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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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December 28, 2010

Holiday book Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — tb @ 8:02 pm

    As is the standard for the holidays when it comes to gifts given to me, I’ve gone and acquired a great number of new books for Christmas.  Really, nearly every single gift I’ve received is a book.  I love it.  I’d have it no other way.  Seriously, books are the perfect presents;  I never get bored of a good book, and I always find an excuse to revisit them.  They’re kind of like friends that don’t ask you to pick up the lunch tab or drive them to the airport.

Without further ado,  I’d like to share with you a few of my new acquaintances, in case you’d like to go so far as to make them your friends, too.

Color and Light, by James Gurney




If you check out anyone else’s “best art books of the year” list, you’ll find this on it; And with good reason.  Covering everything from light sourcing, to palette set-up, to surface and atmospheric effects, this book has it all.  If you’ve ever thought “Why does that look that way?” while painting your subject, you’ll more than likely find the answer beneath this book’s cover.  I’m always an advocate for understanding the “why” behind the “what.”  I’m a sucker for wanting to know how things work, and that is why I find this book a joy to read through and reference back to.  That, and the dinosaur paintings.  Really, throw a nice dinosaur painting in anything, and I’m bound to go back to it.


Hellboy Library Edition; Volume 3, by Mike Mignola



I’ve always been a fan of Mike Mignola’s work (both when it comes to his writing and his art) and I am overjoyed to finally own the third installment in his “Library Edition” series for Hellboy.  While this gorgeous hardbound book is most certainly worth owning, it’s a mixed bag for me;  It contains both my favorite Hellboy storyline (Conqueror Worm) and my least favorite (Strange Places).  That said, don’t let this discourage you from picking it up…While the “Strange Places” storyline isn’t my favorite, I *do* love the “origin of the world” myth that’s told within it.  That bit of the story is jam-packed with old-timey mythological goodness…Forging dragons out of mud, primordial creatures betraying one another, ancient artifacts of doom being passed down through the ages….All that weird, mildly nonsensical, grand-scale goodness I love about all creation myths is there.  If the inclusion of a neat creation storyline alongside Conquerer Worm isn’t enough to get you to pick up this book, the “sketchbook” section at the end of this volume should do it.  I adore Mignola’s sketches, and highly recomend owning every book in the “library edition” series, if for no other reason than to have a complete collection of his published sketch work.


Middle-Earth; Visions of a Modern Myth, by Donato Giancola



Donato Giancola;  A name that (to me) has always been linked to Tolkien’s world of Middle-Earth.  This book shows just why that is the case.  Donato’s gorgeous, Vermeer/Rembrandt-esque handling of Tolkien’s characters is only one of the many reasons I love his work.  More than his rendering skills, I love Donato’s “between the action” storytelling/illustrative choices.  As Gerome had shown with his “Death of Caesar” illustration (and many more aside), some of the most powerful storytelling moments lie just after or before the “Action.”  Donato embraces this concept, Choosing to illustrate Sam helping a wounded Frodo up from the floor of Cirith Ungol, an orc hand lying severed in the foreground.  To have Gandalf, with Glamdring drawn and embers surrounding him from off-canvas, proves to be a more emotional image than choosing to show the balrog outright.   I’m also a sucker for seeing an artists process (could you tell from how I gushed on and on about Mignola’s sketches?) and hearing just how and why they approach a subject in the way that they do;  This book contains more than a few of Donato’s compositional studies and prep work for his paintings, as well as his personal insights into the subject matter.  Simply put, if you like any of the following;  Well-painted images, great storytelling, the process behind a painting, elves and what not…Then pick this book up.



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December 9, 2010

He doesn’t like you.

Filed under: Studies, Wildlife — tb @ 1:50 pm



..don’t let that fact bother you though, because he doesn’t like me either.


As I missed my weekly animal painting class due to feeling a bit under the weather, I thought I’d go ahead and scan this guy since the paint’s finally dry.  What is he, you ask? Well, this rather cantankerous-looking fellow is a Boer Goat, bred and developed in South Africa for their meat.  I’m a sucker for animals with that domed “sweep” to their head (bull terriers, Takins, etc) so this buck was a pleasure to paint.  I’m a bit disappointed in the canvas I used…a free sample that came with some paints I ordered…because it seems to have “sucked up” a lot of the luster that existed in the colors before it dried.  Let that be a lesson;  Use quality materials, kids.




Get it?




Oh how I love you, wordplay.

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November 26, 2010

Someone once told me….

Filed under: Uncategorized — tb @ 5:49 pm



     Someone once told me, in not so many words, to work hard, lest the ghost of a deceased icelandic ram (by the name of Flynn) would come for me.


    That said, consider this post a bit of an announcement; Over the coming week or so, Your’s Truly will be kicking it into high-gear, and this blog will undergo a focused re-launch.  This relaunch will feature weekly post-days, specific topics, and a snazzy, oh-so-grand header.


    Why the refocus/relaunch of “Rusty Innards…?”  Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Illuxcon and talk to many wonderful artists on their process, goals, and what makes them tick.  It was a great experience, and after many late nights and talks with friends over the course of the convention, I have come to better realize what my art means to me, and where I would like to go with it.  So folks, that’s the reason for the upcoming re-launch of “Rusty Innards,” the relaunch I have and will be so diligently working on over the next week.


That, and because I’m also terrified of spectral ungulates.



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October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween, with Anung Un Rama and friend

Filed under: Uncategorized — tb @ 5:40 pm




Happy Halloween, all.

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October 27, 2010

Surly Pup

Filed under: Uncategorized — tb @ 12:48 pm




It’s been to long since I’ve posted a painting here.  That said; Here’s a gesture painting of a french bulldog, done from a photo and live model.

 My thanks to Bubba for being such a good-natured subject, even while recovering from his vet visit.


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October 19, 2010

Fowl play. Yup, that pun just happened.

Filed under: Uncategorized — tb @ 12:49 pm

A page from the ol’ sketchbook to kick off a class at Watts, taught by one Meadow Gist.


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October 5, 2010

Et tu, King Gorilla…?

Filed under: Superheroes & Supervillians, Wildlife — tb @ 8:12 pm


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September 15, 2010

Influence Map; That is to say, a Map of my Influences.

Filed under: Uncategorized — tb @ 5:10 pm



    The “influence map” game has been making the rounds on blogs as of late, so here I am;  Jumping on the bandwagon.

I found the task of narrowing down a group of artists to include on this chart simultaneously maddening and refreshing.  It’s impossibly difficult to try and decide who to include on a chart of my influences, as one can appreciate something from nearly any artist…but the influences listed here are artists, individuals, and ideas that I feel have shaped my picture-making decisions, and will continue to influence my artistic endeavors into the future.  I’ll echo Lucas Graciano in saying that it will be interesting to see the changes in this chart when I revisit this exercise in a few years.


Ah, and as an added “Fun Bonus..!”    The first person to correctly identify everyone/everything on my chart will win yourself an animal sketch (extinct or otherwise) of your choice.  This isn’t so much a challenge (as the chart is filled with pretty recognizable images)as much as it is a “whoever posts first wins” sort of thing….So get identifying, folks!

• • •

September 10, 2010

Charcoal figure drawing

Filed under: Studies — tb @ 10:30 am

Hey all,

Here’s an “Oldie but Goodie” figure drawing I happened across while organizing a bit. At the time of it’s completion, I was quite happy with it. I’ve been exploring calligraphy in my charcoal drawings these past several weeks, and will be putting up a “progressions” post of my past several years of study later next week..Think of this as a little precursor.



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