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?