Saturday, February 18, 2012

Illustrating the Lost Continent

Here's a little teaser video I produced to show you how I make my dinosaur paintings.



(Link to video) A few weeks ago, Scientific American magazine asked me to paint two dinosaur scenes for an article called "Dinosaurs of the Lost Continent," about the amazing recent discoveries of paleontologist Scott Samson in southern Utah. The illustrations will appear in the next (March) issue of Scientific American.

I'll tell you more about the making of those paintings in future blog posts, but I want to let you know that I'm currently working on an hour-long video (DVD and download) to show the process in great detail. 
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29 comments:

Kyle said...

that was great to watch your process. thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

Yes, thank you for showing us how you paint and how you get to the result Mr Gurneycyclopedia.

Sean O said...

Wow! This is so great.

Michael Syrigos said...

Superb. I look forward to the video Mr Gurney.

Erik Bongers said...

Avian stunt ???
A very enjoyable video.
Particularly loved the pencil drawing of the predator attack painting.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, everybody. Erik, yes, my parakeet, Mr. Kooks is a highly trained studio assistant (you should see him punch paper). He prefers to be categorized as an "avian dinosaur" rather than a mere "bird," so I should really credit him as a dinosaur consultant.

Super Villain said...

magical! if you can get your hour long dvd up to this quality you will really have something. i was hooked from beginning to end with this video!

John Fleck said...

I watched this with my children this morning. We were all enthralled. Great job!

Lucas Puryear said...

Shared this with the Arlington Archosaur Site on Facebook.

Dan Gurney said...

Great video, Jim.

I've got a kid in my class whose ambition is to become an artist and several former students who have the same aspirations. They are familiar with your art because I share it with them. But this video will make it easier for them to imagine the working life of an artist. So I posted this video on my kindergarten blog.

Thanks!

James Gurney said...

Thanks Dan -- That's my brother Dan, who was my drawing companion when I was a kindergartner. His blog, Mr. Kindergarten shows how FUN kindergarten can be.

And thanks for putting the video on your blog. For anyone who wants to put the video on their blog, here's how you do it: Follow the "Video Link" to the video on my "GurneyJourney" YouTube channel. Under the video, press the "share" button and you can get the "embed" code. Just copy that code into your blog box and it will appear on your blog.

Super V: I've got a TON more footage, really fun and detailed stuff, including the blind alleys, wrong turns, and changes that occurred along the way. I've learned so much from all the comments about art-instruction videos on the post last month.

Marco Reggiani said...

Absolutely amazing and inspiring process! I 've just ordered your two books ( Color and Light & Imaginative Realism ) this morning, I can't wait to read and learn from them!

Michael said...

Awesome, thank you! Looking forward to the whole video!

Jennifer G. Oliver said...

Please tell me that this is a clip from a full length video/ documentary. The production values and editing is superb, and the voice over sounded like it came from a Julliard trained professional actor! Very entertaining, informative and inspiring. It made me want to break out the super sculpy and get to work!

karlsimon said...

must be great to have a nice view of trees out those big windows in your studio. Maybe one day Ill move back to the countryside again....

and interesting video too! =)

Noel D. Hill said...

It's great watching you work. I've loved your dinosaur illustrations since I was in the third grade. Thank you for sharing this. I can't wait to see the DVD.
-Noel

Janet Oliver said...

I can't believe how much you share, but am so happy that you do. It can't be as easy as you make it look.

Matthew Meyer said...

Your parakeet! So adorable! Mine does the same thing when I paint!

Thank you for sharing your process. This was very interesting and informative. I can't wait for the DVD!

daylily fan said...

James,

Thanks for sharing more of your creative process.

I'll look forward to the video.

I hope to see you on Thursday and Saturday. A couple of hours driving each way, but I'm sure it will be worth it.

My friend and I were able to see your paintings in the Foster Gallery at UW-Eau Claire a while back, so we are both anxious to see more and to attend your talks.

Jon Hrubesch said...

Wow! This is fantastic! I loved every minute. Thanks for putting so much work into this. It's really nice to see the master at work.

SVSART said...

Fantastic Job! If that's a preview of the future DVD project then it will be a hit..... I am awaiting the opportunity to order my copy the minute it's released!........Your "Dinosaur Consultant" is a bit of a scene stealer, you better watch him. Make sure he's locked in a contract now for the sequels, you wouldn't want him to try for a pay increase later on....That'll cost you a lot of bird seed.

Nick said...

James, thanks so much for this. It's always fascinating to watch someone else paint and I'm very, very excited about the DVD.

I loved seeing just how much more informed a drawing/painting can be from using maquettes as reference like that cast shadow of the ceratopsian's horn in it's face.

velocityofme said...

It was fun to watch and I can't wait to see more, but the music is really overwrought for the subject and becomes super grating.

Unknown said...

I am an amateur cartoonist referred to your site by a friend. Thanks so much for this video and everything else on your site! I am learning so much and am a total fan! Wow......

James Gurney said...

Unknown: Welcome to GurneyJourney. Glad you're finding it useful.

Velocity: I understand--in the final DVD the music will by way more low-key -- just a little into and couple of transitions.

Nick, I'm always surprised by the info about cast shadows that maquettes give you. The other vital piece of info is the terminator or break line from light to shadow. Both of those are hard for me to invent convincingly without a maquette.

SVS and Matthew-- actually my parakeet Mr. Kooks is really camera shy. I think it's because of the way the camera beeps. Whenever I bring it out he refuses to cooperate.

Daylily -- see you in Wisconsin! How are the snow sculptures faring?

KarlSimon -- those trees are getting kind of big and blocking the north light, so they're a mixed blessing.

J. Bustamante said...

This is incredible! I love when other artists share their process. Thanks!

Will Terry said...

Awesome process and video!

Humza Khan said...

great video! So great to see the process demonstrated you talked about in your imaginative realism books about using maquettes. The paintings look great too!

RobNonStop said...

My grandmother collected your books and showed them to me when I was very little, great to learn painting from you now.

Btw, have you heard that there are less dinosaurs now?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQa11RMCeSI