Over the past month and a half or so I’ve been trying to learn as much new info and refine whatever previous knowledge I had about paleobotanical and paleozoological theory and convention. A few of the books that I’ve got are a bit dated in terms of overall view, physiology and naming relations but they at the very least give me a starting point to glean some purchase so I get this Prehistoric art book on the road. I almost always research every piece I do. I mean even if it doesn’t show I at least try and get the inside track on what it is I’m trying to represent. I think the research phase is as important as the sketch itself since that knowledge educates and impacts every decision about the marks you make throughout the course of the piece and otherwise keeps everything from feeling fake or forced. With that in mind I’ve almost done rough layouts for all of the creatures I plan on illustrating for this upcoming project, somewhere about 100-120 or so but that’s just the first easy step.
I’ve tried to concentrate a little more on the creatures and periods that aren’t everywhere in the media or in movies and the more fantastical beasts that have an interesting look or place in the fossil record. Transitional creatures that defined further life in one way or another or just strange and interesting outliers from extinct ecosystems have been a lot of fun to work with. So I look forward to sharing some of the Cambrian Life, Pelycosaurs, Synapsids, Archosaurs, Dinosaurs, Land Invaders, Marine Reptiles, Griffinflies, Monsters of the Deep, Terror Birds, Island Giants, and Devonian Fish that I’ve rediscovered. I’ll start populating the PREHISTORIC header with thumbnails and sketches soon, have a few conventions the next couple weeks but after that I’ll be concentrating on less teasers and more finished work.