known for genre work on book cov­ers and gam­ing cards. His clients in­clude The New Yorker and Sci­en­tific Amer­i­can. You can see more of David’s art by vis­it­ing www.dv­palumbo.com.

Photo gear is my big weak­ness. This is a mix of mod­ern and vin­tage equip­ment, but al­most all of it sees use. An orig­i­nal Sam We­ber from his Lord of the Flies col­lec­tion. This was the first siz­able paint­ing I ever bought and is still one of my favourites. Here’s my paint setup. The brushes are all Loew Cor­nell Golden Tak­lon and the pal­ette is glass. I bought this shelf from a Home De­pot for a work­shop that was short of equip­ment, then re­placed my old thrift-store night stand with it.

I get anx­i­ety when mul­ti­ple jobs are due and I can‘t de­cide which has high­est pri­or­ity. So I stack open jobs as Post-it notes next to my easel and move them up and down by due date, to stay on top of my work.

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