Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Synapsid Sunrise

Synapsid Sunrise

I've finally finished my piece for the Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs "All Yesterdays" contest. It's called Synapsid Sunrise and is pencil, watercolor, and ink on 9" x 12" watercolor paper. The above scan is not altered digitally - the only further change I'll be making is removing any darker areas showing up in the white space around the painting. You can view it in larger sizes for more detail here.

My accompanying caption for this piece reads: "To best enhance their spectacularly colorful courtship display, Dimetrodon gather in intense early morning and late afternoon sunlight on hot summer days with the clearest of skies." This is further over on the side of fanciful than scientific, but imagining these animals strutting around in extravagant courtship displays with the colorful reflections of brightly hued sails all around them was too wonderful for me to resist illustrating.


Some preliminary sketches, with Safari Dimetrodon and chunk o' calcite.

Synapsid Sunrise Progress

With watercolor paintings, I usually prefer to start with a completely fleshed out composition in pencil.

Synapsid Sunrise Progress

Synapsid Sunrise Final

I've only yet seen a handful of the other entries for the two different "All Yesterdays" contests going on, but among the few I have seen are this depiction of Dimetrodon called Texan Mama by Mike Keesey. It's very fun to see a completely different but plausible vision for the same animal, which is, of course, part of what "All Yesterdays" is all about. He also shares some interesting information about Dimetrodon in a nice compact explanation about where it fits on the evolutionary tree as a stem-mammal, so check it out.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the other entries in these contests and will post the appropriate links here once the results are in!

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