Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tyrannosaurs: Behind the Art


(Link to video) For the last couple of months I've been working hard on a secret project that I can now tell you about.


Yesterday Scientific American Magazine announced its May feature called "Rise of the Tyrannosaurs." The article was written by Stephen Brusatte, one of the paleontologists who discovered the long-snouted Qianzhousaurus, nicknamed "Pinocchio Rex," which I painted for the cover.


The article isn't about T. rex, but about its bizarre lesser-known cousins. Over 20 new kinds of tyrannosaurs have been discovered in the last 15 years. In some cases there were large and small tyrannosaur predators sharing the same environment. 


And they were all feathered. For the opening spread, I painted a scene of a large type of tyrannosaur, the Yutyrannus, threatening to steal a kill from a group of Dilong.  


While I developed the artwork, I thoroughly documented every stage of the process. I edited the 5.5 minute YouTube version for Scientific American to put on their website. 

The short version also doubles as a promotional trailer for the long version. The 40-minute video is now available as a download. More information at Gumroad (credit cards) or Sellfy (Paypal). 


This video has a different emphasis compared to "How I Paint Dinosaurs." I wanted to go more into the materials and methods of oil painting, and the use of plein-air studies for reference.



Order the 40-minute full-length version today from Gumroad (credit cards) or Sellfy (Paypal).
Check out the May issue of Scientific American, "Rise of the Tyrannosaurs"
See an hour-long lecture about tyrannosaurs on YouTube by Stephen Brusatte.

28 comments:

Daniel New said...

I can't wait to watch this, It looks incredible. Is this one going to be available as a DVD like the others??

James Gurney said...

Daniel, thanks. Yes, I'll be doing a DVD version, and it should be available in a few weeks.

Dustin Wilson said...

Purchased instantly.

Eric Millen said...

I've watched it two (and a half) times already and HIGHLY recommend it!

No one combines fantasy, art and nature like James Gurney!

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Eric and Dustin. You guys are the best.

Kessie said...

Oh boy, looking forward to watching this with my kids! You'd been awfully quiet about your painting lately--I figured you were working on something big. :-)

Diego García said...

This looks really interesting and judging by your previous videos it sure would be worth watching.

I have a question regarding the files itself.
There is discrepancy on the thecnical information between the Gumroad and sellfy product pages.On gumroad the file is bigger and it state 1080 p while in the sellfy page is smaller and is 720 p.
I've got a notification email form sellfy about the new video, that states HD 1080 p.My previous purchases from your videos were on Sellfy because the use of Paypal,but im confused about the different resolutions between the two sites.Thanks in advance for any input on this!

Sorry for the bad english.Not my native language.

Gavin said...

Looks great. Something to be proud of.

James Gurney said...

Diego, no problem with the English. I mastered the file in two different HD formats: 1080p and 720p, because I wasn't sure which one would fit under Sellfy's upload limit. I believe I ended up using the 720p one for Sellfy, which is just under 1G.

Kessie, yes, I had to keep totally quiet about the project until the magazine announced it.

Diego García said...

Thanks for the explanation James, that clarify the reason for the differences between the two sites.I look forward to watch the video!

Regards

Rich said...

Love it!...your movie's intro as well; what a suspense! Alfred Hitchcock like: How you ascend the staircase with your hand on the banister - the rail ending with that knob, which to me looks like some angered Dodo Bird. As extinct and brought back to life as your Dinos do.

If you weren't the accomplished painter your are, you'd as well may have become an equally excellent movie director;-)

James Gurney said...

Rich, wow, thanks. A lot of those shots were done with curving section dolly tracks, with the camera riding a Lego cart on PVC tubes, powered by a geared down Lego motor (automated, no camera operator). I'll do a tutorial sometime on how to make all that gear -- super cheap DIY, by the way. I just repurposed my sons' old Lego sets.

Tom Hart said...

Loved the teaser, and I can't wait for the DVD. (After getting your previous release on DVD, I'm convinced it's worth the wait and a few more dollars.) Will the dvd have any extras?

krystal said...

Looks Great Gurney!!! Loving it!

Jennifer Branch said...

Fascinating! I can't wait to see!
And the stair carving is gorgeous too.

Warren JB said...

A James Gurney-illustrated article about Tyrannosaurs and a 40-minute video about painting them? On my birthday too. That's... a bit spooky. But mainly, awesome.

Scott said...

Have you considered accepting bitcoin for payment? Credit cards will become "dinosaurs" soon! Bitcoin is perfect for online payments.

James Gurney said...

Tom, thanks for asking about the DVD. Yes, I'm working on that now, and it's going to have an additional feature (about 12 minutes) showing a sketch of a rooster from life. It will show the watercolor pencil technique pretty much in real time, with thoughts about the dinosaur/bird connection, and how much we can speculate when reconstructing a dinosaur from fossils.

Scott, that's new to me—I didn't even realize you could use bitcoin for payment. I'm not aware of whether the intermediary services allow that.

Thanks, JB, and happy birthday.

Jennifer, thanks! I carved the head of the railing from poplar wood. I love woodcarving, but don't get a chance to do it often enough.

Vladimir Venkov said...

I love it . Nicely presented and really helpful. The price is great as well. Thanks James.

Christoffer Gertz Bech said...

That Qianzhousaurus head is - in all the simplicity of its composition - one of the most beautiful dinosaur paintings I've seen for a long time. And I just love how you are able to hit a balance between intricate detail and loose paint handling that is just right. I guess that's one of the things that contributes to the feeling that these are real, living creatures.

Jenna Berry said...
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Jenna Berry said...
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Ник said...

James, which paper/canvas/illustration board do you prefer to use?

James Gurney said...

Wow, thanks so much, CGB.

HNK, I'm using a heavyweight illustration board by a company called Columbia, which doesn't exist any more. It is 100% rag, very nice stuff. Wish I had a lot more of it, but my supply is running out.

Thank you, Vladimir!

Ник said...

Did you use cold pressed?I guess you should try strathmore board - really nice! Your video is fantastic btw

James Gurney said...

Thank so much, HNK. I used smooth illustration board, just because I ran out of the medium, which I like best. The smooth does take the pencil better in the headshot. It also came in rough, and you can see some of the paintings in the Dinotopia books were done on that rough canvas like texture.

Ник said...
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Ник said...

The tips from your video are very needed! It was really informative.