Friday, March 06, 2009

The Einiosaurus Sequence

For all of you who've been to the new Art Evolved art show, my Einiosaurus growth sequence may already be familiar. Well in this humble post, I will delve into how such a drawing came to be. For the uninformed, here is the final product (it's actually not the final product, as I intend to significantly rework it):

Anyway, check that out. Things I want to do to it in the future: Put quotation marks around Brachyceratops and Monoclonius (don't know why I forgot that one!), give all the heads scales, eliminate the "grown-together" look of the epocciptals, and add rows of scutes going down the center of the parietal and the squamosal-parietal contact. Andrew Farke also suggested toning down the coalescence of the keratin on the face. He says the postorbital and nasal horns would have very separate origins, more like you see in traditional restorations. So that's a future project.

Anyway, the picture was always going to be a growth series, as I'd been reading a lot about centrosaurine ontogeny lately. The original plan was to have a big adult Einiosaurus defending a younger female and a baby animal against a marauding Daspletosaurus. But because I am who I am, I quickly found myself panicking against a looming March 1st deadline, so I scrapped the "scenic" approach and focused exclusively on the animal's noggins, which is where the biggest changes occurred anyway. I initially did inked sketches of all three animals...

Hideous little Brachyceratops there. I was initially forcing myself to get out of my habit of drawing animals in profile only. I could've reworked this little guy and keep the 3/4ths view, but I think the transition is more obvious in profile view. However, for my upcoming Ceratopsia project, I'm gonna have to get used to the 3/4ths view.

The Monoclonius was reworked from M. lowei to reflect differences in the nasal horn. In M. lowei, the horn is much smaller and recurved. It is, however, clearly a different animal than Centrosaurus apertus, which every other "Monoclonius" was reassigned to. Whatever M. lowei is, it must be a subadult of a "straight-back" frilled centrosaurine. Einiosaurus isn't a bad match, all things considered. I'm bothered by the recurved nasal horn, but, of course, centrosaurines go through more severe changes than that, and the postorbital horns of Triceratops went from stubs to recurved to straight to procurved duriung growth, to I guess anything's possible.

Aaaand here's the big bull's skull. This was the first piece of the puzzle, actually. Andrew Farke okayed it, suggesting only that I modify the shape of the pariatal-squamosal suture. He was also kind enough to send me a photo of an Einiosaurus squamosal so I could get a better idea of its shape.

And here is the first draft of the bull with skin on its face. It's much sketchier than the final draft, and the fleshy nostril is too far away from the nose. Andrew suggested I move it down and closer to the rostral bone to make it "more Wittmorian." Since this sketch was done more or less by tracing the skull (above), the parietal-squamosal contact is still incorrect.

And then you have the finished version (at the top), which was done by scanning all these pictures into Photoshop Elements and coloring them separately (copy base layer + multiply!) and then stitching them together in sequence. You'll notice I changed the Brachyceratops. I did that to make the sequence look smoother, so that all parts of the skull could be compared. I'm not actually done with the piece, either. Scott did a cool "scale" effect on his Pachyrhinosaurus that I'd like to implement here, and I'd like to put little scutes going down the center of the parietal and the parietal/squamosal contact. Finally, I need to tone down the intergration between the epoccipitals and between the nasal and postorbital horns. Aaaand maybe add some background color. And some explanatory text, including throwing some quotation marks around "Brachyceratops" and "Monoclonius."


Christopher Taylor said...

And some explanatory text, including throwing some quotation marks around "Brachyceratops" and "Monoclonius."

You know, technically that should possibly be "throwing some quotation marks around Monoclonius and Einiosaurus". Priority doesn't give a rat's whether a name was originally given to an adult or a juvenile.

Anonymous said...

Who is Wittmoor?

Dubhglas Henning said...

Actually, Monoclonius was described by Cope in 1876, Brachyceratops by Gilmore in 1914, and Einiosaurus comes in a distant third by Sampson in 1995.

Christopher Taylor said...

Yes, but the type species of Monoclonius is M. crassus, not M. lowei, so it's only competing for priority in this case if you regard Brachyceratops montanensis as congeneric with M. crassus.