Friday, March 26, 2021

Painting the "Reaper of Death"

This dinosaur is called Thanatotheristes, which means “reaper of death.” 

Before launching into the finished painting I try out various background treatments on a small preliminary sketch—the sketch in the upper left of the array of four color sketches below. 

The sketch lets me try out color combinations before launching into the finished painting. 

By the time I’m ready to start the final, I feel more confident about my color choices.

Here's the page in the next issue of Ranger Rick. I left that arbitrary dark shape for a background to the type.


And here's a new video that takes you behind the scenes. Link to YouTube video.

GUMROAD VIDEOS about dinosaur art: 




GurneyJourney Blog:​ 
JamesGurney Website:​ 

THANKS TO: Ranger Rick: John Gallagher, Kathy Kranking, Susan McElhinney 
Paleo consultant: Stephen L. Brusatte Music by Kevin MacLeod, 

Additional Sculpts by David Krentz  and Mike Trcic 
More info about Ranger Rick magazine at their website


nuum said...

We are very lucky to live in the same moment that Gurney lives.
He is a treasure.
Thanks for so many beautiful moments, Master.

Bevan said...

Wow, this is amazing stuff. I hope Ranger Rick shares a link to your video showing how you did what you did for these paintings.
My Grandma used to do illustrations for them years ago, she always loved getting out in the woods and finding animals for reference sketches and then getting home to paint them. You don't have that luxury with dinosaurs so I love seeing how you have overcome that dilemma.

André Mata said...

Always inspiring, instructive and wonderful to watch!
Thank you!

Newt said...

I don't believe I've seen you using acrylic underpaintings beneath your oils before; is this is a new technique for you?

Of all the art principles I've learned from you, your never-ending willingness to try new things may be the most important.