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Australia's Age of Dinosaurs

April 3, 2018

One of my paleoart heroes is the immensely talented James Gurney. My first exposure to his artwork was his The World of Dinosaurs sheet of stamps released in 1996. I spent my allowance to buy a sheet at our local post office and framed them, proudly displaying them in my bedroom. I was ten years old.

Now, a couple decades later, I follow Mr. Gurney on Instagram. His creative process is incredible to watch. When producing paleoart, he often molds the dinosaurs from clay, then poses them in a natural setting to capture the smallest nuances of light and shadow. He recently made a few signed sheets of his Australia's Age of Dinosaurs stamps available, and I bought one immediately. 

Staring at these beautiful stamps, I realized that I knew very little about the creatures depicted. Australia was home to some really amazing dinosaurs! Prehistoric Australia rested in a polar climate, with four months of winter darkness where its dinosaurs may have contended with occasional ice and snow. I look forward to illustrating a cold Mesozoic Australian night.

 

In the meantime, my study of Australian dinosaurs introduced me to the "shield lizard," Kunbarrasaurus. I haven't drawn an ankylosaurid in a long time, and I felt inspired. Sadly, I have zero oil painting skills, and I'm running low on watercolor supplies at the minute. That left me with pen & ink. I chose to emulate the detailed style of another paleoart hero of mine, William Stout. Here's a look at the resultant 11x14 drawing, available for purchase in my shop...

 Every time I draw a detailed picture like this, I learn so, so much. I can't wait to apply the little things I've figured out on the next one. Now, off to order more pens... 

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