Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Art Show in my Mind

Some of you may know that our friend Scott (Coherentlighthouse) recently put on a paleoart show in his hometown of Palmer, Alaska. The man puts on a good, rousing, educational show, and I found myself inspired by it. While I don't plan on going insane and sculpting some elaborate gatorboard biplane that nobody seems to appreciate,* nor are my photoshop skills yet to the task of masterminding an incredibly detailed, lifelike portrait of a Tyrannosaurus rex, I will try, God willing, to come up with my own art show, and perhaps use my ties to a specific coffee shop in downtown Anchorage to display it at. One can only hope, anyway.

*This is actually a tremendous shame, because Scott's gatorboard Microraptor gui is by all means a masterwork. It's awesome because it shows better than any 2D drawing could muster, exactly what it would mean for this dinobird to be a biplane. It's educational and something nobody's ever seen before...and yet his most popular piece--and I'm not kidding here--is his Andy Warhol-esque Tarbosaurus, something that he spent basically no time on at all. But if you ever find yourself driving toward Wasilla or Palmer, I urge you all to make a quick stop at the Vegabond Blues Cafe, or, if you don't want to sit without radio frequencies for an hour on the road, just go to and get smacked upside the head with photos of his awesome pieces.

Anyway, thusly inspired, I had to decide on a theme. Something people would remember. I didn't want to do dinosaurs people had seen before. No Stegosaurus or Triceratops. Heck, even Cryolophosaurus was too plain for me. I narrowed it down to three categories: 1) Wierd Dinosaurs; 2) Things That Aren't Really Dinosaurs (Dimetrodon, Pteranodon, Effigia); and 3) Speculative Evolution (what would dinosaurs look like if the meteor hadn't hit?). After much internal debate and some outside opinion-gathering, I decided on the first category. But now the tough part: deciding on the wierd dinosaurs that would populate my art show.

I wanted to do one representative of each major dinosaur group. You know, one carnosaur, one maniraptor, one sauropod, one ankylosaur, etc. What follows is a list of the candidates for each grouping, the reason they were nominated, and the winner (in bold). If anyone can think of other freaky dinosaurs in a category, please let me know in your comments.

Hadrosaurs (generally boring--not wierd)
Olorotitan (hatchet-shaped crest)
Ouranosaurus (okay, it's an iguanadont, so sue me, but it's got a sailback)
Tsintaosaurus (unicorn horn)
Parasaurolophus (tube crest)

Lower-Tier Ornithopods (and you thought hadrosaurs were boring)
Tenantosaurus (long-tailed quadropedal hypsilophodont)
Orcytodromeus (wins by default--it's a burrower)

Sauropods (most groups kept it conservative, but there were some freaks among them!)
Amargasaurus (double row of spines on the neck)
Augustinia (plates along the dorsal vertebrae)
Bonitasaura (may have had a beak)
Nigersaurus ("lawnmower" mouth)
Antetonitrus (primitive member of the group that retained mobile thumbs)
Brachytrachelopan (incredible short neck--looked like a stegosaur without plates)

Pachycephalosaurs (Differed only in the shapes of their domes, essentially)
Dracorex (a domeless dome-head)
Stygimoloch (big ol' spines surround the dome)
Tylocephale (incredibly tall dome)

Ceratopsians (awesome and diverse in skull detail)
Pachyrhinosaurus (a horned dinosaur that lacked any horns)
Pentaceratops (the largest skull of any terrestrial animal)
Einiosaurus (a forward-sloping nasal horn)
Albertoceratops (brand-spanking new primitive centrosaurine with brow horns)
"Octoceratops" (so far unnamed relative of Zuniceratops with eight horns)

Akylosaurs (so very hard to draw)
Sauropelta (big spines on the neck)
Minmi (plate embedded in the skin on both the back and belly)
Gastonia (generalized polacanthid, but it's known from a complete skeleton)
"Yingshanosaurus" (Chinese stegosaur with huge scapular spines)

Lower-Tier Theropods
Cryolophosaurus (seashell-textured crest)
Monolophosaurus (head-spanning nasal crest)
Carnotaurus (my favorite dinosaur--bull horns and barely-there arms)
Dilophosaurus (we've all seen him)

Shuuvia (tiny bird-like theropod with stumpy, one-clawed arms)
Oviraptor (beaked, crested, nesting theropod)
Nothronychus (I love therizinosaurs, and this guy might make it in anyway)
Microraptor (darn you, Elyard! I guess the sketch is already done)

Tell me what you think, dear readers, and wish me luck! Now comes the hard part: actually drawing the things!


CoherentLighthouse said...

I have raised the bar!

However, this is going to be really good. I'm looking forward to seeing what you produce!

BusaFan said...

Um... Luck!

Now put down the PS2 controller and put God of War 2 back in its case, you've got Dinosaurs to draw!

Luke said...

.... luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have no idea about 99.9% of those dinosaurs... and the .1 would be a 'oh yeah, that one' moment. So good luck. Looking forward to the final product