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.