The April issue of Scientific American magazine includes a feature on Pelagornis, the largest known flying bird with a 21 foot wingspan. You can see the artwork being created in this free six-minute video. (Link to YouTube)
In the sketches, I focus on the bird taking flight, since flight dynamics is the emphasis of the authors of the scientific study. These birds were specialized for soaring flight, not flapping. Taking off would be a big moment. Design director Michael Mrak likes the basic design of #1, with the warm color scheme of the one in the lower right.
I make the "2D to 3D" maquette out of paper, armature wire, and two-part epoxy sculpting compound called Magic Sculpt. It's stronger than Sculpey, and doesn't need to go in the oven. The YouTube video shows the construction method.
The final art is oil on illustration board, about 12 x 18 inches. It appears in the April, 2016 issue of Scientific American magazine.
Read more about 2D to 3D maquettes on a previous post.
Materials: Magic Sculpt epoxy clay, Tacky glue, armature wire, Acryla Gouache