In the Beginning...

Posted by Nima On Sunday, March 22, 2009 3 comments

The beginning... of this ambitious enterprise... in that art which has proven not just hard to master, but much harder to master WELL.

Welcome to the realm of the Paleo King! This is my official blog for all my dinosaur and paleo-art related ideas, thoughts, and random rants. And to start it all off...

Here's my first drawing for the year of 2009.It's a Pachyrhinosaurus. And no, I wasn't satisfied with the old-school lump-nosed version based on the few largely reconstructed skulls that exist. So I restored this beast with a massive cluster of horns that were anchored onto the lump. Now THIS is badass. The idea has been around for a few years; the Royal (how appropriate!) Tyrell museum has a couple of statues of Pachyrhinosaurus outdoors, that have this same crazy horn configuration.


Sculpture by Brian Cooley, courtesy Pipestone Creek Dinosaur Project


One thing's for sure - any predator would NOT want to come anywhere near those horns.

I always liked galloping poses for horned dinosaurs, and even though most scientists agree that they could gallop, there are VERY few good illustrations of galloping ceratopsians. Plus some museums still have their ceratopsian skeletons in that outdated sprawling-arm pose (seriously guys, it can cost maybe $300 max to weld a new frame and remount the bones. Don't tell me that no museum has that in their trustee funds...) So here I took things a step further, and had this galloping Pachyrhinosaurus practically in the air.

Pachyrhinosaurus was the last in a long line of short-frilled ceratopsians known as Centrosaurines. This sub-family included earlier forms like Centrosaurus and Styracosaurus, though Pachyrhinosaurus itself probably evolved from Achelousaurus, which in turn evolved from Einiosaurus.... They lost the traditional nose horn of their ancestors and compressed it into a massive bony boss which may have supported far thicker horns.

This particular dinosaur is one of the Pipestone Creek specimens. The species is Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai. Here's a pic of the actual skeleton.



Funny thing is, I actually drew this guy once before, as the old hornless version back in 1999 - pointy funnybones and all. Yeah, we've come a LOOOONG way since then.


The "lump" or "boss" was actually a pretty complex structure that covered not just the nose, but also the forehead just above the eyes. Here I drew it as a sort of boxy battering ram. The wrinkled front part of the boss was the most fun - all organic and disturbingly wrinkled and grooved as it ballooned into the huge brick on the forehead. And of course we have the obligatory cycads and conifer tree!

And don't ask why the hands are missing the 5th finger, the fourth finger is hooved, or why the bottom of the face looks squashed. When I drew them I was in middle school and I had incredibly CRAPPY book illustrations to use for reference. All in all I'd say it was great for its time, but once I saw the work of Gregory Paul, David Peters, and many other professional artists (especially the skeletals!), I was a bit embarrassed - it was very easy to figure out where I'd gone wrong.

Problem fixed. The new drawing at the top of this post takes into account all of these details. I made sure of it ;)

So welcome to my blog and the Paleo Kingdom. And prepare to be stunned :)

P.S. - don't forget to check out my new site, HERE.

3 comments:

Angie Rodrigues said...

Your Pachy is fantastic! I also love the look of them galloping and you have done a great job! I also prefer the Pachy's to be drawn with the multiple horns like you have...looks awesome.

Great job and I can't wait to see more:)

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