Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rough Sketches fo Finished Paintings: Part 4

It's time for another addition of Rough Sketches to Finished Paintings!  .

As you may know, I try to get as much professional input on my paintings as possible during the process of making them in order for them to be as scientifically accurate as possible.  The first painting we will be looking at the creation of is my Euoplocephalus!  I was lucky enough to get help from paleontologist, and ankylosaurid expert, Dr. Victoria Arbour.  Below is the first sketch I sent her.

I was glad to hear from her that it looked perfect except for a few things.  Even though all the armor for Euoplocephalus tutti has never been found, judging by other related specimens, it is logical to assume it had armor running down the length of the tail right up to the club and that I should add that in my sketch.  Also the claws on the hind legs were more blunt than what I had originally drawn.  Below is my modified sketch.

finished piece
 Next is the original sketch for my Redonda Formation painting!  For this I employed the help of paleontologist, Donald Price, whom I have the pleasure of excavating Triassic fossils with this past summer in New Mexico.  Donald is currently studying phytosaurs, like Redondasaurus.

 His only suggestion would be to re-arrange the scutes (armor plates) on the Redondasaurus's back.  We are still not completely sure as to how these scutes were arranged in life, but Donald is getting some interesting ideas from his work with them.  What i changed it to reflects one of his hypotheses.

finished piece

 Next is my painting of Aquilops, the tiny ceratopsian dinosaur recently described last month.  I got the input of the paleontologist who lead the paper on this lovely little critter, Dr. Andy Farke!

His only suggestion after looking at my sketch was to make the head a little bit deeper and shorten the hallux (inside claw) on the foot.  So I did.  You may also notice that my depiction of this dinosaur does not have any of those elongated quill-like structures, commonly depicted on ceratopsians (especially small ones) in paleo-art.  These structures have only been found in one specimen of the ceratopsian family tree (Psittacosaurus, not a direct ancestor of Aquillops or any of the large ceratopsians) and appears to have been a display adaptation.  That being said it is not likely that EVERY ceratopsian that ever lived had the same structures for display. 

finished piece
Finally let's check out the making of's new banner!  This is a remake of a piece that I did years ago of a pair of Dryptosaurus hunting a hadrosaur on the shores of what is now New Jersey millions of years ago, during the Late Cretaceous.  I asked for the help of paleontologist, Steve Brusatte, with this one.  Dr. Brusatte is one of the paleontologists who authored the most recent scientific paper about Dryptosaurus.

Amazingly enough, the first sketch was good!  Dryptosaurus likely had three fingers on each hand, although some artists depict it as having two which could have been true, as well.  It's arms were not as long as those of some earlier tyrannosauroids, like Eotyrannus or Guanlong, but they were certainly proportionally longer than those of its larger tyrannosaurid cousins like Tyrannosaurus.  Dryptosaurus' first claw on each hand was also proportionally huge.  You can see the rest of this painting's progression below.  If you follow me on instagram, however, you would have seen these way ahead of time!

finished piece

That is all for this week!  If you have not already feel free to check out the first, second, and third installments of this feature while you are here.  Thank you again to all the experts willing to lend their inputs for the sake of scientific illustration!

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