Yutyrannus, Metyrannus, We all Tyrannus….

Since the description of everyone’s new favourite tyrannosaur Yutyrannus, there’s been an absolute glut of depictions by anyone who can hold a pencil in the paleo illustration community.

And why not? A 6 meter long tyrannosaur with fluffy feathers! It’s weird and cool and just ever so disturbing in equal measure, a bit like like Yo Gabba Gabba.


Not wanting to join in the frenzy I thought I’d take another tack and take a serious and in depth look at what this discovery means for anatomists, palaeontographical illustrators and nerds who like to draw dinosaurs..


2011: Year of the Prehistoric Kitteh

With 2011 behind us, and in the tradition of self absorbed internet navel gazing, I thought I’d pass on how this little blog is doing.

Thumbs up From king Iguanodon!

Optimistic Painter started back in 2009 with the ‘optimistic’ aspiration that it would help me get my painting trousers on and get brush wiggling, since then it’s grown beyond any expectation, with 18000 people going through the turnstiles this year!

Why oh why did they come? Well, it’d be a mystery to me too but WordPress give some nice stats that might help! To start, top searches for 2011 were for, I kid you not, “Creepy Forests”!

A little project I did for Stefan Le Mottee as a background in a short film. The other top search was quite unexpected, especially as I can’t even type it without checking the spelling. It was Quetzalcoatlus, with the ‘Big bird Goes Postal’ illustration proving pretty popular.

Of course these may have been the top searches for 2011, but they were far from the post with the most hits. Back in June Dave Orr of Love in the time of Chasmosaurus and I were discussing Dinosaur TV Tropes with the possibility of doing some posts together. Just for fun I haphazardly collaged together a little gag cartoon. Dave ordered me to immediately post it in my blog for the betterment of all humankind… or er, mostly frustrated scientists and paleo-nerds.

A minor…er, very minor, internet meme was born! Kitteh garnered  more hits in a single day that OPB usually got in a month! Since then the adventures of Kitteh have continued to be popular so I’ve kept chopping up bits of photos haphazardly to make new ones, who am I to argue with the public!

2011 continued the paleo themed illustrations with the above mentioned Quetzalcoatlus and a painting I wanted to make ever since I’d done the ‘official’ scavenging Tarbosaur back in 2010 for Dave Hone.

2011 was also the year of my clients being kind and allowing me to post about some of the other projects I’ve been involved in. So thanks to all for putting up with me asking “Is it ok if I blog this?”

I’d better wrap this up. 2012 is already shaping up to be interesting, with at least two ‘official’ paleo illustrations slated thanks to Dave Hone (watch out for ‘cute fuzzy death from above’!) and more freelance work and non paleo illustration on the way.

So thanks for watching, you’ve kept me painting! And have a great new year!


Kitteh: A Predator Meets His Match!

Here’s the latest Kitteh. I’m finally getting down to the nitty gritty of predator/prey tussles, so many tropes…

For best effect please imagine the narration is read by Kenneth Branagh.(make sure he gets especially tremulous on the last bit)