Two days ago, I showed you the finished painting of a Tylosaurus, and today I want you to see the preliminary sketches. The editors of Ranger Rick magazine suggested a few ideas, which I drew up in water-soluble colored pencils.
At left is the first idea for a breaching Tylosaurus, obviously based on a humpback photo.
Another sketch at top center arranges the scene with the Tylo’s flipper on the left.
The assignment included scenarios for other illustrations, including a Kronosaurus and an Elasmosaurus. After researching online and in books and videos, I came up with lots of sketches, each one about the size of a business card.
Once the editors had narrowed down the images to the final three ideas, I tried additional sketch variations to see if I could improve the color and design. These are painted in oil, about 4 x 5 each.
For example, which is better? The front-lit Tylo with blue water, or the backlit version with the warm tonality? The final painting incorporates aspects of both.
Ranger Rick magazine's current October issue has the final illustration
See the finished painting in Sea Monster, Part 1