War Paint: Styracosaurus

Argh! Angry spiky lizard parrot thing! Run away!

This guy has been slow going as I’ve been spending my days waving the digital brush at Blue Rocket Productions, so it’s been a little difficult motivating myself to do it all over again after the kids have gone to bed.

Styracosaurus has been a favourite of mine since I was a kid. The bizarre combination of spikes and scales and beak all brought together in a rhino sized bundle of weirdness is just so appealing.

My references were as wide ranging as Rhinos, Chameleons and Black Cockatoos, and of course some scientific literature about ceratopsian anatomy. I did play with the markings quite a bit before settling on the pattern you see for his ‘war paint’. I wanted to do something different to what I’ve seen elsewhere but keep it well within the realm of reality, so I found some great existing lizard markings which were similar and expanded on them to keep it functionally realistic for something this big…. I hope.

This painting started out as only a few gestural lines on paper, scratched down as I walked through the office on the way to do something else…The final image was already resolved in my head, and I knew I wanted to do it, but being time poor I didn’t want to lose it when I ran out of time and/or the next idea came stomping through and swept it away. It was almost like a post it note to do that thing, you know, right between doing the shopping and putting out the bins.

I’ve got another 3 paintings on the back burner, for those of you tired of seeing dinosaurs, at least one of them isn’t about large scaly extinct animals (it has an actual person and…uh…. angry clockwork monkeys!),  though I’ve committed to do another dinosaur pic before Xmas over here so it’ll be a little while yet before the blog sees something less dinosaurish!

Styracosaurus: Curse you scientists and your scientific accuracy!

My little shout out for some anatomy help in my last post was helpfully answered by Christopher, who pointed me at a very helpful paper by Michael J. Ryan, Robert Holmes and A. P. Russell on Styracosaur cranio facial anatomy. It even had pictures which always makes it just a little easier for artists.

So thanks to Chris’s link I was able to restructure my Styracosaur’s head quite a bit.

Getting things accurate is pretty important in this kind of work. The bread and butter of Palaeontolgists seems to be detail and accuracy, so they kind of like it when you get it right too!

Messed with values and anatomy elsewhere some more as well.

Too long without a Dinosaur

Ok, so this looks nothing like the chicken picture(or whatever the heck that thing was) that I said I was working on in that post below.
I decided to do a little side project with one of my favourite animals, Styracosaurus.
Previously king of the bizarre head gear, now ousted by such freaks as Diabloceratops and that emo fringe bearing Kosomoceratops. Someone had to give the old favourite some love.

So I thought I’d better give Styracosaurus some attention before returning to polar dinosaurs(oops, did I let that slip?). Ok, so it’s a bit of a cliche, the charging horned dinosaur, but I really do need to get it out of my system.

Work in progress. Working in the values. Colour to come later.

PS: if there are any passing palaeontologists let me know what you think of the anatomy!