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Palaeoart Style Test by nemo-ramjet Palaeoart Style Test by nemo-ramjet
I'm trying to cultivate and refine my own style of palaeoart, and put together a portfolio of such works.

Right now I'm experimenting with new pieces and compositions, this is a sample that I want to share with you. What do you think? How, do you think, can I improve this style of illustrating dinosaurs (and other palaeo-critters?)

- Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, it now looks like I'm going to change the BG a little, and apply color with more subtlety and detail...
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:icongrumpytyrantrum:
GrumpyTyrantrum Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Student
The Green/Red Marshosaurus looks just like a Druddigon. Druddigon: img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20…
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:iconcmndrk33n:
cmndrk33n Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
VERY fresh take. I am loving the palette.
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:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013  Student Artist
This red-headed is looks like the Ceratosaurus to me.:hmm:
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:icondiloporaptor:
Diloporaptor Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Dilophosaurus Plz?
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
Soon... :)
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:icondiloporaptor:
Diloporaptor Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
yay!
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:iconthearchosaurqueen:
TheArchosaurQueen Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What species of Theropod is this suppose to be? I want to say Proceratosaurus.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2011
These are Marshosaurus, based on Scott Hartman's skeletal reconstruction. The soft tissue wattles and neck-frills are speculative... You are right about the green fade-in...
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:iconthearchosaurqueen:
TheArchosaurQueen Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think the colors are awesome, but the fading green is unneeded :P.

By the way, what species of Theropods are these suppose to be? I want to say Proceratosaurus.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Like anyhows, I have a feeling that.....wait now, I think this looks nice, but I can't recognize this right now, whether it's a carnosaur or a megalosaur or anything else. Other paleo-critters too can be done like this, you're right. Take pterosaurs for example. Pycnofibers covered their bodies and are like fur, basically. You can put a mane on a pterosaur's neck and bulk up the neck, make it more rounded. As in dinos, well, raptors and extinct birds can get a similar treatment for their protofeathers. Manes of filaments and protofeathers are good......but I can only think of the pterosaur family for now.......but not everyone should get it! :) Like, a marine reptile wouldn't need this much soft tissue.....you can of course, straighten the neck profile of a theropod with more muscle and flesh......:)
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011
These are actually Marshoshaurus, referenced from Scott Hartman's skeletal drawing. I gave them slightly more muscular necks, a ridge of flesh above their backs, gular pouches, and in the case of the male, fleshy knobs and protrusions on the face.

I think that the crests and horns in many predatory dinosaurs were "shadowed in flesh" by their seemingly less-ornamented relatives. The case was the same in pterosaurs, just look at the soft tissue-crests on Pterodactylus.
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Precisely, and that even we humans would probably be rendered as strange, alien-looking beasts with no noses or ears or eyelids or even genitalia had our fossilized bones been discovered by an invading alien species around a few hundred million years later,.....looks like nothing was left uncovered in the dinosaur world as well.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011
Do you know of this running joke?
Q:
What is this? [link]

A:
Homo sapiens, as reconstructed by Greg Paul.

Q:
Then what about this? [link]

AT:
The same species, as reconstructed by Luis Rey.
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:iconm0ai:
M0AI Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Hah!:D
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011
I'm actually cackling like an idiot at that joke - I was thinking, watch Luis' either be GaGa or Bowie XD
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:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
With Paul's being anorexic and Rey's being highly ornate!
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:icongreensprite:
GreenSprite Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It looks great, and frankly, I'm all for both clashing colours and flat areas.
Problem is, this particular selection of colours makes me think of children's colouring books (happy happy green and pink, you know). The detailed lineart and lack of texture just encourages this. I agree with the people who said that the green should go, and that's my only critique. I'd pick something more muted, but you'll see!
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:iconthemorlock:
TheMorlock Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student General Artist
Looking good.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Thanks - I'll probably end up changing the BG, however...
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:iconamnioticoef:
AmnioticOef Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
I like the colors, but agree that the background should be changed.

Also I'm annoyed to be getting this instead of Snaiad, but if this is what you're most interested in then by all means continue.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Yes, it looks like the BG is going to go. I'll first do this series about prehistoric life, and then use the learnings I'll acquire with this effort to completely re-draw Snaiad in line-art style, fixing some scientific ambiguities and adding a truckload of new creatures. The problem with Snaiad is that it is not humanly possible to draw and correct everything I have in mind with the "saliva painting" technique...
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:iconamnioticoef:
AmnioticOef Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
I think you should use the existing saliva drawings somewhere at least. As part of an in-universe illustrated nature book perhaps?
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012
They can feature in a "making of" section...
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:iconamnioticoef:
AmnioticOef Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012
Ha--relegated to the making of.
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
To most people having an issue with the color of the animals - that seems to be the intention. It's looking at these animals through a new lens. Dinosaurs are such a major part of pop culture, it seems nemo took that simple idea and translated it through a Warholian lens .

C E R A T O S A U R U S I S T H E N E W M A R I L Y N
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
I'm not so sure if I want to go all Andy Warhol on palaeoart, but I want to strike some sort of balances, accurate representation without forced photorealism...
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Ah, okay. Though it would be quite a thing, Dino-pop art.
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:iconlabgnome:
labgnome Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
I will say I really like it, though I'd probably stick with either bright colors, like the one in the foreground or more "earthy" tones like the one behind. It makes it seem like the color choices were just random, or that the two dinosaurs don't really belong in the same picture.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
I'd disagree with you there - real-life animals have quite shocking differences between males and females: [link] This is what I wanted to highlight with this picture.

I will, however, possibly end up with a more detailed application of color...
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:iconlabgnome:
labgnome Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
Ok, I get that point, but maybe darken the male or lighten the female, so they look more like they are taken form the same pallet. It might also be helpful to have patches on the male of the female's coloring on some part of the male, like the underbelly.
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:iconamnioticoef:
AmnioticOef Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2011
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:icontwarda8:
Twarda8 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
I will be honest, since I think this is the best I can do.
I would say it is too contrasting, simple and... Hm. Plain? The lineart alone would look good. But with those colouring...
I know you tried stylize it, but this doesn't look good.
It gained that sort of feeling that 14 year old person coloured it with gradients and buckets.
Sometimes it is better to leave a picture without colouring...

The thing that is destroing the picture the most is the green background probably. I would do a white [something more neutral] background instead, and maybe add some square to make it a little bit more attracting [like this, [link] [link] , I'm affraid don't have better pictures with squares yet but I hope they are good enough to show my point. And exuse me for unintetional advertising, I provided those pictures as examples of the square method...].
As for colouring of the animals... Again, it has nothing interesting and colours are to... strong. Some shading would be nice. Or even the simplier brush strokes could add "balls" to the picture [sketchy colouring example: [link] Plus it can give you an idea to add some small texture for background. Not to overuse it, like I did it here, but kinda more delicate]

Well, those are my thoughts, advices and tips. You don't have to agree with the, who am I to be your guide? But I think that by sharing my thought with you I can be helpful.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Thanks for your critique - I think I'm going to stand behind my decision with the flat & bright colors, my point here was to see how "representational" I could get while still conveying an accurate form of the animals.

For years I've been knee-deep in realistic textures, color and shading and now, frankly, it bores me. I was inspired by minoan and etruscan art such as these [link] [link] Notice how striking simple colors can get when combined with the right lines and curves...

But I agree with you that the coloring looks a bit too crudely-applied, I'll layer it on with more subtle details in the future...
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:icontwarda8:
Twarda8 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Uh, oh, an artist that I'm watching just submitted a picture that reminded me your questions, I want share that too, I think it exacly describes what I wanted to tell you before, and even after read your reply I think it applies here even more: [link]

Do as you wish, and I hope you will get great effects :) I think you just need accustom [tame] yourself to this style, few more drawings and you will find what works the best.

Mhm. But those colours are in balance, nice composing with each other and surface on which the pictures were pained gives nice efect too. In one you can feel warm colours, in another one you get interesting colour contrast between orange-ish background and blue monkeys.
I understand what your aim is. I'm looking forward to see more pictures!
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:iconbeastisign:
beastisign Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Filmographer
lol
sup Twarda?
I highly agree with what you said.
His lineart is high quality in style, but the coloring here is terrible.
Like with his other works his coloring is awesome, but here its really bland.
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:icontwarda8:
Twarda8 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Indeed, indeed.
Btw, you could slighty touch my critique here ;]
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:iconbeastisign:
beastisign Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Filmographer
lol
I think your critique was fine.
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:icontwarda8:
Twarda8 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
"slighty touch":eyes:
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:iconbeastisign:
beastisign Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Student Filmographer
:iconsmirkplz:
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
What I like: the detail, the anatomical googlies
What I don't like: the colors. Too jarring. The red and blue on green makes it hard to see the shapes of the animals. I think just toning down the background would fix most of my problems.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Thanks Dan,
I actually like the jarring colors, but you are right about the background - I'll tone it down a few notches.
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:iconbensen-daniel:
bensen-daniel Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
I read more of your comments that you're going for yakusha-e, the woodblock prints of kabuki actors like these ones ([link]). You'll notice, though that details of texture are almost absent (lots of details of shape and designs on clothes, but no texture). I think it would be very cool if you chose to adopt this style.

Or just tone down the colors so they're more like this [link]
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Digital Artist
Well, I'm not loving the background gradient. Those darker greens at the bottom just do not sit well with the rest of the colors either.

The line work is good and I am a sucker for non shaded flats.
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Agreed on the BG - it's going to change...
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:iconmetalsnail:
MetalSnail Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like it, but I think the pink is a bit too intense and clashes badly with the other colours!
Maybe a less intense more neutral shade of pink would be less jarring.
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:iconfurrama:
Furrama Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011   Digital Artist
I love the pink, but it's clashing with the green background.

Red and green have this thing about being around eachother... color wheel fun.
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
Ah, so now I see why you were so enamored with my 'agamid-theropods' ! They're eerily similar actually , so I'd like to know what you were doing inside my head :D

The piece resembles pop art actually. And thinking about it, dinosaurs are such a MAJOR part of pop culture. We can't turn in one direction without seeing a reference to the past (especially when birds are everywhere). It's more like a speculative piece on "If Andy Warhol liked Dinosaurs"
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:iconnemo-ramjet:
nemo-ramjet Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Yesterday night I got a big-size, high quality print of this piece, it looks really fantastic on paper instead of a screen...
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
Wow ! That's got to be something spectacular.

Can't wait to see more.
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:iconbaurusuchus:
Baurusuchus Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011
This is everything Paleoart should be as we enter, what I perceive as, a new golden age of communication between the paleo community and the public.
I hate to say this because it's such a cliche, but the swift and cunning raptors of Jurassic Park fundamentally changed the way laymen viewed dinosauria. I completely predict that both the "feathered revolution" and the cyclical nature of pop culture (not to mention the apparent cultural acceptance [or even obsession] with regards to speculative fiction) will generate a similar effect.
Which brings me to this piece. I don't mean to ramble much longer, but for a lot of reason it really excites me. This is the image paleoart should be presenting. Artistic, stylish, alien. New. Skin draped over the dynamic skeletons of hot-blooded dino machines had its time and served its purpose. We need a new Rennaisance and this is it. Excellent, amazing work and I can't wait to see more. Note: I am not a paleontologist, biologist, or student of paleontology- my background is in writing and professional comedy actually- so my opinions are limited to what a lifetime of dinosaur obsession can endow.
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