Kronosaurus and Plesiosaur

I have finished another paleoart painting. This one depicts the giant marine reptile Kronosaurus, catching a Plesiosaur.

At the moment, I am continuing with my writing, and quite looking forward to presenting artwork at the Symposium for the Western Interior Paleontological Society, in March. They invited me to come set up a table in March, so I will be working on some more paleoart, as well as a few landscapes.

[I have started making prints for much of my artwork as well, so please let me know if you’d like to buy one. They make great gifts.]

Advertisements

Paleo-Art in Progress: Spinosaurus Part 2

Now I can show the entire process, step-by-step, for how the Spinosaurus painting came to be, from preliminary sketch to the finished artwork. A scan of the painting is at the end.

Hope you enjoy the pictures!

image

I first began with an initial sketch to set down the composition and shape of the dinosaur, as well as the eel he's catching.

image

Next I added in some details and scale patterns that I thought would look neat. Note the little spines on his underbelly, somewhat like the spines on the throat of a bearded dragon.

image

I copied the sketch on a sheet of tracing paper, then used that and a piece of graphite paper to transfer the shape onto an 8x10 inch masonite board.

image

Here is where the trees and background begin to take shape, the water is filled in, and the two animals are given a contrasting color scheme for visual interest.

image

Many details and highlights are added in, from the tree bark to the Spinosaur's eye.

image

The finished work, with water highlights on the wet parts of the Spinosaur's hide, and dark stripes and spots for more of a natural pattern than just being entirely red.

image

The final scan of the image.

Finished the Spinosaurus Painting

Here’s my latest finished painting. It is an 8 x 10 acrylic piece on masonite board. Scans of this and other paintings are forthcoming.

image

A Spinosaurus aegypticus has just caught a large eel, which is still struggling to liberate itself from the predator’s bite. Unfortunately for the eel, Spinosaur teeth and jaws are designed to catch fish.

Paleo-Art in Progress: Spinosaurus, Part 1

I have been continuing to practice my skills in paleo-art and landscapes. Maybe someday I can get a piece on permanent display in a museum somewhere.

I asked a friend to pick a dinosaur he’d like to see me paint, and he suggested Spinosaurus aegypticus. It was ideal for me to challenge myself. This creature was not like other theropod dinosaurs (all known carnivorous dinosaurs are theropods), so for artists who are used to drawing Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, this is a good chance to expand their hoirizons.

In addition to being the T. rex-killer from Jurassic Park III, Spinosaurus has grabbed headlines over the last few years for being a dinosaur that likely led a semi-aquatic lifestyle and preyed on fish. In many respects, from a lengthy torso and long narrow jaws to the conical shape of its teeth and its flat feet, it bears strong similarities to modern crocodilians that are specialized to hunt fish.

To reflect this different lifestyle, I decided to portray a Spinosaurus that has just caught a giant eel, still thrashing in its jaws.

image

The preliminary sketch.

When this preliminary stage was completed, I traced the design onto a sheet of tracing paper. After that, I used graphite paper to transfer the design onto an 8 x 10 inch masonite board. Then I laid in the base colors with acrylic paint.

image

I decided to put in a strong contrast between the dinosaur and the eel by making them red and blue, respectively. This would also help them stand out against the dark background of a swampy forest.

At this stage I wanted to work on the background before concentrating on the animals in the foreground. So I added texture and highlights to the tree bark.

image

It became increasingly clear that for this type of painting, the Spinosaur and the eel would have to be darkened considerably. So I simply added darker paint, and now have begun to add in texture on the dinosaur’s skin.

image

This is what it looks like now. To be continued...

Much work still waits to be done, but so far I am very happy with how the painting is turning out. I think I’ll add a little more character to the background by painting in a couple of sparse plants and leaves. Then it will be a matter of adding texure, final shades, and highlights to the animals and water. That will be detailed in part 2.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to a weekend at the Writers on the Rock conference in Lakewood, CO, followed by a night at the world-famous “Dinosaur Hotel,” the newly remodeled Best Western Denver Southwest. I figured a writing conference was the perfect excuse to visit this hotel. Assuming things go according to plan (more or less), pictures will soon be posted here for you to enjoy.

Have a great day!

A Quick Update

image

I wanted to share this beautiful sketch, drawn on commission by Bob Eggleton and done as a Christmas present. It depicts a boat of explorers finding Pteranodons and a Brontosaurus. It was an unexpected delight to get a sketch from a Hugo award-winning artist, whose cover art has inspired me to buy and read many a book. Maybe his art will one day find itself on my own books. That would be a real treat.
I have been absent from this blog for a while. Mainly because I was on vacation, then moving. But I look forward to more writing and painting, and sharing it with you all!
May The Maker smile on all of you today.

More Art, Plans for the Blog, Cameroon Voyage

I’ve been painting a good deal more than I have been writing, to my regret. But the writing is coming back to me, thanks to some writers groups I have been a part of or leading for years.

At least I'm enjoying the artistic results.

At least I’m enjoying the results of painting.

The blog is going to have more musings, sharings, rants, and oddjob add-ons in general. A little bit of everything. Which might sound eccentric, but I’m a painter now and like Bob Ross said, “Us painters are supposed to be a little weird.”

That goes for writers, too. Oh, terrific. Now I’m doubly crazy.

Crazy like a Triceratops. Who writes.

Crazy like a Triceratops. Who writes.

Additionally, I have set a goal to voyage to Cameroon sometime in the near future. Ideally, I will be ready to travel within one year. It would be partially for researching a novel, partially for exploration, and partially for missionary/material aid efforts. Not looking forward to the humidity and heat of Central Africa, but there’s a lot that’s drawing me to that country in particular. I’ll comment more on that in a future post.

Selling Paintings at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

This is first post I have written in a very long time, I’ll admit. I have some good news.

Not just good. Ecstatic.

A family member and I went up to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, CO this weekend. I took along a couple of paintings to show them, just in case they would consider carrying a few paintings in the gift shop.

Mated pair of Apatosaurus. Acrylic on wooden plaque, 3 x 5 inches.

Mated pair of Apatosaurus. Acrylic on wooden plaque, 3 x 5 inches. Sold to someone in Woodland Park.

Another wooden plaque with acrylics.

Another wooden plaque with acrylics.

As it turned out, they ended up liking the art so much (particularly the one showing the dinosaur silhouette), that they invited me to be a vendor to sell artwork at an event in early August, and at an arts and crafts festival in July 2015. And as a bonus, someone ended up buying the dinosaur painting mere minutes later!

I’ve pretty much been walking on air ever since. It’s a little daunting, since I have a lot of paintings to do before the first event. But this is the kick in the pants I needed to get this whole painting gig turned into a small business. I am so thankful that events were arranged in just the right way for this to happen, even ones that seemed like hindrances and delays.

There will be more art and writing coming to this blog soon. And I’ve got more stories to work on, as well. Have a great day, everyone!

-John