Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mick Ellison's Maquettes

After watching my new video "How I Paint Dinosaurs," paleoartist Mick Ellison sent me the following description of how he makes maquettes, and he was kind enough to permit me to share the information with you:

Reference maquettes by paleoartist Mick Ellison
"I make quick maquettes from paper by cutting up my sketches and filling them out with tape or newspaper... here's a quick pic of one I'm using for that Andrewsarchus illustration I'll be working on."
Reference maquette of Sinornithosaurus by Mick Ellison
"And here's the maquette I did of Sinornithosaurus using those rooster hackles I mentioned to you. You can get them online at fishing supply places like the Caddis Fly Shop, or if you ever find yourself down in the feather district along 38th Street [of New York City], I go to the Feather Place. I found that dipping the ends in Duco worked best for easy manipulation/placement and they set securely after several minutes."

"You can move along pretty quickly after you get the hang of it. I like this shot because it looks like the dinosaur is wearing feathered trousers!"
Mick Ellison's pencil drawing in progress
Mick wrote the following blurb about my video--thanks, Mick!
"How I Paint Dinosaurs is a fascinating, detailed look into the making of the masterful dinosaur creations of James Gurney. I loved following his creative process, from the initial ideas, through the scientifically informed and accurate paleo-reconstructions, to the final stunning artwork. I found this video to be extremely informative and creative, and I have to say that I was completely inspired to draw dinosaurs!"
 —Mick Ellison,
Sr. Principal Artist
Department of Paleontology
American Museum of Natural History

"How I Paint Dinosaurs" by James Gurney, digital download, 53 minutes, HD 720p. (Via Paypal)
or at Gumroad via credit card. How I Paint Dinosaurs
And thanks to Mark Frauenfelder, founder of BoingBoing for doing a post about the new video
Edit: For other maquette building techniques, wee also the previous post on Sea Monsters, and on Microraptor


Keith Parker said...

Cool post! Mick's pencil drawing looks great!

Kevin K said...

Love the ideas of making maquettes by you and Mick.
BTW, my copy of How I Paint Dinosaurs arrived yesterday and I jumped right into it. Excellent vid!

Bill Marshall said...

Interesting connection.
I am a fly fisher in Oregon, and the mention of the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, OR out of all the possible resources for such feathers on the net caught my attention.


Craig Wilson said...

I've considered making paper cut-out maquettes, but never got around to it. I'm delighted they work as well as I suspected they would.

James Gurney said...

Craig, for quick paper cutout maquettes, see also these previous posts:

Roger O'Reilly said...

The feather district of NYC??!!
Now I've heard it all!

Craig Wilson said...

James, I remember the microraptor from your book, which I thought was a lovely, simple, and elegant way to build a maquette of certain winged creature. I like the little foam streams for water on the sea monster and the tip to photograph it under natural light.