Friday 23 December 2011

Holiday Hadrosaur

A present-laden Parasaurolophus to wish you a very merry Christmas!

Sunday 18 December 2011

1:72 Scale T.rex Model by David Krentz

This model was sculpted by the extraordinary David Krentz as part of his Antediluvia series and measures roughly 6.5cm tall and 15.5cm long.  I painted it as a birthday present for Marc Vincent of Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, using this little study as a colour guide.  Readers may notice from his comment on the drawing that he was happily deceived as to which model it was actually intended for, which meant that the gift still managed to surprise.  Hopefully.

As the lighting seems to have turned out differently in each photograph, I've decided to include several pictures of the same angles to hopefully give a better idea of what the actual model looks like.

You may have also noted that I decided to omit the red markings I had originally planned for the flanks.  I felt they might prove too intrusive on a model of this scale and that I would be gilding the lily rather.

I think this may be my favourite picture of the set.  It seems to be the most faithful too.

In many ways, I think that this side turned out a little better than the 'display side', which is most inconvenient...  But there we are.

Happy birthday, Marc!

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Another Mediocre T.rex

I'm afraid so.  Though this small drawing is in fact only meant to be a study for a colour scheme which I'm hoping to paint on a model, and was done relatively quickly. 

I will of course post pictures of the model too when it's done.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Before I Go...

I'm off to Chiang Mai tomorrow for two weeks.  This is still in progress, but I thought I would just share it before I go.  

Sometimes, instead of the usual bon voyage when people are going away, I bid them a safe journey with 'Soave sia il vento'.  Since I'm the one going away in this case, I shall pretend somebody else has bid me it this time.  

Saturday 22 October 2011


I have, alas, succumbed.  It is as incongruous as it looks and sounds.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

The Mighty Handful

Bonus points and a whole steamer of bean buns for any reader who might have thought that I was referring to this five in the post title.

In a more serious follow-up to the last post, a group of Ornithomimus edmontonicus fend off a marauding young adult Albertosaurus sarcophagus by mobbing it.  You are free to imagine that there are at the very least half a dozen more beyound the picture frame, though I am quite ready to believe that a mere handful are more than capable of disconcerting a tyrannosaur in the right circumstances.  ;)  

I have now also remedied what I mentioned two posts ago about not having drawn an Albertosaurus before.  Hurrah.  Though I'm realising rather too late that I'd neglected to adorn it with more scutes, spiky bits, etc.  I may try to see if anything can be done about those at some point.  I may also have made the brow horns too pronounced and too allosaur-like.   Though mightn't there be something said for keratinous structures such as these being more sizeable than the skull shape alone might suggest?

 I'd also like to point out once again that DeviantArtist Pilsator has another version of his Gallimimus vs Tarbosaurus in progress.

Monday 10 October 2011

Ornithomimid Triumphant

The great David Orr of Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs (whom I really think we ought to start calling 'Solomon') mentioned in his latest Mesozoic Miscellany that he wished to see 'An ornithomimid triumphant over a tyrannosaur'.  I do not think this was quite what he had in mind...

I had originally hoped to draw a Kinnareemimus teaching a Siamotyrannus a lesson, but what with both creatures being represented by highly fragmentary remains and Siamotyrannus now being considered a probable carnosaur, I decided against it.  On the other hand, given the absurdity of this scene, I don't suppose it would have mattered much...

And I'm afraid there is a second part to this.  Yes.

In the meantime, however, for a perfectly plausible and far superior version of a triumphant ornithomimid, I highly recommend this excellent drawing by DeviantArtist Pilsator.  I also know that Durbed is working on a 'Deinocheirus jabbing a tyrannosaur in the eye' at Marc's suggestion as we speak. 

Thursday 6 October 2011

Happy Birthday, T.Rex

Peter Bond over at ART Evolved informs us that it's the 106th birthday of Tyrannosaurus rex and Albertosaurus sarcophagus today.   

My playful disdain for tyrannosaurs (and larger carnivores in general) aside, I have sadly not yet had a real opportunity to quite do justice to T.rex and its kin (inasmuch as I can be said to have really tackled anything with seriousness; the Citipati may be the best of the very few examples so far).  But I think this may be as good an excuse as any to share what few sub-par things I do presently have of the king.

This sketchbook spread of T. rex studies is in fact my first saurian work since I resumed drawing dinosaurs  in earnest a little over a year ago, after many years' gap of not having drawn any dinosaurs at all.  Chief among the many wrongs are the too fine and too numerous teeth, and the lack of jaw muscle.  I am perhaps a little embarrassed to be showing this piece now, but I suppose I'm duty-bound to do so for archival purposes, etc...  

'Everybody Loves T.rex' was tangentially inspired by this article by Brian Switek, and by Marc's series of posts based on his undergraduate dissertation (for which he received a first, you know), but for the most part, it is my own gentle and affectionate satire on T. rex mania among the general public and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.  By the by, that's Marc himself clinging on to the tail...  

In between those two pieces, there was this little ACEO, part of a series of gifts drawn for the members of the Dinosaur Toy Forum (more about these another time).  I don't think there is much to be said about it, I fear.  Except that the full view of it here is much bigger than the original, which is 3.5 x 2.5 inches. 

I'm afraid I have never yet drawn an Albertosaurus.  I hope it will forgive me.  But I wish it a very happy birthday nevertheless.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

London Archie Declared Type Specimen

The London specimen of Archaeopteryx lithographica (I love that species suffix) has been formally declared the type specimen by the ICZN.  Hooray.

I have not yet had a chance to draw an Archaeopteryx.  Boo.

Saturday 24 September 2011


Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper.

In reparation for last entry's silliness, a perfectly serious Citipati osmolskae.

Though readers ought to be warned (those who are not already aware, at least), I do indulge in a great deal of saurian silliness, and there's plenty forthcoming...

Friday 23 September 2011

Flying Velociraptors

How do I ever expect to be taken seriously at this rate?

I think the one on the top right is my favourite.

Thursday 22 September 2011


Fuzzy, hyper-tailed Leaellynasaura amicagraphica.

Carbon pencils and white Conté on Daler Rowney recycled paper.

Hypsilophodontids simply don't get enough attention. And I'm rather in love with this little polar dinosaur. Even its name is beautiful -- and that includes the species name. I urge you to say it aloud a few times: Leaellynasaura amicagraphica.

On the perhaps not too remote chance that there are readers of this blog with a passing interest in dinosaur toys and models, there is even a review of this dinosaur in toy form by yours truly (such is my fondness for it, you see) over at the Dinosaur Toy Blog.

I do not know what has happened to the formatting of this post.  The text refuses to be centred, in spite of appearing so whilst I was writing.  Blogger still confuses me...

Wednesday 21 September 2011


Watercolour and gouache on Fabriano hot pressed, 140lbs/300gsm; 115 x 85mm.

A highly, highly speculative (or almost entirely imaginary, depending on your point of view!) depiction of Kinnareemimus khonkaenensis.

I'm afraid it simply looks like a generic ornithomimosaur, given the extremely fragmentary remains we have of it. Its head is a vague approximation of something between Garudimimus, Harpymimus and generic ornithomimid. The plumage is inspired by a number of monals and other pheasants. I debated with myself for a while whether or not to add the crown feathers and eventually gave in to them, only to be informed by Marc (most politely, naturally) that 'ornithomimosaurs are probably too basal to have [those] complex, vaned feathers...' So there we are. None next time!

It's a very small piece (see dimensions above), so the full-view is over four times the size of the original. I swear I shall ruin my eyes before I am fifty. But let us hope I shan't live so long.

Slightly dark photograph with a penny for scale.

And if you were wondering what the actual mythological kinnaree looks like...

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Crown Dragon

Guanlong wucaii; 'Crown dragon of the five colours' (such a glorious name).  The 'five colours' being those of the rocks of the Wucaiwan formation, where its fossils were found.  

Painted as a gift. The full view is about five times larger than the original, which measures 11.5 x 8.5cm. Here is a picture with a penny for scale.  

Watercolour and a little gouache on Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper, 300gsm/140lbs.

I should like to issue a small note of apology to readers of this blog who are already familiar with a number of my saurian pieces from my DeviantArt gallery and elsewhere; I'm afraid you will be seeing a good number of those popping up here too as I begin to build up the blog's content.  I'm sorry for the repetition.

Monday 12 September 2011

Hadrosaurs for the Win

It's always a pleasure seeing a hadrosaur triumph over a tyrannosaur, no?  This was my submission for Scott Persons' Hadrosaur Conference art request via ART Evolved.  My race is between an Olorotitan and a Tarbosaurus.  I'm afraid I may have failed somewhat in making the Tarbo look sufficiently different from a T. rex, in spite of those studies, but then I suppose many people regard them as belonging to the same genus at any rate.  

Scott remarked that the piece was "evocative of the Aesop fable, The Tortoise and the Hare -- this is a charming twist (and one I had not anticipated).  I like it very much!"

Readers who are already familiar with my work will observe the little personal indulgence in the bottom right corner.  The version which was eventually considered among the final round of entries actually omits this, as the following correspondence between Scott and myself explains: 

Scott: "I have a small concern about the small... swordsman sitting astride the Protoceratops. I like him, and I would not hesitate to include him, if I used the image in my symposium talk, but I think he would be too confusing were he to appear in any press releases.  Attached you will find a modification of your original image with the little fellow digitally removed.  As the contest comes to a close... , would you object to having this modification be the version that moves on to the final round of consideration? "

I replied: "...I have no objections at all to your considering it instead for the final round.  My thought in including the little 17th century soldier was that he would have been the one officiating at the start of the race, and so appears now at the end to cheer on the winner.  He also happened to serve rather well as a compositional anchor, and was something of a personal 'stamp' or motif, ... it was very indulgent of me.  He would work sequentially, but I do indeed see how he could be very confusing were the image to appear singly in a press release, the thought of which had escaped me.  I'm afraid my illustrator's mind was working in its natural narrative mode!  I think that was also why I was reminded instantly of The Tortoise and the Hare when I first read your brief."

There is more about this piece to follow (I am sitting on some news which prevents me from saying more for the present).  For the moment, here is a sketchbook page with the roughs I made for the entire sequence.

Saturday 10 September 2011

Deinonychus Pair

Sketchbook page.

I'm unable to tell how well this scan actually appears on screen.  I usually darken scans of my pencil work slightly as they tend to suffer from turning out too pale, but hadn't done so on this occasion.  My old and ailing computer has recently given up its internet connection altogether quite inexplicably.  I'm presently borrowing a laptop which may or may not have the contrast settings of its monitor too high, so that the pencil work as it now appears to me looks sufficiently dark, which may not in fact be the case.  

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Tarbosaurus Head Studies

You are urged to please ignore the abomination that is the first study at the top -- chiefly for the ill judged rendering of the feathers.  On the other hand, I'm told it might pass for a juvenile (but please overlook the dreadful feathers all the same ...).

There is a reason for the unimpressed Olorotitan, which will become clear by and by.  But he was handy for reflecting my own thoughts here too.  

Tyrannosaurids.  Bah.  You can have'em.   ~_o

Monday 5 September 2011

Flag-Waving Protoceratops

It will make sense anon.

I keep thinking it ought to make a good sort of notepaper header or something of the kind...

Friday 2 September 2011

An Airing

"An Airing Atop an Olorotitan"

I have to begin somewhere.  Let us suppose I'm taking an airing with this blogging lark too.

This drawing was begun during the tail end of 2010, and was completed on the evening of New Year's Eve, with the clock ringing in the New Year just as I began making the final touches.  So perhaps it is an auspicious piece enough with which to launch this blog.  It also happens to be a particular favourite of mine, of course.

So, onwards, shall we?