Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Sylvia and Bix

Sylvia and Bix, the Protoceratops, transparent oil wash over pencil drawing on illustration board, from Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time.


Luca said...

I love how you managed to give the dinosaurs of Dinotopia an expressive face without being too cartoony. One thing that differentiates us as Mammals and Reptiles is that they are almost expressionless and i think we do find that upsetting: it's so hardwired in our mammal brain that, even before doing that, i know yet what reaction kids in my class will have when i'll show them a picture of a little bear or dog or cat and a little crocodile or snake. First ones are always "wooooow!how cute!" and second ones causes an attack of mass panic. :D It's a very primitive instinct, i love that no matter how technological and culturally evoluted we think we are, we still are mammals under the skin. What i find curious is that little birds - that basically are dinosaurs - don't cause a fear or disgust reaction, it seems limited to reptiles, maybe because of the venom of snake or danger of crocodiles or simply because so emontionless. Well, sorry for going a bit out of thread!

Talking about pencils and other traditional techniques: have you got a suggestion about printing pencil works? I know it's a very common question but so far the only solution i tried it has been to dark the pencils in photoshop or directly use very dark pencils (a thing i don't like, they are difficult to control to me, i prefer light pencils and retouch it digitally). For a commission i should realize a bit of pencil drawings and i'm happy with that, but since it has to be printed i'm a bit unsure. Thanks in advance!

Peeved said...

Hi, after signing in this morning and doing my usual catchup on your posts, I saw this delightful almost human faced creature created using oil wash over a pencil drawing and was curious. Your surface is illustration board.

I was wondering if you treat the board in some way or just paint straight onto the illustration board? Is there something you use to ensure the illustration board does not deteriorate over time?

James Gurney said...

Peeved, Prior to painting, I seal the surface with Krylon workable fixative and a thin layer of acrylic matte medium.

Luca, I like the gray-black of graphite pencils, which I think reproduces nicely. I agree with you that humanizing dinosaurs too much makes them a bit unbelievable, so that's why I made the parrot-billed ceratopsian the ones who could say human words, and I left the rest to communicate in other ways.