My Paleoart Year

Paleoart Gallery

2020’s been a weird one, but I have managed to create some paleoart. I don’t write much about my own work, so I thought it would be fun to round up what I’ve been up to in this post. Hope you enjoy!

First up is my newest one. I was very excited to see this one hit the web this week. It is the initial design in Studio 252mya’s Paleo Parks poster series. I chose to do the Kaiparowits Formation. This series, inspired by travel posters, seeks to immerse the viewer in an environment rather than to heavily feature a particular animal. I loved the idea of seeing a pair of Parasaurolophus cyrtocristatus through the mists of a swampy jungle in late Cretaceous Utah. It was a lot of fun to create. I’m really excited to see the collection grow!

Poster of Parasaurolophus in a steamy jungle swamp with the text: Explore the Mists of the Kaiparowits

Going back to the summer, I was inspired by my morning walk to created a scene in a crepuscular woodland. I chose a mother Therizinosaurus and her chicks as my animals, with a curious Adasaurus lurking in the background…

An illustration of a mother Therizinosaurus and her chicks walking through a dry forest creekbed while an Adasaurus watches in the distance.

This spring, I created this scene from the Horseshoe Canyon environment. The piece started with the idea for the foreground framing device, with Didelphodon and an enantornithe perched on a thick vine. I had never drawn Hypacrosaurus before, here designed with a color scheme strongly contrasting with the environment.

A Hypacrosaurus walks next to a stream while an enantornithe and didelphodon sit on a large vine in the foreground

The Invertefest social media event inspired me to finish up a long-gestating idea of using a ceratopsid head as the “landscape” for an insect piece. The scale might be a bit iffy, admittedly. I just say it’s not a full grown Triceratops. And it’s a pretty big ichneumonoid wasp. Yeah. That works.

An ichneumonoid wasp perches on the brow horn of a Triceratops

The Bromacker Paleoart Contest inspired me to do try some old tricks in new ways. I’m always into the idea of portraying insects and vertebrates in ways that flip the usual script. When looking at the research materials Joschua Knüppe so generously put together for contest participants, I was captured by the idea of little Tambachia and a large palaeodictyopterid encountering each other. I enjoyed doing a more overhead view, and playing with pattern and texture in this one.

Creekbed scene in Permian Germany featuring a blue Tambachia temnospondyl and palaeodictyopterid insect

A more recent piece was this simple one of a diving Quetzalcoatlus. This was all about playing with the shapes of an azhdarchid, and I loved the idea of seeing something like this happen. Like the Bromacker piece above, I also stretched out from my usual choice of perspective, setting this one high above the Cretaceous world.

An illustration of Quetzalcoatlus diving from high above the earth.

Thanks for indulging me! You can see more of my paleoart at DeviantArt and Artstation, and purchase art and other merch from Redbubble, Etsy, and Studio 252mya. And of course, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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  • Reply
    Z. Mustafa Ahmed
    December 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I really get Disney vibes from this art, and I love it .

    • Reply
      David Orr
      December 9, 2020 at 11:49 am

      I don’t think you’re totally off! I have spent time studying Eyvind Earle’s work over the last couple years and it’s definitely taught me a thing or two.

  • Reply
    Michael Traynor
    December 10, 2020 at 9:03 am

    I love the the Kaiparowits poster. It’s got a Douglas Henderson vibe that works in the stylized approach which I think is a really cool combo.

  • Reply
    Reuben Szwerb
    December 10, 2020 at 11:58 am

    I get more of a Charley Harper vibe, but obviously not so geometric.

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