Saturday, February 5, 2011

Drawing Dinosaurs

I love depicting dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. At first I would depict them pretty much as the monsters of some science fiction or fantasy movie, these fascinating creatures that all children seem to love and some of us remain fascinated with. Recently I have been trying to add to what I know about how to draw and paint these prehistoric creatures through articles, videos, books and looking at the work of paleo artist. I know that there are a lot of faults knowledgeable people can find in my depictions but I’m still learning, (and I see that even very accomplished paleo artist have commented about things that they would do differently about some depictions of prehistoric animals they have done). 

The fun part about it is that after you get as much information as you can, there is a lot we don’t know about what they looked like, a lot that can be guessed at. it’s a mixture of hard data and imagination.

When it comes to constructing one of these images I try to think of it in the same way I would do a living person, you look at the shapes, you consider what’s underneath- the skull. I remember an art class in college where we spent days drawing from a skeleton. After some time I noticed that it really helped me in life drawing, I was able to understand the figure better.
In the series of drawing bellow I started with the drawing of a skull, (A T-Rex model Skeleton I found at a toy store), and I kept going over it on a light box till I arrived at the final painting. I also used reference photos of crocodiles and other reptiles for skin texture.

This drawing was done from a model T-Rex
skeleton I have. I took this drawing and placed it
on a light box.

I fleshed out the skeleton trying to imagine
what his skin would look like.

I look at some picture of crocodiles
and other reptiles and tried to map out
the scales and textures. I would reinterpret
this in the final painting.

Here is the final painting done in gouache on paper.

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