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June 10, 2008
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Majungasaurus crenatissimus by nemo-ramjet Majungasaurus crenatissimus by nemo-ramjet
Based on Scott Hartman's skeletal at the following link: [link]

I really don't understand the push to be "realistic" in palaeoart, when you have the sketchiest of all clues on the nature, shape, form and color of your subject. Try to scroll through your head and imagine the details of the most striking animals today. The stripes of the zebra, the feathers of a peacock and the mane of a lion would possibly never fossilize, yet it is these features that are the most immediate us.

We've got to stop pretending; some parts and details of extinct animals, especially the most striking ones, will NEVER be known with any level of certainty.

It is not that I don't enjoy any good "realistic" reconstructions, in fact I think such artworks do an immeasurable service to science. But the role of palaeoart must also be to create a public liking and interest towards the subject. However, the push for "clarity" has turned the field into a hotbed of talentless artists, dishing out one identical piece after the other while copying each others' works (and mistakes) like a game of visual Chinese whispers. As a result, any mystery remaining in fossil animals gets extinguished in a torrent of banality. And we wonder, how and when did the study of extinct life turn into kids' stuff?

Here, then, is a picture of Majungasaurus that will probably never get obsolete, or published in a childrens' book.
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:iconspastictoad:
spastictoad Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Professional Filmographer
feels good man, highly emotive for a being without colour.
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:iconirkenarmada1:
Irkenarmada1 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The piece is minimalistic in a way, but the short arms and legs are telling. This is a Majungasaurus. I see what you mean. It will never be obsolete because it is rendered extremely well and in an innovative way, but this innovativeness is something that will not let it see the light of published work. I am a fan of your work, and it's very good. I enjoyed All Yesterdays, among other things.
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:iconagathaumas:
Agathaumas Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
It's just really inspiring
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012
Thanks!
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:iconkoeskull:
Koeskull Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I agree, I've been wanting to draw styalized prehistoric animals in a way most people don't see.. it's like you read my mind haha. (From the past..?)
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2011
:)
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:iconrosutu:
rosutu Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2010
Fascinating creature here.
Have you ever considered doing a series of things like this? It's rare that relatively accurate but impressionistic dinosaur art is created.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010
I really should, shouldn't I?
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:iconrosutu:
rosutu Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2010
Heck yes!
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:icongiant-blue-anteater:
Giant-Blue-Anteater Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2009  Student Digital Artist
I agree with you 100%.

We do not know for certain wether Tyrannosaurus had feathers on its arms quite yet, but is that to say that it lacked them? No! Same with the earliest dinosaurs, no immediate evidence for feathers was found yet, but then again, is that to say that they lacked feathers or at least some integuments entirely? Again, no! Animals like ceratosaurs may have been largely covered in osteoplasts, but does that rule out feathers in at least some form on their bodies? Lastly, no! At least, until further evidence is provided.

However, regarding the presevation of features like a lion's mane or a peacock's feathers, it really depends on how well the animal was preserved. If a lion was quickly buried in sediment, then vestiges of his mane may be visible when discovered by the terrestrial cephalopod sophonts a couple hundred million years in the future. But if he died before his bones were washed away much later, then such beautiful structures like his mane will not be preserved.

Regarding how people copy from one another until the result is a deranged platypus-crocodile, while I do sometimes look at reliable paleoartists' drawings for reference, I don't use them alone. I primarily look at skeletal reconstructions or the fossils for reference, as I am concerned about being as accurate as possible.

With that being said, you should try to maintain accuracy in your paleoart, but why can't we be out there at the same time?
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