The December issue of ImagineFX magazine published the following review of my video "How I Paint Dinosaurs."
★★★★★ "The generosity so many leading fantasy artists show in sharing their techniques is one of the most gratifying rewards of being part of this great community. James Gurney is a shining example, using books, blog posts and YouTube to demonstrate his working methods, so the prospect of a long-form video from him is a welcome one.
"How I Paint Dinosaurs focuses on the technical side of his illustration work in favour of his Dinotopia franchise, as he films the making of two dinosaur paintings for the eminent magazine Scientific American. The brief demands that James's creative decisions, from the environment to the creatures' anatomy and poses, are consistent with the latest research, which is a worthwhile benchmark for anyone depicting the fantastic.
"The presentation takes its cues more from a TV documentary than conventional training videos, with high quality filming and editing. James presents his workflow for each piece, from creating thumbnails and building wire and clay maquettes, to building up the painting. Despite essentially going through the same workflow twice, he avoids repetition by lingering on different stages, so that the second run-through informs the first.
"You wouldn't expect a relatively brief presentation of an entire workflow to offer exceptional depth, and many of James's techniques will be familiar to anyone who's followed him online or in print. The real value of this video is the sense of inspiration you'll end up with, after seeing the meticulous lengths James takes to ensure his paintings have a rock-solid foundation of observation.
"How I Paint Dinosaurs is over too soon; you'll wish it was double the length. Given the price difference between the available formats, the $15 high-definition download is a bargain; the $32 DVD is a treat.
"Topics covered: dinosaur research, creating thumbnails, building a maquette, painting the maquette, line drawings, colour and texture. Length: 52 minutes. Rating ★★★★★" —ImagineFX