Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mega Rodent, Part 2

When Ranger Rick magazine asked me to paint a portrait of the giant extinct rodent for the current October issue, I started with this preliminary sketch in colored pencils. It looks a lot like the largest living rodent, the capybara.

I explored the forms of the full-bodied creature in this maquette, about five inches long. The warthog-like mane was made from the hairs of a red sable brush cut up and glued down with five minute epoxy. I guessed that a creature of that size in a warm climate wouldn’t need much body fur to keep it warm.

In the final oil painting (yesterday’s post), I used a low point of view to make the creature look bigger, and a shallow depth of field to give the appearance of a wildlife photo. The blurring effect was done with a white nylon flat brush over wet oil paint.



Beck said...

Do you get a credit in these magazines?

I've been looking in the Ranger Rick Magazines and haven't seen any credits for you. I want to show my kids and say "hey, I read his blog!"

PJ McQuade said...

Love the use of the bird for scale.

James Gurney said...

Beck, I think it has a credit under the writer's byline. Say hi to your kids for me.

jeffkunze said...

Great work James!

I can't believe nobody made any R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size) jokes?!
I think I'll watch the Princess Bride.