I have been working on my portfolio and studying anatomy on my own to strengthen my understanding of the living machine that is our body. Well, I got bored, and started studying dinosaurs, because lets face it, dinosaurs are way cooler than people.
I started my study of Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus finding many similarities in my favorite crocodile, the critically endangered Orinoco. This is also where things got tricky as my references did not line up. The first skulls I worked from were more dinosaurian, and the museum articulated specimen in Japan has a much narrower skull with the eye orbit on top. I was worried this skull was more like Baryonyx that had a very narrow lower jaw, but no sail on its back. You will notice my rendering is not quite accurate, the eye should be on top like a crocodile. I am looking to redo the render on colored paper with colored pencil, but wanted to reveal some of my drawings from my studies.
Remember that the best reference you could ever use is from life. Looking at a person or specimen is the only way to make true observations. Understandably, this is extremely hard when you have a subject that has been extinct for 65 million years! For these, we need to view articulated skeletons that you can find at museums while having a good understanding of muscles and feature placement to render properly. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has recently opened their new dinosaur hall and I look forward to spending long days drawing there; I hope I can talk to some resident paleontologists as well.
It is important that paleontologists continue to team up with artists to recreate dinosaurs or they will be lost forever. Future generations depend on us to feed their imaginations with big scary believable monsters!