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Kentrosaurus head scribbles


Here’s a first approach at the Kentrosaurus head. I’ll be trying to loosen myself up with some alternative sketches after this round, but always respecting the underlying skull. A made a 3D mesh around a skull geometry and thenbeefed it up with more volume akin to the varanus studies.  then I painted over it… following my take on the cheekless, beak-like mouth. The open mouth version comes as a complete surprise even to me, as its following the concrete volumes and rotation points given by the skeleton, then you swing it open and… nice. Half dragon, half bird.

Brachio Speeds

Trying to get my hand de-rusted, playing with ideas of display behavior, gulping, tongue display (they must’ve had massive tongues) and dewlap-type displays. Don’t take anything serious yet, just getting over my inhibitions…

Pixar dinosaurs in 2011?

Old news, I know… but ’tis the time to think big thoughts of the coming year. Aside from my own ambitions this would be really cool. The above ‘Brontosaurus’ spread is from William Joyce, Pixar artist and author of Dinosaur Bob book series.

Oh, and should you think Pixar is the goal of every young creative, check out Austin Madison, an “aspiring paleontologist currently working as an animator at Pixar.” A guy’s gotta set his sights high, right?

LottoLab; tactile science

How can science become something tangible? By approaching it as a game… watch the above video. Then read the paper and keep an eye on the Lottolab. Below Lotto’s Ted Talk…

Kentrosaurus; illustration goals


The first step in an illustration contract is to define goals and expectations. This is the only way to keep your compass functioning during the many revisions and issues that arise along the way. Well, I don’t have a client on this one, and its still the most important step.

My goals are as follows:

  • to apply concept art methods to paleoart, see how applicable they are
  • to broadcast this methodology, particularly the variation and trashing phases, as I feel they may be a way to make the artist-scientist relationship a more productive two-way road
  • to produce an illustration of high-resolution finish quality, worthy of sharing with the world as such, which primarily communicates a specific scientific hypothesis (Heinrich Mallison’s) embellished by my own visual plausibility experiments
  • learn and have fun

So, right now I’m closing in on a Kentrosaurus as it is attacked by an Allosaur. As I’d like to get some behavior out there that everyone seems to be in agreeance on (yes, yes – enjoy my naivety) I imagine a Kentrosaurus rearing to pluck the ‘fruits’ from a bennettite. It notices danger and goes into an intimidation pose.


The last is the heart of the exercise and may be a sequence. Eventually I’d love to animate it. Kentrosaurus under attack. I want to introduce the Allosaurus but visually focus on Kentrosaurus’ defense. And I want the pose to read a basically reflexively determined behavior, spinning about its hip axis using its front legs with the goal of keeping Allosaur in – so to speak – the rear-view mirror.

I want to do a 3D skeletal reconstruction (which will take at least a week) and use the 3D volume as a perspective aid for my digital drawn illustration. Don’t expect a smooth ride, I’ll be working out a lot of new methods as I go along. Will share the process here.


the art of… concept tops final

Staging, depth, composition… the concept art up top is much more convincing than the final below. Just me?
Taken from the very informative making of article at fxGuide.

Airport Delay


Senckenberg Elephant Wall



The Senckenberg museum in Frankfurt has a great wall of elephants about 40 meters long… I composited a bunch of photos into a flat view, detail below is that first skull on the far right (Deinotherium giganteum). Download the big original by clicking the first image.

The occasion? The artEvolved elephant gallery!

How to reconstruct an ant (not)

Fantastic post over at Myrmecos, my favorite ant blog. (Click the cow.)