Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rough Sketches to Finished Paintings: Part 2

Everyone seemed to really like the post showcasing some of the early drafts of my paintings I put up a few weeks ago so I decided to do another one.  Its a good thing I scan these things as I go along sometimes!

This sketch was actually done a few years ago but wasn't used for an actual painting until last month.  I originally wanted to do a painting of a Pachycephalosaurus and was playing around with some poses.  This is one sketch I made that I particularly liked but ultimately ended up ditching.

A few years later I wanted to do the newly discovered Acrotholus for a Prehistoric Animal of the Week and finally used this old sketch's pose.  The result was pretty nice I think.  I think Pachycephalosaurids are particularly interesting when viewed facing the viewer.  Its something about the unusual shape of their heads and how the dome makes a sort of roof over the eyes.

Next is a sketch of the large pterosaur, Ornithocheirus for another Prehistoric Animal of the Week.  Paleontologist, Mark Witton, was kind enough to serve as a source of professional input for me as I was making it.  Here is the initial sketch I showed him.

Awesomely, he said it was mostly good!  Just two things looked off.  1) the individual on the left's wing membrane was incorrectly folded.  It should hug the frame of the arm and finger more.  2) The flying individual on the right's body was too large (Ornithocheirus and its relatives had proportionally tiny bodies).  So then I showed him this with the modifications.

That's better!  Then I went on to add the paint and ultimately produced the painting below.  Some people mentioned to me that they weren't fans of the black color scheme for these guys.  I actually specifically wanted to do a large pterosaur in black for a while at that point and am pleased with how it came out regardless.  Its based on a living animal, actually.  Can you guess what it is?

I also did the spiky dinosaur, Kentrosaurus for a Prehistoric Animal of the Week.  Paleontologist, Heinrich Mallison, was helping me out with the accuracy of the drawing this time.  Here is the first sketch I showed him.

Not bad but there were a few changes that needed to be made.  The tail on the real animal would not have been able to twist in the way that I drew it and the last pair of spikes should be moved to the very tip of the tail.  Also he suggested moving the spikes on the shoulders to the hips.  It is unknown where those spikes attached on Kentrosaurus for certain since the bones were scattered when discovered.  One school of thought is on the shoulders, where they do indeed fit quite nicely but only if they are angled downwards which doesn't make much sense from a defensive standpoint since this animal's enemies would have been taller theropods attacking from above.  Despite this, Kentrosaurus is often reconstructed this way for some reason.   The other idea, which Dr. Mallison supports, is that those spikes were on the hips, facing behind the animal.  They fit there too and it makes more sense as a defensive weapon.  I didn't modify the sketch but instead made a whole new one.

Nice.  Now lets paint!

Last one.  Back in 2011 I decided that I really wanted to do a painting of a Triceratops baby and parent viewed close up.  This is the original idea from my sketchbook.

Here is the painting itself partially done.

And the final product.  This is one of my favorites that I have ever done.  It is also one of the few paintings that I actually sold the original of.  Since then I only sell or gift prints. 

That's all for this week!  As always feel free to comment below or on the facebook page


  1. Thanks for showing us how you go from sketch, idea (getting more input from Paleontologist) refining, and finished painting. They're excellent!
    Lisa P.