Brian Switek plugs Heinrich’s Kentrosaurus paper at the Smithsonian blog, and my illustration is there, front and center. Heinrich’s write-up is at Palaeontologia Electronica, again, with my illustration. It’s worth a read (as are the other papers there) and I suggest you hit the link and head over.
This illustration is a landmark for me. It’s the first full-fledged illustration that I’ve done of a dinosaur – as opposed to speed-paints, concepts and sketches. It shows what my intentions are – I want a detailed, lush imagery with science at its core, something that generates excitement without being spectacular.
Did I manage all those things? No. Stylistically, it’s a bit too ambiguous in style between realism and illustrative. And it could read better in a few parts, compositionally its too uniform in color and the main Kent’s pose could be more dramatic. Lesson learned. What I discovered is that I enjoyed the challenges of creating an environment that felt like a huge creature has been ravaging through the foliage – and feel I’ve been successful. The ravaging isn’t by the Kent, by the way… there are already young fern fronds indicative of stage one recovery. The Kents are browsing through a path previously trampled by a sauropod herd.
And that’s what I enjoyed most about making this: and where I am in fact happy with the result. The image is suggestive of a story, and the story explains the science. There’s a rearing Kent, then the foreground Kent who’s been disrupted, and an Allosaurus feigning indifference up front. That’s what makes me look forward to future projects, such as finishing this one. It’s begging to be an animation.