Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sketching Chickens / Imagining Dinosaurs

Here's a new video about sketching chickens.

The DVD version has the 40-minute production about the making of the paintings I did for Scientific American. But it also has a slide show and a special 13-minute bonus feature, where I pose the question: "What can we learn about dinosaurs by sketching a chicken?" The abbreviated YouTube video above gives you a sample of that feature. (Link to YouTube)

The full 13-minute chicken feature on the DVD also considers:

• Differences between chickens and theropods
• Feathers on dinosaurs in Dinotopia
• Function of feathers in chickens
• What's the purpose of the comb and wattles?
• More chicken sketches
• Feather groupings on a bird's body
• Can we make a dinosaur from chicken DNA? Should we?
• How are bird tails different in ground-loving birds?

The list price of the 53-minute DVD (NTSC, Region 1) is just $24.50. You can preorder it on Amazon, where it officially releases on June 22. But for the next two weeks only, GurneyJourney readers can order the DVD direct from the manufacturer at Kunaki for a 10% discount sale price of $22.00.


Ник said...

Amazing! I bought the download of the Tyrannosaur video and it was really spectacular! About the video downloads: your gouache video will air very soon, and I saw some posts in 2014 where you mentioned some casein paintings that you captured that time, and I have a question: will the casein video be soon? Thank you.

Laura G. Young said...

What can we learn about dinosaurs from sketching chickens? That you have to be patient because they move around a LOT and tend to peck and scratch at your pencil bag. (But I'm guessing the video has even more in-depth insights into avian/dinosaurian depiction.) ;)

Warren JB said...

A region 1 dvd player, a region 1 dvd player. My kingdom for a region 1 dvd player...

K_tigress said...

What a coincidence. Actually some scientists have been experimenting on chicken eggs. What they would to is buy a carton of eggs from the store. Somehow they would make a flap on top of the egg/eggs and fertilize a few. They then waited till there was a small chick fetus and would start to insert things on various places. I can't tell you what it was but some how it would activate switched off genes such as teeth, scale and feather genes. So the end result would be that some chicks would end up with teeth in their beaks, scales and feathers not normally in places on modern birds. Really fascinating stuff.

Lucy Whitehead said...

Will the Tyrannosaur DVD be available to buy in the UK soon too? I couldn't find it on the UK Amazon site. Thanks!

James Gurney said...

Lucy and Warren, yes, you can order the DVD in the UK directly from the manufacturer (Kunaki). Here's the URL:
The DVD is mastered on iDVD, so it will work in any player that is set up for Region 1 encoded NTSC disks, but I've heard it also plays in pretty much any Mac.

K Tigress, yes, thanks for mentioning that. On the full chicken segment I talk a bit about Jack Horner's proposal to use chicken DNA to make a saurian. Several labs are working on it, with limited success so far. Of course it's a bit unsettling in its implications.

Laura, I suppose real dinosaurs would peck and scratch at our art stuff even more. And yes, in the full video I do go more into the answers to the rhetorical question I posed at the outset.

HNK: Casein is next in line after gouache, and I know that casein is hard to find outside of the US, but really most of the painting tips in one video applies to any opaque water-based medium.

Lucy Whitehead said...

Brilliant, thanks!