Of dinosaurs and videogames

Some months ago, the inimitable Jon Davies asked me to do some internal promo art for a game his company, Megadev, was working on for Adult Swim. The game came out today, so now I can finally share this!A man and his sheepherding Allosaurus

There wasn’t much in the way of existing art representing the game at that time, outside of Jon’s original proposal sketch, so I actually got a fair bit of creative leeway. Here are some of my initial character sketches.

Character sketchesAnd here are the compositional thumbnails.

Compositional thumbsI can’t even describe what a great experience this was. I’ve known Jon for some years, and working with him as an art director was just terrific. And his own art, in the game? Standout gorgeous.

Give it a play. Just watch out for those exploding tomatoes at the carnival, they’re brutal.

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Painting day

I know! I have so much to get done! D: But I also have a pretty bad infection in my jaw from the wisdom tooth extraction, and either it or my antibiotics are making me a bit woozy and lacking in focus. So today, I finished my dad’s birthday present:

Ship for dad

Dad likes his ships

(His birthday was on August 17th…oops….)

And then there’s the 4th card that went with the ones I posted last time. It was for a wedding invitation company, and I thought “Hey! They’re based in DC. Maybe some paleontologists from the Smithsonian will want a proto-bird on their card!” but then I chickened out at the last minute and didn’t send it to the client. In fact, I didn’t even ink it until today.

Anchiornis card

A very Anchiornis wedding

Uncolored ink drawing after the cut!

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A little proto-avian in the morning

Just sharing this little sketch. I’ve started using a Strathmore watercolor postcard pad as a watercolor sketchbook, since I’ve been unable to find a decent pocket-sized one elsewhere. So this is only 4 x 6″.

Confusciusornis Sketch

Confuciusornis Sketch

Confuciusornis is one of the most common fossils we have. Literally hundreds of fully intact, which means we know a bit more about it than many other early birds. It lived during the early Cretaceous, and had a toothless beak and a fused (pygostyle) tail, which is what allows birds to flex and flare their tail feathers. It couldn’t lift its wings above its back, and that coupled with its wing-claws indicates that it was more of a climb-then-glide sort of bird. Still, pretty neat how close it was considering it evolved to this state 125 million years ago.

This is just a quick sketch, so not wholly accurate! For one, there’s no indication that they had tertiary feathers, or any on their upper arms… I’ll have to do another Confuciusornis soon, I really like the species. The tree it’s sitting on is period-accurate as well, but I can’t for the life of me recall what it’s named.

Birdmarks part 2

After much procrastination (and many distractions) my second page of bookmarks is finished! (The first one is here, in case you missed it). Only four of these are either birds or bird ancestors, but what the hell. Birdmarks page 2!

Top: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Golden-faced dragon, Blue dragon of some sort, Eel-inspired dragon. Bottom: Some mossy sloth thing, Anchiornis, Velociraptor, Caudipteryx

As you can see, I went on a bit of a proto-avia spree at the end. The Anchiornis’ coloring is based partly on recent scientific discovery regarding its actual feather coloration, partly on modern Pileated Woodpeckers. The Velociraptor is loosely modeled on a Red-shouldered Hawk, and Caudipteryx is even more loosely inspired by a goose. Of course, after I finished painting Caudipteryx I realized just how tiny it was, and not really that goose-like at all, but ah well. It will be years before anyone can contradict me with concrete evidence!

I’m not done with that kick yet, either, so expect some more feathery saurians and proto-birds in the future.

I’m not very happy with the dragons. Dragons are usually my favorite, but these were probably overly influenced by the various anime I was watching while sketching them. Unless anyone’s desperately in love with them, it’s unlikely they’ll actually make it to my shop.

Mossy, dancing sloth monster just is.

As with last time, WIP after the cut!

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