Saturday, October 9, 2021

Arthur Denison and the Sunstone

Arthur Denison powers up a strutter with a sunstone. On Instagram, Bo Thornchester (iheartboeboe) asks: "Was Arthur's design based on a real-life person?"

Arthur is not based on a single person, but he's got a little of my dad in him, and a bit from early explorers that I've read about, such as Sven Hedin and Heinrich Harrar. But it's hard to hold those diverse people in mind, so to define the specific character, I sculpted his head as a small maquette.

From Dinotopia: The World Beneath.



Pierre Fontaine said...

I was always curious but the second Dinotopia book features paintings that appear to be done in a faster, somewhat looser style (such as this Arthur Denison painting), with more washes and less opaque covering. Was this done to expedite the publication of a second book when the first book became such an overwhelming success. The illustrations in the second book don't loose any of their power or creativity, just that many (not all) feature this rendering technique.

Just curious!

James Gurney said...

Pierre, yes, by necessity for all the Dinotopia books I developed a quicker technique for some of the illustrations; otherwise I'd still be working on the first book. Also, aesthetically I wanted to mix finished, complex paintings for rougher ones to convey the feeling of an explorer's setchbook.