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This daily weblog by James Gurney is for illustrators, comic artists, plein-air painters, sketchers, animators, art students, and writers.
By: James Gurney,
Blog: Gurney Journey
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Earlier this year, the National Wildlife Federation asked me to do a couple of paintings of Pteranodons for their magazine, Ranger Rick. The artwork appears in the current October issue.
Here are some preliminary sketches. The first painting they wanted was a double-page-spread title opener, with the giant pterosaurs skimming low over the edge of the surf, looking for fish. I started by studying photos and videos of albatrosses and pelicans, watching how they fly, land, and fish.
I did all these small thumbnail sketches in watercolor, water soluble colored pencils, and white gouache, about 1.5 x 2 inches each.
Here's another batch of sketches. I find it helps to consider the whole effect of the page from the very start, because eventually the art director and I will need to come to terms with headlines and type, and there's no point falling in love with a composition that won't serve its design purpose.
They're numbered from one to ten. Can you guess which one the art director picked?
Tomorrow I'll show you how I made the maquette.
------Ranger Rick October issue
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