Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Taking a Dust Bath

Sparrows do it. Donkeys do it. Elephants do it. And ostriches do it. It makes sense to me that a big feathered dinosaur like Yutyrannus would take a dust bath, too. 

I checked with a couple of paleontologists and they said that the 30 foot long tyrannosaur relative would more likely squat down with their belly to the dirt than roll over on their side.

In this short video of the process, I take you behind the scenes. (Link to Facebook video)

My sketches are in gouache, which gives a quick impression that I can show to the art director of Ranger Rick Magazine, where the illustrations appear in the March 2017 issue.

I make a new maquette because none of my existing dinosaur maquettes are in this pose. The head looks big because of camera distortion. 

The sculpt is made with a 2-part epoxy called Magic Sculpt over a core of Sculpey. I use aluminum wire for the armature. (Thanks, Clayton) Even though the maquette doesn't have a feathery surface, the big planes are clear, so I can light it and have a sense of light and shadow.


Linda Navroth said...

Why did you use Magic Sculpt over the Sculpy?

gyrusdentus said...

Do you scrub on the lighter values by scumbling pure white over a "rather dark underpainting " or do you scrub a Color that is adjusted for value and Intensity etc. so that the underpainting accounts for the relative lightness?
Nice work!

James Gurney said...

Linda, the main reason is that I didn't want to use up too much Magic Sculpt because it's more expensive than Sculpey. I also could have bulked it out with aluminum foil.

Gyrus, I think I used kind of a pale yellow mixture. Even still being a scrubbed light tone over a darker area, it looked cooler. Normally I try to mix a color to be right on the first statement, but scumbling and glazing can help fine tune it.

Jared Cullum said...

I love this one. Did you do a more in depth video for gumroad or was this one just a short shot. I'd love to hear more about the planning and process with the light. I have your other dino-tutorials and love them.

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