Friday 12 October 2012


Feathers. One could get just a little carried away.

Friday 14 September 2012

Lambeosaurus lambei

This might hopefully grow into a page of studies, but I thought I would share this as it is now.

Also trying out this watermarking lark.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Maiasaura Egg

An altogether far gentler interlude to the recent posts. 

I recently made this 'card' for a dear friend of mine to welcome her new baby daughter. 

A dinosaur egg, which, when the tabs at the base are pulled, opens to reveal...

...A little Maiasaura hatchling.

The wonderful Trish made my day when she first gave her characteristic response.  

Wednesday 8 August 2012


The series continues.

This one perhaps has a slightly personal tinge, for those who recall why.

I will need to introduce a label for the series, at this rate.

Monday 6 August 2012


More spleen-venting of the saurian kind. A follow-up to the T. rex in the 'Soul of Gentleness' series. 

It alarms me slightly to think of the extent to which this series might possibly grow. 

Monday 9 July 2012

The Hugs Bison

The Higgs boson is all very well. I think I should prefer the Hugs Bison, however.

Not a dinosaur, but this was received quite unexpectedly well elsewhere that I thought I may as well post it here, too. Besides, I rather think the readers of this blog would appreciate it at any rate.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

The Soul of Gentleness

I am the very soul of gentleness, as everybody knows (cough). But if you push the right buttons...

Such as certain quarters on DeviantArt who fail to understand what 'illustration' is and call it by a certain dreaded 'f' word, for instance. Ahem...

Monday 11 June 2012

Therizinosaurus Birthday Card

A birthday card for another friend and Dinosaur Toy Forum member, Dr. Andre Mursch, biologist and Research Associate at Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum, Dept. of Evolutionary Ecology and Animal Biodiversity.

Sepia ink on card. The original is 12.5cm square.

His saurian portrait is a Therizinosaurus (yes, another one. There are a number of therizinosaurs on the DTF, it seems). Also present is a Dynastes granti beetle, who is supposed to signify Andre's love of insects (among a host of other things) as much as because I fancied drawing it.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Stefan Steps Down

As regular readers will have noted, often, the smallest seed of a picture will plant itself in my head from the vaguest of references, and I would find myself unable to resist realising it in illustrative form.

So it is with this drawing, which perhaps will only have any real significance for the members of the Dinosaur Toy Forum, but which I nevertheless hope will afford you a moment's visual entertainment.

Stefan (the Therizinosaurus), one of the long-standing members of the forum staff (and Dinosaur Toy Blog author), has decided to step down from the team. And although he still remains as a regular member on the forum, the news was a rather sad one. Here, the team says goodbye. They are, from left; Adam (Rhomaleosaurus -- who, by the way, is able to swim through the air much in the manner of the whales in the Pines of Rome sequence from Fantasia 2000), our forum admin and plesiosaur expert, whom you've encountered here before; Lisa (Coelophysis -- scaled up, because this is all in fun); Ashley (Amargasaurus); yours truly (Diplodocus) and Chris (Allosaurus), whom we also welcome as the newest recruit to the moderating team.

And here is an even larger copy of the image.

Tuesday 8 May 2012


I'm almost tempted to begin this post with 'I r a srs palaeo artist too,' for reasons yet unclear even to myself.

 Thecodontosaurus (with sphenodont). Sepia ink on Saunders Waterford hot pressed watercolour paper; 150 x 280mm. I've decided that her name is 'Thesis'. Yes.

(Opening the picture to view in a new tab is recommended)

This was originally conceived as my entry for Bristol Dinosaur Project's Thecodontosaurus Illustration Competition. Sadly (though perhaps predictably), I failed to make the competition deadline. My attempt to rally a few palaeo-minded friends into entering also bore no fruit, alas. It would have been lovely to see familiar names among the entrants.

Close-up detail views.


My many thanks to Jon Tennant of Green Tea and Velociraptors for very kindly supplying me with the Thecodontosaurus paper (Adam M. Yates (2003)) and Dr. Heinrich Mallison of Dinosaurpalaeo for his input during the progress. I feel like quite the grown-up palaeo artist.

Monday 16 April 2012

Another Allosaur

Yet another gift (really, you folks don't know how spoilt you are...) for another friend and DTF member, Joey Fells, who also happens to be a fellow freelance illustrator. 

Watercolour on Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper, 8.5 x 11.5cm. The full view is almost three times larger than the original (dear readers, if you don't do so already, I recommend right clicking the images to open in a new tab, rather than viewing it in slideshow mode). Again, I took a few photographs with a penny for scale.

I feel obliged to repeat the oft-uttered truism among artists that 'the original looks better than the scan'. 

Thursday 12 April 2012

Two Studies from the NHM

I went drawing at the Natural History Museum with the extraordinary wildlife painter, Claudia Hahn, today. I only managed two pieces; it's surprising how time-consuming even observational drawing on location can be. But considering the geological ages I usually spend on anything, two drawings in one day is no mean feat.

Metacarpals of 'European Flamingo,' according to the label; though perhaps more properly, Greater Flamingo; Phoenicopterus ruber roseus.

Shoebill. Balaeniceps rex.

Several people surreptitiously took photographs of this whilst I was drawing. One gentleman finally came to pay a compliment just as I was packing up to leave.

Tuesday 10 April 2012


You all remember Gibran the Olorotitan infant, don't you? No?

He seems to look richer yet subtler in the original, if that makes any sense at all. This is one of those rarer occasions in which The Miraculous Scanner is... not so miraculous.

The original is 8.5 x 11.5cm. Here is a photograph of an earlier stage.

I have a feeling I may need to introduce a tag for him in future.

Thursday 29 March 2012


I once asked the astonishingly precocious Jon Tennant of Green Tea and Velociraptors what dinosaur he was. His answer, to my considerable surprise, was Tenontosaurus. For whatever reason, he had often struck me more as a deinonychosaur of some sort. Perhaps it was that very precocity and pointed wit that did it... I soon learned that Tenontosaurus was in fact the first dinosaur he formally studied; what's more, it had even once been called 'Tenantosaurus'.

So when I recently sent him a tin of loose leaf green tea (some very fine sencha) to supplement his already limitless stock, I had to include this sketch of his saurian portrait in the accompanying note.

I snapped a quick photograph of it before it was sent, but here is Jon's scan of it, too.

I had originally meant to use 'Tenantosaurus' as this entry's title, but Jon went one further with 'Teanantosaurus' when he sent his thanks. I appropriated it at once, as you see.

Friday 2 March 2012


There are too many abbreviations in that title.

Last June, a small gathering of a few members of the Dinosaur Toy Forum (which readers may recall my mentioning in a previous entry) took place at the Natural History Museum in London.  Prior to the event, I asked those who would be attending what their favourite dinosaur (or prehistoric animal) was, with an aim to surprising each of them with a small gift.  As it happened, I ended up staying awake the whole of the night before the meet-up, feverishly finishing off these ACEOs.

Protoceratops for Lea.

Brachiosaurus for Andrew.

Attenborosaurus for Adam.

Allosaurus for Rob.

T. rex for Marc (this piece was featured once before on its own).

Each of these measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

As it turned out, I was more than rewarded for my work (and loss of sleep) by the company of all those present. I had of course been gradually becoming acquainted with them all in a virtual manner via the forum, and any hopes I had formed of their being brilliant people were happily answered when I at last met them in person.  Reporting back to the forum afterwards, my exact words were 'I had a really wonderful time.  Everyone was so lovely and kind.  I don't recall when I last felt so at ease among a [large] group of people as I did here.  In the words of the awesome Po: "I love you guys".'  As a socially inept and painfully shy creature, you may be sure of what a gift that was to me, and that I meant every word.

From left: Marc (who surely needs no introduction), Andrew (from New Jersey, USA), me (kill it with fire!), Lea with her boyfriend, Jasper (from the Netherlands), Dr. Adam Stuart Smith (palaeontologist and marine reptile specialist extraordinaire and founder of the DTF and blog -- I can scarcely thank him enough) and Rob (who most helpfully distinguished himself with a carnation 'buttonhole' and a copy of Prehistoric Times).  An extra special thanks to Marlies, Adam's girlfriend, who was also present and who took this picture of us (looking, in Stefan's words, 'like a bunch of random scientists about to enter a time machine'. Though 'a bunch of scientists and one clueless wannabe artist' would be more accurate...).  She is next to Adam in this picture below!

(I took this one, which accounts for everyone's wan expression and poor picture quality).

Monday 27 February 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Please forgive the diversion from regular content, but I am compelled to share this. 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011) won the richly deserved award for Best Animated Short at this year's Oscars. 

'Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, the Wizard of Oz, and a love of books, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story.' (From IMDB)

Please spare fifteen minutes to watch this beautiful film, if you can.  I was in tears (and care not who knows it), but you do not have to be a nauseating idiot like me to enjoy and be moved by it.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Ruslan and Ludmilla... And Others

Why, no, I'm not obsessed with this hadrosaur, whatever gave you that idea?

This page in my sketchbook was the victim of an accident with my bottle of sepia ink.  It did, however, add much to the appearance of this being an actual page of field sketches.  I ran with the idea and added a few notes.  Perhaps the messy spattering was because I needed to get out of Ruslan's way in a hurry...

('Ludmila' or 'Lyudmila' is usually anglicised with just one 'l', but I decided to use two here...)

Sunday 29 January 2012

The Portrait Series

I have the Dinosaur Toy Blog to thank for a great many things.  Since joining its official forum about a year and a half ago, the latter has been instrumental in rekindling my dormant passion for dinosaurs and prehistoric life, has prompted me to resume drawing saurians in earnest once more after many years, and has led me to this corner of cyberspace inhabited by the palaeo-community, eventually leading to the creation of this nonsense of a blog. 

I have also made a number of friends there, some of whom have become dearer than ever to me, which perhaps was the very best thing of all.  

This ongoing (though highly intermittent) portrait series was the result of my having begun a thread asking the members to declare 'What dinosaur are you?' 

And of course, I then began drawing some of them.

There is no mystery at all as to which dinosaur the member 'MightyJPTrex' sees himself as.  The presence of Andrew Carnegie next to him is an indication of his place of employment.  The money bags are my own tongue-in-cheek reference to his collection of the very finest high-end dinosaur models and collectibles.  He and Carnegie are being photographed by forum moderator and official blog author, 'Boki', whose highly distinctive and professional photographs furnish many a forum thread and continually draw compliments from its members.  He is, of course, an Amargasaurus.

Christopher DiPiazza, or 'Griffin', another official Dino Toy Blog author and guest author of Jersey Boy Hunts Dinos, is a Triceratops, accompanied here by his pet Yorkshire Terrier, Zeus, together with Luisa the salmon-crested cockatoo and Aurora and Oliver the Eurasian eagle owls; just a few of the animals with whom he works.  Chris is also a brilliant artist

(A small note on the hands; the claws on the two smaller digits were errors which I had yet to learn of at the time of drawing this, which was over a year ago.)

I daresay the readers of this blog must be no stranger to my good friend Marc Vincent, co-author of Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs (and yet another Dino Toy Blog author).  It is thanks to his and David Orr's kindness that my saurian offerings have received notice from those who may not otherwise have stumbled upon them.  Marc is a Deinonychus and this portrait was his birthday card from 2010.  He is also particularly fond of magpies.

This Diplodocus is none other than yours truly.  A self-mortifying, tea-drinking, book-loving dimwit of a sauropod.

And this is what happened when the last three subjects had the good fortune to convene one day.  Chris visited London on vacation holiday in May, 2011, and Marc and I met up with him at London's Natural History Museum.  It should be noted that none of us are properly in scale here for several artistic reasons, not least because Marc would have had to be drawn very tiny indeed.  I have grown increasingly discontented with this illustration (with my execution of it, not with the subject matter), and am rather hoping to re-draw this scene one day.

Finally, for now...

This 'Moulin Rex' Trio are not portraits of anyone in particular, but was a cheeky rebuttal to the thread's increasing number of members claiming to be T.rex.  Marc had suggested their being drawn in tutus by means of 'bringing them down a peg or two'.  I was only too happy to oblige.

Friday 27 January 2012

I want to acquire ankylosaur armour for a skin. But the nearest I come to such thickness is sadly the density of my brain.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Lemon Curd

Inspired by a passing comment made in an entry by the esteemed David Orr of Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs and some of the resulting comments on that post: a chasmosaur about to devour a cake liberally smothered with lemon curd, here served by an obliging Saurornitholestes.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Happy New Year

As it is now far too late for me to be taken seriously by the palaeo community at large, I may as well indulge as much as I can.  

I had hoped to have completed this on New Year's Day, but as usual, it took longer than I expected.  I had also hoped to do more with the background, but this will have to do.  Real work beckons, I fear!

I think it looked better as just the ink drawing.  Bother.

Happy New Year!