Author Topic: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...  (Read 2557 times)

Offline Vermis

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You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« on: December 05, 2012, 10:18:32 PM GMT GMT »
... And three come along at once.

Well, not quite at once.  But in terms of good dino books, let alone good dino art books, three in four months is like getting crammed into in a doorway. :)

The first was released in September, and the title is to the point: Dinosaur Art.  A showcase of work by some of the best and most accomplished palaeoartists.  (The cover is one of my favourite pieces, a National Geographic commission by Raúl Martín)  One or two of the reviews and/or guys involved can speak about it better than I can:

Tetrapod Zoology
Dinosaur Tracking
Love In The Time Of Chasmosaurs

The second is a more recent release: All Yesterdays.  The idea here is that despite the 'warm-blood' dinosaur renaissance of the '60's and '70's, and the discoveries and deliberations since then (including the flurry of feathers out of China), dinosaur art still tends to be fairly conservative: with skin clinging close to the skeletal structure (a phenomenon some palaeontologists are calling 'shrink-wrapped dinosaurs'), and behaviour restricted to what's known or most likely.  E.g. in the case of carnivorous theropods: looking fierce, mouth constantly open to show fierce teeth, and eating things fiercely.  The artists here are opening up to a little more speculation - within the bounds of reality, but still coming up with some ideas that look fairly (radically?) different to how some dinosaurs are usually depicted.  It also has a section called 'All Todays', with speculations about how future palaeontologists might interpret (or misinterpret) fossils of modern animals.  More info and reviews:

Tetrapod Zoology
Dinosaur Tracking
Sauropod Vertebra Picture Of The Week (yes that's what the blog's called)

Lastly, something that's maybe more of a specialised, niche interest.  Matthew Martyniuk's A Field Guide to Mesozoic Birds and Other Winged Dinosaurs  If it sounds a little disappointing compared to the other books, the definition does include deinonychosaurs - aka 'raptors'. ;)
Matthew's art style might also be a tad minimalist, but if you read some of his blog entries, he's done no small amount of research into his subjects and the possible/most likely life appearance of their feathery coverings.  Personally, I've got quite a bit of respect for his ability to make this particular branch of dinos look very real and natural.  That is, more 'feathered dinosaurs' or 'ground-running birds' than 'older-style dinosaurs with feathers'.  Or, to go into more detail, the lizard-faced Jurassic Park monsters wearing bad fur coats and feather boas that plagued a lot of attempts to illustrate the new status quo, and put so many onlookers off the idea; and which still plagues art by inexperienced artists and lazier illustrators.
But I digress.  I think this one'll find it's way onto my bookshelf sooner or later, along with the others.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 12:08:00 AM GMT GMT by Vermis »

Offline Andrew May

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Re: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 10:16:58 AM GMT GMT »
They look fantastic, Warren. The John Conway one in particular....and I've just finished my Christmas shopping!

Offline Vermis

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Re: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 06:21:21 PM GMT GMT »
All Yesterdays seems to be the popular one, and it's creating quite a stir - in the palaeoblogosphere anyway.  Here's three more reviews and discussions about them that I found entertaining and informative.  Take a look at some of the interpretations of modern animals in the first. :)

Tetrapod Zoology again.
Dinogoss
Mark Witton's Blog

Offline Andrew May

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Re: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 08:44:23 PM GMT GMT »
That's great stuff, thanks.

Offline Vermis

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Re: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2012, 11:09:02 PM GMT GMT »
Ordered any yet?  I still have most of my Christmas shopping to do, so I might be delayed a wee while.

Oh, and here's a post about Velociraptor at Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.  It hasn't got much if anything to do with the books, but I like it. (It's got more to do with my rantings! :P)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 11:30:46 PM GMT GMT by Vermis »

Offline Andrew May

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Re: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 09:25:32 AM GMT GMT »
It's going to be a birthday present in February, now. ;)

Offline Andrew May

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Re: You wait ages for a dinosaur art book...
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 09:24:41 AM GMT GMT »
All yesterdays just arrived and quite marvellous it is too. Just been through the whole thing an have a great beaming smile on my face, thanks Warren.
Also picked up "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "The Ancestor's Tale" but there's no changce of reading those from cover to cover before they go the the brother for his birthday!