What's Wrong With Deinonychus?

Hi again everyone, I'm here to tease an upcoming post in my (apparently) ongoing series of trying to shed light on potential anatomical errors that many paleoartists, including myself, have trouble trying to address.

First up let me apologize to Nobu Tamura! I'm sorry I keep using your pictures in these examples (last time it was Hesperornis). But, as an excellent and highly prolific artist, odds are that if I need to find an otherwise perfectly accurate picture that happens to illustrate one obscure feature that I just now realized was inaccurate, you'll probably have one ready for me ;)

So, with that said, above is NT's awesome illustration of a Deinonyhcus antirrhopus flock feeding on carrion. In a day or so I'll have a new post discussing something that shows an aspect of this illustration to be inaccurate. Any guesses?

--Matt Martyniuk

Dinosaur Battle Town

Dinosaur Battle Town from Eddie West on Vimeo.

This amazing little piece of animation by Eddie West was discovered on io9.  They appropriately called it Medieval Dinoriders...


VOTE: As an administer, I am fascinated that there is currently a four-way tie for september's gallery (on right)!  Turtles, armoured fish, aetosaurs, and glyptodons are all tied with 9 votes each.  BE THE DECIDING FACTOR and WRITE HISTORY!!!

"The Land Before Time" Production Artwork

Hello, All! I figured this would be of interest to the community:

Over at the Living Lines Library, a number of production drawings and animation cels from Don Bluth's The Land Before Time (1988) were recently posted. Click the links below to check them out!

The Land Before Time (1988) - Production Drawings
The Land Before Time (1988) - Production Cels

And while you're there, don't be afraid to explore the rest of the blog. The site has a rich collection of pencil tests, story boards, concept art, and other artwork from a number of animated films. Good stuff!

One Day Son

Southmere Lake, London

New badges (or 'pins' for you Americans) are now available from the store here, featuring images from my last show.

I have also put up the Concrete Ocean show catalogue on the site too - 55 pages of pretty pictures, printed on finest dead tree. Click here to check it out.

And if that wasn't enough stuff to spend your money on in these hard times, Don't Panic have a Slinkachu poster available from their online store, featuring art from the show - I was their featured poster artist in April. You can purchase here.

September Poll is up!

On our right sidebar you'll find our potential themes to vote on.

Which will you pick? (You can pick more than one at a time, by the way)

There is a theme, but we admins think it is more fun in this case to make you figure it out ;)

Upcoming Gallery

So this alert is a bit overdue (I have a good excuse... I was kind of getting married).

In case you missed the results of our last poll the Carboniferous won. Meaning...

This July 1st, anything and everything from the Carboniferous period is fair game for its own work of art!

If you're new to the site, we accept any and all artwork submitted that is themed around any of our gallery topics. Just send your submission(s), along with any accompanying text you'd like with them, and the link to your website/blog/online picture gallery to our email artevolved@gmail.com, and we'll post them!

Evolved Encounter: Craig and Peter

Another installment of the new Encounters feature here on ART Evolved. Bringing you the run ins of our very international crew. With artists spread around the globe - from Alaska to Australia, Italy to Brazil - these sorts of encounters should be rare, yet we challenge all you palaeo-artists (AE members and followers alike) if you should encounter another AE regular be sure to record evidence and send it our way (artevolved@gmail.com).

This week's installment (okay honestly these are not likely to be a weekly event :P ) comes to you (again) from Canada. However unlike our first encounter on the eastern side of the country this one is from the west coast (that is a freaking huge distance... 3/4 the width of the 2nd largest country on Earth!) in British Columbia.

This encounter took place a mere week ago on May. 10th 2010 at the Sunshine Coast of BC between ART Evolved cofounders Craig Dylke and Peter Bond. As you might be able to tell from the suits it wasn't a standard random encounter.

No Peter was there to help Craig out doing a fairly big job...

As Best Human at Craig's wedding (note how Bond skillfully holds our Flora of Honour... a proxy for the Maid of Honour who sadly couldn't make it).

Yeah so this is not a low key typical encounter of ART Evolved people, but we still want to know about and see when members of our community (whether proper blog members or just readers/followers of the site) run into one another. Even if you live in the same city or stumble into one another at a far flung conference, please record it and share it with the rest of the community. We might even have to start keeping score (in that case Peter is currently winning at moment... for the moment :P)


Jeffrey Catherine Jones struggledwith battles that other painters never had to face.  His fragile nervous system supported his great talent the way-- in the words of Bob Dylan-- a mattress balances on a bottle of wine.

As a boy, I loved the beauty and elegance of Jones' work but I didn't understand the true scope of his achievement. It was only after I made contact with him later in life that I began to appreciate the demands that his personal chemistry placed on his courage.

In what should have been his most productive years, Jones was stalked by the Great Sadness.  His goals became more complex:
The goal was to somehow survive until morning while working my way ever upwards toward the coming morning light and the safety of the surface. I moved steadily, avoiding as much as possible, the swaying, reaching dead and the slabs of torn bologna spinning through the air.

Jones responded to his challenges with great valor.  In his life, he created some glorious work at great personal cost and left a wonderful legacy for the rest of us.

Back to building a 3D dinosaur - research

Our subject in the Field Museum, Chicago.

After a brief hiatus I've managed to post the latest in my occasional series on building a 3D dinosaur over at  Paleo Illustrata. This post outlines the research involved before preparing to model a Triceratops in 3D; some of this will be old hat to may of you but hopefully it will provide pointers to anyone wanting to have a go at creating ancient life reconstructions on the computer. This subject is already being covered by some fine artists and inspiration can be gained by swinging by Angie Rodrigues' brilliant blog where she's modelling an Olorotitan which is setting the standard (gulp!) by which all other 3D modellers might be judged, and also have a gander at thoracosaurus.blogspot.com where Evan Boucher created an animated Thoracosaurus neocesariensis for his masters thesis and is a accomplished piece of reconstruction complete with the methodology.

What differentiates all of these blogs is that there are as many ways of constructing a workflow, methodology and artistic experience and creativity to create 3D reconstructions as there are artists, so hopefully I will be adding to rather than reproducing the work of other workers. As ever, comments very welcome!


I like the combination of power and sensitivity in this lovely drawing by Kent Williams.

His composition is fearless; look at how boldly he plants that figure in the center of the page, perfectly balanced as if by a Zen master.  No need to hedge his bets with wispy lines implying a background.  His primeval "L" shape is a design so basic and timeless it might as well have been etched into a cave wall.

Yet, the strength of his design doesn't undermine the subtlety of his drawing.

Williams' shading starts our eyes at the model's face, but the shading is soon softened by gouache as we travel down her body.  The shading disappears altogether where her sparsely drawn toes form a  peninsula with his signature.

Williams' sensitive line displays the kind of clarity that only comes with genuine knowledge of the human form.

Artists have been drawing the human form since the world was new.  There is certainly nothing shockingly original about this basic pose.  Isn't it marvelous, then, that variations such as this one  continue to delight, inspire and educate us?

Evolved Encounter: Glendon and Peter

I introduce a new (and fairly indulgent) feature here on ART Evolved - Evolved Encounters: photographic evidence of the rare and elusive meetings between ART Evolved members.  In an effort to promote community and, you know, have a bit of a laugh, Evolved Encounters showcases pictures of when members meet each other.  With artists spread around the globe - from Alaska to Australia, Italy to Brazil - these sorts of encounters will be rare!

Glendon Mellow meets Peter Bond outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.
February 2011

POP ART: He-Man riding a Triceratops

By the power of Grayskull, io9 has shown us what real awesome is!  "Masters of the Universe toy art will make a He-Man out of you" gives us 80's toy art showing He-Man on a triceratops, Skeletor on a tyrannosaur, and King Randor on a pterosaur!

Do you remember this from the show?!?

ART Submitted: Sameer's Tyrannosaur

Tyrannosaur by Sameer


Is there such a thing as background?  Or is everything really foreground?

Illustrator Robert Heindel once said about his hero Bernie Fuchs, "Look at the things he does.  Who else would paint a tree with the sun behind it?  I would never attempt it."

But a painting of a tree with the sun behind it is also a painting of the sun with a tree in front of it.  Your eye has no choice but to start with either tree or sun, but truth shimmers back and forth between them.

Winslow Homer understood this well: that the distinction between tree and sun, and between foreground and background, and between me and you, is obliterated in the fullness of time:


In September 1940 Hitler began his blitz campaign of dropping incendiary bombs on the major population centers of Britain, hoping to burn the civilians into submission. Night after night for months, London was set aflame. After a particularly vicious bombing run on December 29, Winston Churchill ruefully cabled Franklin Roosevelt, "They burned a large part of the city of London last night."        

Citizens risked their lives to form auxiliary fire brigades in an effort to douse the flames and save as many homes, factories and lives as possible.  A number of the firemen caught in the inferno felt compelled to record their trauma in art.

The painting above is by a fireman whose comrades were rushing with sand buckets to put out an incendiary. The painting below is by fireman / artist Leonard Rosoman who witnessed two firemen buried under a collapsing wall of red hot brick.  One of the two firemen had just relieved Rosoman who had been holding that hose moments before.

These painters had little equipment or resources. Firefighter W. Matvyn Wright painted the following image on the only surface available, a ping pong table top:

These artists clung to art through their desperate ordeal.  Threatened with imminent invasion by the Nazis, watching their precious national heritage turn to ash, art helped them to cope.  For them, art was no cultural luxury.  It was serious business.

Another person who is reputed to understand the seriousness of art is private equity fund manager Stephen Schwarzman, one of Wall street's 25 Most "Serious" Art Collectors.  Schwarzman, a multi-bilionaire with five mansions worth a combined $125 million,  recently spent $3 million on his own birthday party.  He had beautiful models parading around dressed as James Bond girls, and paid singer Rod Stewart to serenade him.

A substantial percentage of Schwarzman's immense wealth came from lobbying for favorable laws and special tax treatment. For example, Schwarzman fought the Sarbanes Oxley laws against corporate misconduct and backed special tax benefits for profits from private equity funds.   Recently, when President Obama questioned whether a person worth $8 billion should continue to have a lower tax rate than the chauffer who drives him around, an outraged Schwarzman complained, "It’s a war, like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”

So both Schwarzman and the firefighters of the London blitz share a common perspective: they both know the horrors of war with Hitler, and they both seek to find solace through art.   
But what else do these two experiences of art have in common?  
I like the paintings by the London firefighters-- they are powerful and sincere and I think that some of them (such as that first painting) are quite good. However, it is highly likely that Schwarzman, who majored in "Intensive Culture" at Yale, has more refined taste than the humble firefighters.  I'm guessing his pictures by Rembrandt and Picasso qualify as superior to the paintings by firemen in the war. After all, a picture should not be downgraded for the loathsomeness of the creature who owns it.

If the firefighters' paintings are more meaningful and urgent and relevant to daily life than Schwarzman's prestigious collection, those qualities are worth taking into consideration. That still doesn't make the firefighters better artists but it reminds us that there is more than one yardstick for measuring art.

The Best and Worst Dressed Dinosaurs

The wondrous io9 has published a definitive list of the best and worst dressed dinosaurs in pop-cultureClick here to see the full article, with images! 

My personal favorite best dressed dinosaur is:
Rex Ready form Penny Arcade
A Tuxedo is always classy!

One honorable mention who didn't make it onto this list goes out to our own friend Traumador the Tyrannosaur!  That sure is one nice red shirt he's got on.
photo credit: Craig Dylke

Input on a Gorgosaurus please!

Hit another point on my Gorgosaurus where input would be lovely. Scientific and/or artistic feedback are both welcome, positive and/or negative. More views of the best available on Weapon of Mass Imagination.

Sugar High

Kings Cross, London

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