Paleoart

Grand finale for this year!

The best way to end this year in this blog about the drawing of the fossils is with some dinosaur bones!

I have been changing the scope of my posts as much as my interests and experiences in the “real life”..
While I was painting this skull of Rajasaurus narmadensis, lots of thoughts came to me.

I remembered my first steps on blogging and my initial intentions, but at the same time I was thinking about the future: next movings, projects and hopes…

rajasaurus skull crudo

Rajasaurus narmadensis skull, based on sources from around the web

This is the first skull (or bone) I illustrate decently on watercolours . I tried to do this few times in the last year with various results, but this time was different: I performed with no fears, or knots on the stomach, no desperate brushing to rescue the outcome.
Painting this was a pleasure, I knew every next step, the response of the paper to the water, the reach of the brush (a new brush only for watercolour)…

It’s clear that this is only the beginning, and I happily welcome all the new chances awaiting in the next year!

rajasaurus skull web

Rajasaurus skull, with some reconstructed missing parts in grey

Hope you like it and happy new year for everyone! Many thanks for stopping by here!

Cheers ūüėÄ

Manuel

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Genyodectes, the smiling dinosaur.

Genyodectes serus (Woodward 1901) is a poorly understood dinosaur.

Original plate taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genyodectes#mediaviewer/File:Genyodectes.jpg

Woodward 1901 original plate taken from Wikipedia

I met him while I was working at the Collection of Vertebrate Paleontology in the La Plata Museum.

Luckily, the fossil had been prepared for the study conducted and published by Rauhut (2004) so when I did my duties in the collection (2011-2012), the holotype (and only assigned material) was in excellent condition. A marvelous smile shining on the shelves!

Since then, I wanted to do a portrait of him¬†as those things that are put on the long list “to do”.

Finally this year the inspiration came and a few weeks ago I started the research background and the sketching, to constrain a bit the rush of the creative speculation…

genyodectes2 web

A heavily modified drawing of the skull of Ceratosaurus (Dark area corresponds with Genyodectes remains) Source: Flickr

As you can see … there are not too many barriers to the imagination in this case.. but Genyodectes is very close to Ceratosaurus in dental morphology and some other small details, and both were medium sized theropods.. so cut something here… stretch other there and done: a very conservative skull but not to the boring limit!

genyodectes wip

Intermediate stage in the drawing…

If you are wondering where I got the pattern for the skin … well is based on the skin of my dear “overos” (Tupinambis merianae)¬†which fortunately still can be seen in the countryside or in the mountains near my house.

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Picture of one that came as guest to our BBQ last summer.. (a better picture which I used as a reference here)

To end the suspense (and after several hours of drawing and computer) here is my portrait of the mysterious smile that captivated me years ago:

Genyodectes limpio web

Genyodectes serus, the “biter jaw” from patagonia

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To Megatherium

It’s quite hard to avoid ground sloths in the land where the extinct ground sloths have gone not so long ago…

megatherium web

Megatherium was the biggest of them all, and was pretty common.

With colossal bones like a dinosaur, this huge leaf eater has here when the first humans reached the southern latitudes of America.

I sometimes think, how wonderful it would be if all that wildlife exist these days…

… less cattle on the pampas and more mega beasts!

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On some old drawings.

Dusting off some folders on a Sunday cleaning, I found some of my first attempts at scientific drawing.

I have to admit that the first of all were direct copies of illustrations of books or magazines, but, as an exercise of exploration  I got fond results and that encouraged me to keep going.

caballo cervical web

Horse (Equus sp) cervical vertebrae, anterior view. (Copied from an old book)

Another horse vertebrae (dorsal?) This time I copied the dot shaded drawing and just beside I made a grey scale reinterpretation. (circa 2008) (From the same old book, I can't recall which one)

Another horse vertebrae (dorsal?) This time I copied the dot shaded drawing and just beside I made a grey scale reinterpretation. (2008)
(From the same old book, I can’t recall which one)

Then I started experimenting with bones that had at my disposal, ¬†to try to get a more “real” approximation of what this job entails…

craneo de Coipo web

Coypu (Myocastor coipus) broken skull. Field sketch on notebook (2009)

A horse's metatarsal, distal end. (A gift from a very good friend)  I planned to do four views of this fragment, but then a paleontologist saw this drawing among other, and began to give me some real bones to deal.. (2009)

A horse’s metatarsal distal end. (A gift from a very good friend)
I planned to do four views of this fragment, but then a paleontologist saw this drawing (among other), and began to give me some real bones to deal.. (2009)

Then it was time to draw real fossils! And I was lucky enough to start with a sauropod dinosaur: Bonitasaura salgadoi.

While these drawings were not published, I took my work very seriously and gave my best!

chevron Bonitasaura web

Bonitasaura salgadoi chevron. Maybe the most extensively illustrated chevron of a patagonian sauropod… The drawings are made at natural size because I used to cast vertical lines from the fossil contour to the sheet of paper.

falange Bonitasaura web

Bonitasaura salgadoi phalanx (?). This one is big as the A4 sheet I used, and that made me feel uncomfortable. I was a newbie at the time on how to draw wide areas with gray tones. (2009)

I pass all of 2009 and early 2010 experimenting and refining my drawings, until I took a course in scientific illustration and I really felt fit to go out and play in the big leagues!

But nevertheless, I’m still learning with curiosity every time I am presented with a new job, a new challenge to achieve…

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Many drawings but few fossils?

Many drawings but few fossils?

Despite being really working with fossils, I have been giving them little room in my time for drawing. To go back to give them some attention, I started with one of the first dinosaurs: Eoraptor!

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A dino for my brithday!

A dino for my brithday!

Having a nice moment last sunday and celebrating my brand new 28, I started drawing this Sinornithosaurus (finished last night), thinking that 28 years is nothing against 100 million years!
Colors are based on the wonderfull Hocó (Tigrisoma lineatum)

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A pliosaur for gift… (we’ll see…)

Many times I plan to give some small work to some loved one or someone who has helped me in some way, out of gratitude.
But often such dedication in such “small works” makes me wonder a bit…
Isn’t this a too beautiful Pliosaur? (More beautiful than all Pliosaur I’ve drawn before!) Mjhmm … Do not deserve it! jajajaj

Tomorrow maybe I’ll do something more simple for the occasion…

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Well .. love and gratitude make us (artists) create with our best will …
Maybe I should try it more often! ūüėČ

 

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Here it goes!
I hope you like!

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A journey to Diadiaphorus

I’ve been unearthing a Diadiaphorus skull the last weeks of December at the paleo lab of the local university (Universidad Nacional de C√≥rdoba U.N.C.)

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Plate II from the Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896-1899. (J. B. Hatcher in charge. Edited by William B. Scott.)
The full book is free to download here at the Biodiversity Heritage Library website.

During such delightful times, working with this beautifully preserved fossil from the santacrucian miocene beds, I was able to see and touch very deep of its anatomy, and this lead me to sketch and explore for a new look for this extinct little animal.

 

Some of the first attempts were without references during the holidays…

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… but when I went back home I took it more seriously and performed the whole process of bone measuring and addition of soft tissues.

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So going on details lets me set a solid animal, with a more real look.

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And then I can put it on a (easy) grassy landscape!

 

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I really hope you like it! Have a great 2014!
Cheers!

 

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Sneaking into digital painting through SketchBook Pro

In my struggle with colour choice on long nights of headaches, I found a new and powerful tool to overcome such tasks: a true program to make digital art, not in the way of digital edition but more on the most artistic side.

Being a photoshop user from many many years (Photoshop 4? -not the great CS4!- ) I’m really habituated to it’s interface and how-to-do stuff, and suffering the few limitations (mostly on the canvas manipulation through the creative work)

But now a new generation of aplications came to stay and help us (creative people) to go further in or paths, our investigations, or our moments of freedom!

Moments like this, when I took my real life sketchbook drawing and put it in the computer to make the alchemy of colour!

Hope you like this transmutation!

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A kind of Tapejara pterosaur fast sketched along a wide array of other small drawings to kill some boring time weeks ago and now, after a couple of hours colored and enhanced pretty well… for a beginner like me!

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(I love the “infinite” digital zoom to slide on details… )

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Gore fest!

Gore fest!

The sanguinary Lythronax taking care of the charming baby Parasaurolophus …
Both findings was recently published in Open access articles:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0079420

https://peerj.com/articles/182/

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