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May 30, 2011

Pterosaurs are Pterrifying

Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art — tb @ 8:21 pm

Well, maybe they aren’t quite “terrifying”, but new discoveries show they are much, *much* stranger than you may remember from your childhood.

Long gone are the days when we thought of pterosaurs as scaly, reptilian,dragon-winged vulturine creatures, jumping off of cliff-faces to gain enough lift to fly, skimming over the oceans to snatch  up fish, and sprawling bat-like and clumsily on the land. One family in particular fights against this antiquated misconception; The Azhdarchids.



The fellow above is an azhdarchid based off of the most popular member of the family; Quetzalcoatlus northropi.  These were some weiiiird-looking animals; covered in hair-like filaments, they had a sharp beak for plucking up prey, and some pretty bizarre leg structures…The back feet being plantigrade (walking with the heels and toes to the ground, like humans do) and the front limbs sporting unusually long metacarpals, giving the animal a very upright stance when on the ground.   Because of this, the azhdarchids are thought to have been primarily terrestrial creatures, stalking across the plains with giraffe-sized strides and snapping up whatever was small enough to fit in their beak.

 I really had a blast drawing this guy, in all his bizarre glory.  The thing I had the most fun with was that moose-like dewlap hanging from his throat..With a neck that long, it would almost be “wasted space” to not have a display of some sort hanging from it.  I also wanted to subtly push the giraffe-size-analogy, and gave the crest end on the back of the skull an ossicone-type tip.  With a creature this weird, it’s almost impossible to not enjoy drawing it..And the best part?  It’s a real animal, that really walked on this earth.

Nature is so bloody awesome.


Edit: Speaking of how damn cool nature is, here’s a preview of an upcoming blog post..Just received word this fellow is on his way;


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January 2, 2011

So, a segnosaurus and a caudipteryx walk into a bar…

Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art, Wildlife — tb @ 1:00 pm



  If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love dinosaurs.  To whittle it down a bit more, I love theropods.  What’s that?  I need to narrow the statement down even further?  Alright, I love feathered theropod dinosaurs.  The near-infinite amount of possibilities when it comes to feather arrangements, patterns, etc. makes them an absolute joy to concept up and sketch out.


  The big fellow in the above sketch that looks like some sort of freakish skeksis-bred monster is a Segnosaurus.  I’ve talked about members of his family, the therizinosaurs, in prior posts.  Segnosaurus was an interesting one amongst the Therizinosaurs, as it’s thought they lacked the condor-like cheeks the rest of the therizinosaurs were theorized to have.  As I often do with the big therizinosaurs, I referenced ostriches and emus for the shaggy, fur-like feathers and threw in a bit of turkey for the gnarled, warty, bald neck and head.


  The little guy that sort of snuck in on that sketchbook page is a Caudipteryx….Think of him like an adorable little clawed dino-bird with tiny, sharp buck teeth.  This little guy is so bird-like in his body structure and features that some some scientists classify it as a flightless bird.  That said, I decided to push the bird features further than I normally would have, and give him an overall modern-avian appearance, complete with a little crest of feathers for display.


Would either of these guys necessarily have looked this way?  Perhaps.  Could Segnosaurus have had more extensive feathers?  Of course.  Might Caudipteryx have looked a bit more dinosaurian and a bit less like a modern bird?  Most certainly.  It’s these things that make paleo-art so much fun..the endless possibilities.






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April 11, 2010

Blur that line: Birds and Dinosaurs

Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art, Wildlife — tb @ 1:44 pm




     My last post was a bit of an announcement for a special bird/dinosaur drawing zoo sketch group.  Here’s a bit of the oucome from that day; Flamingos, pigeons, and a Therizinosaur (loosely based around beipiaosaurus).  The Therizinosaurs were a *very* strange group of dinosaurs…  Feathered herbivores descended from carnivorous theropods, they looked (As Ryan Shutter put it..) like “Turkey Monsters.”  It’s with species like these, species that blur the line between birds and dinosaurs,  that you can really have fun and merge wildlife drawing and concepting.


    On a side-note, I prepared a handout for the Dinosaur drawing day.  While it was designed to be paired with the talk I gave, the breakdown I made of the theropod form and shapes still is helpful on it’s own.  If you’re interested in a printable version of the handout for your own personal use, click the thumbnail below.




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April 1, 2010


Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art — tb @ 10:58 am



A quick drawing done last night for the announcement of a talk and demo I’ll be doing for TheIllustrationBoard.com.  Swing on over to the boards for more info, and be sure to come to the talk if you have time.

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May 7, 2009

Of Tyrannosaurian combs and dewlaps

Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art — tb @ 12:24 pm



Here’s a forgotten sketch from my book, done during a roadtrip to visit my folks.  Another dinosaur, this time a Tyrannosaur; I decided to play around a bit with it, giving it a fleshy comb and a dewlap.  I image the males sport the dewlaps and nose-combs, which flush red with blood during the mating season to attract females.  Extinct creatures are always a joy to draw, as you can go a bit wild with ideas like a chicken’s comb on a T. Rex. This is one of the reasons I find paleo-art so fun… It’s life-drawing injected with fantasy-esque creativeness.  It’s a perfect blend of wildlife art and fantasy concepting.

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December 9, 2008

Museum fun-time, featuring Cpt. Lambeosaurus.

Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art — tb @ 2:36 pm


A fun little sketch of a Lambeosaurus, done from the life-sized sculpture at the San Diego Natural History Museum.  On a related note, there happened to be a Robert Bateman art show in the Museum’s gallery while I was there..Really awesome stuff, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to catch it.

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September 15, 2008

Filed under: Dinosaurs & Paleo-art — tb @ 6:50 pm

Therapod head study; Oviraptor and Carnotaurus

Those who know me can verify that my fascination with dinosaurs did not wither away around the third grade, as that fascination has a tendency to do with children.  Thanks to illustrators like James Gurney and William Stout, my wide-eyed enthusiasm for the prehistoric only grew over time;  This page from my sketchbook is testament to that fact.  This is hopefully the first (since grade school, at least) of many forays into the world of paleo-art.

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