Russian nesting dolls

So awhile back, I was invited by Lana Crooks to participate in a show of custom Russian nesting dolls (you know, those little dolls that stack inside each other?) at the A.Okay Official gallery in Chicago. I was kind of at a loss to how to approach it since it’s a little outside my normal thing, but in the end I decided on a sequential theme as oppose to a collection theme. These are probably the smallest figures I’ve ever painted (starting at 5″ tall and ending at 1.5″) and also the first time I’ve used acrylics for anything other than underpainting since I was in school, so I was pretty happy that it actually even looked like anything in the end :P

Honestly, I’m really happy with how they came out. As is always the problem with dimensional work, these just aren’t the same in photos, but I’ll try:

And close-ups of each individual doll:

About DavePalumbo

I'm a freelance illustrator working mainly in the F/SF genre. Most often I'm either painting book covers or gaming cards.

Share on Tumblr
  1. Whoa- those came out great man! I was too busy to accept Lana’s invitation, but seeing yours has inspired me for the next one. You are truly a gifted craftsman :)

  2. Clo says:

    They are gorgeous, such a great idea to make a russian doll stripteaaase !! >3

  3. devin platts says:

    awesome idea dave :)

  4. !!!!! Dave these are so good. I would love to do something like that. Yours turned out so great, thanks for posting this. :]

  5. 12 says:

    awesome,dave! great work!

  6. Adam Paquette says:

    fucking awesome! i want them!

  7. Ha! That’s awesome…very cool that you worked the idea of her undressing into it too.

  8. Nonie says:

    Dude what a cool concept :D Nicely painted too. Cool shit.

  9. Interceptor says:

    Dave, these rock the casbah!
    They for sale?

  10. eric orchard says:

    These are great! Sexy stuff.

  11. Pieter says:

    Haha, this is brilliant! The dolls are called “matroesjkas” if I’m not mistaking…

  12. fooxoo says:

    Yup they are called Matrjoshkas (written as you pronounce them) in russian, I had some when I was a kid, fun to play with. Though yours probably are a lot more fun for adults! Hahah

    Sweet job – painting so small!

  13. michele says:

    That is really brilliant to have the undressing as a sequence!

    Do you think these will be eventually mass-produced and marketed?

  14. zweiDee says:


  15. entdroid says:

    These are super awesome Dave! The whole series is great, but I reaaaally love the one leaning forward!

  16. Next, men stripping!!
    Awesome Dave, what a cool idea. :D

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *