Critter of the Week: Ornitholestes

Meet Opie. He’s a happy little fella who loves to curl up in your lap, so it’s a good thing he’s about the size of a big dog!


Yes, Opie seems to think he’s a big lapdog, and he loves it when you stroke his feathers.  Where is he off to now?  It looks like he’s going to show you his favorite toy…Opie carries Teddy around everywhere.  He’s gone through quite a few “surgeries” to poke the stuffing back in after Opie nibbled on him.

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Oh! That’s Miss Kitty peaking around the corner.  She’s a little shy after Opie tried playing a game of snatch with her.  He’s just a big softie though, and he only wants to play.  He’ll get a little droopy when Miss Kitty doesn’t understand.  So he’ll curl up in his bed to snuggle with Teddy, and he’ll chirp happy chirps when he snuggles.  He sounds a lot like this…

Speaking of soft and cuddly, those feathers are rather like those on an emu or kiwi.  Looks a lot like fur, doesn’t it? 🙂

Emu feathers.  Photo courtesy of Amanda Slater (2009)

Making progress…

Getting along spiffily (is that a word?) on my little storybook, Dippy vs. Ball.  Here’s what I have so far on one of the spreads.  A handy little map so we can take a little stroll around Dippy’s hometown to meet the neighbors.

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Critter of the Week: Camptosaurus

Meet Copper & Daisy. These gentle giants are always happy to meet new friends.  They love being part of the group.

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Copper is a strapping young bull, and never leaves the side of his lovely lady.  He’s very much the gentleman with her, and any friend who joins the herd.  Just keep a close eye on your pockets if you have treats!

You can’t hear him, since it’s a picture of course, but Copper is chirping to Daisy.  He’s found a good patch of something tasty, and he’s telling her to follow him.  Many dinos could probably make a lot of noise without ever opening their mouths, like the gurgly hum Copper is making here.  But you can see his lovely red throat all blown up like a bullfrog. 🙂

I imagine him sounding a lot like this…


Making progress…


I’m making progress like a ninja tortoise on my little project.  If you want to see what that looks like, here’s a surprisingly fast tortoise I found on Youtube. 😛 (I love how everyone in the clip makes such a huge deal on how fast this tortoise is)

So here’s what I’ve got…

  • line work for the comic is complete. (though it needs a couple of updates, I found a paper describing the soft spines on Dippy’s back, and I’ve been drawing them wrong.)
  • first page color nearly complete.
  • thumbnails for front and back cover, and a few other pages are done, so I just need to finish the line work there.

Here’s a quick look at the first page.  I’m going for a simpler style that’s animation friendly later on, so aside from a few tweaks on the background, this is just about done.  Do you prefer the simpler, more suggestive backgrounds, or a little more detail?


Personally, I’m thinking of very minimal background, similar to the Wall-e and Big Hero 6 shorts. 🙂  Those short clips have pretty much no background, but the little scene at the bottom of the page is closest to what I’m going for.  Very minimal.

Here’s a look at the Wall-e and Baymax clips, so you see what I mean.


What do you think?  I would love your feedback! 😀  Just leave a quick word or two (or three) in the comments. 🙂


Coming Next Week…

This little dino is a bit shy, but she’ll come out of the bushes for a sweet hug and a small treat. 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! She’s one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

Critter of the Week: Camarasaurus

Meet Bella. She’s big, she’s loud, and she’s really happy to see you! She’s happy to see anyone really, except Alfred, but can you blame her? There’s about a-bazillion years of conflict going on there…


There she is! She is the most accommodating of Pete’s very large camarasaurus herd- voted least likely to accidentally trample the equipment. They can be an excitable bunch, and don’t always pay attention to what they’re bumping into. I’ll just say that when Pete finally got her separated from the herd there was a tractor, some flags, an air horn, and a rubber chicken involved…

These Camaras are more closely related to the smaller wild species, C. lentus (there are 3 🙂 ), which are only about 49 feet long. But that’s still a lot of sauropod on the move, especially when you multiply it by 80!

Why so many?

Paleontologists may call Bella the ugliest sauropod, but they’re pretty popular for anyone with plenty of pasture. Their friendly and calm, cow-like attitude makes them an easier alternative to the larger giants like Elmer.

If only they weren’t so loud! But some may call Bella’s singing endearing. It’s lovely to hear their chorus far out to pasture.

Have the video play in the background while you look at Bella above, I can’t help laughing at the mental picture of 50 or 100 of these fat, happy sauropods calling to each other constantly. In a herd of such large animals, you don’t really need stealth. 😀


Making progress…

It looks like I may actually meet my deadline for the Critter Cam eBook!  It won’t be the full book to start with, just a taste test for 99 cents, but this might be the most exciting (and terrifying) 99 cents I ever make.  It’s a huge milestone for me.  I promise I’ll give you more details about it in the following weeks as I finish this one.

But enough chatter.  Here’s a preview!



So what’s exactly the progress here, you ask?  It looks a bit similar to the last progress post…

  • The line work for the 3 page mini-comic is complete
  • I’ve started on coloring (same basic color as on the chibi critters)

Here’s last week’s sketch, for comparison.



You’ll notice a lot of the detail’s been lost.  Why?  Because some day I’d like to animate these little stories and post them on Youtube.  Kinda how you have little 10-30 second clips on characters when a new Pixar or Disney movie comes out.

Detail is not friendly if you want to make it move. 🙂  So that means color will be simple too, with limited (if any) shadows and highlights.  I’m thinking along the lines of Caillou, Curious George, or some other kid’s TV show.


Coming Next Week…

These two love making new friends, especially if you have a treat…

Share your guess in the comments! They’re a couple of critters over on the critter page. 🙂