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.

Opie's bed copy.jpg

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? 🙂




Making progress…

Since I’ve finished the dummy book and got Douglas all done for last week’s critter of the week, now I’m at a crossroads.

It’s evaluation and decision making time on what I should work on next. And here are my options…

  1. Pause work on the picture book and focus on prepping Dippy vs. Ball for printing.  This way I have something truly finished and ready for sale. Even a few pennies at a time will help get a few bills paid. 🙂
  2. Focus on preparing for my gallery exhibition in February. It’s in the schedule, and it would be best to be prepared. This prep includes getting one picture book illustration complete. So I’ll be one step closer to finishing it. 😀

Here’s the reality…and it hit me over the weekend as if someone took the book I was reading and thumped me over the head with it.

On Sunday I reached 24 weeks of pregnancy.  In other words, I’m 6 months in. In other words, I have 3 more months before Babysaurus hatches. 😀

So whatever project I choose to do next, I better make sure priorities are solid and that it’s something I can actually accomplish in 3 months.

For that reason, I have decided to go with option #2.

Even though I really want to fix up Dippy vs. Ball, being ready and prepared for February is definitely a priority.

  • It’s an opportunity to reach out to my local community.
  • I’m already on schedule, so it’d be dumb to be unprepared
  • I can work on finishing at least one illustration for the picture book
  • Progress on this illustration will help me figure out how to make the process more efficiant (and I’ll get to show you what I learn) 🙂
  • It’s something I can realistically accomplish in 3 months, even though part of that time will be swallowed by the holidays (and possibly an early debut by Babysaurus, depending on circumstances. All 3 of my other children had to be induced early for medical reasons).

So all in all I hope you’re not too disappointed that I won’t be working on Dippy vs. Ball just yet. We’ll get to find out how I can make progress like a ninja tortoise on that once Babysaurus is born. 😀 It’ll be a slow 6 months, but even one step is better than not walking at all.

That said, what does prepping for February mean exactly?

The gallery exhibit will be held at my local library, and they were very interested in my suggestion of showing what is involved in making a picture book. So the gallery will include…

  • Early concept art and sketches, to show the brainstorming process
  • Thumbnail sketches and storyboard sketches, to show how the concepts start forming a story
  • Spreads from the dummy book, to show how I experiment with layout and overall story structure
  • Then the process of completing a final illustration- from thumbnail, rough sketch, color sketch, model, all the way to the finished spread
  • Finally, I’ll have a few more examples of more finished art, including a few of the critters from the shop. Since the ones on the website are a bit small, I’ll update them a bit to make them a little “prettier” for the gallery. I may make these more “artsy” versions available on Redbubble, if anyone is interested. 🙂


That’s a long list! So let’s look at the baby steps. Or step, I should say. Progress in a busy season of life is all about the baby steps. 😀

I am most excited about building my little diorama of my illustration, and this is the one I’ll be working on. 😀



10x10_steggy page_color.jpg


It’s the spread I am most confident on, and I know exactly which changes I want to make on it. Plus it’s one that I really need to make a diorama, for Steggy’s weird anatomy and where the family would fit best. It should be a relatively easy diorama too, since I have plenty of rocks and gravel right around my house I can use for the landscape.

I’ll also use this opportunity to figure out the whole video thing. So I’m off to watch more Youtube tutorials on dioramas, macquettes, and video recording! 😀



Coming Next Week…

This handsome fellow just likes to spend a quiet afternoon near a special friend. 🙂

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

5 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Ornitholestes

  1. That…..Baby….Alligator…IS SO CUTE!
    (coughs) I’m sorry bout that,it’s just i can’t imagine Opie sounding like that.I respect your decision going with decision no.2,i honestly would choose that too,it would be a good thing for people to know about the project,might also educate some kids on the way.Good luck at the gallery exhibit! And next passenger is…….(cue drum roll)….Picasso! My most favorite (or second since Douglas came out of nowhere) creature! I knew it was Picasso without even going to the critter page! 😀


    1. Hey Kaprosaurus, it’s great to see you here! 😀

      Isn’t it adorable! I love it’s little chirp. Opie’s chirp would probably sound deeper than that, since he’s bigger, but he’s only about as big as a golden retriever, so he’s definitely still on the cute-little-dino-meter. 😀

      I’m pretty excited about the gallery exhibit. The library wants to have me as a story-time guest one or two times that month too, so that’ll be fun. 😀 Can you believe my local library has never had anything about what goes into making a picture book? You’d think that would be perfect for kids!

      Yep! Picasso is preening himself quite thoroughly, and practicing his parade walk so that he looks his best. 🙂 He’s not vain by any means, but he definitely likes being properly dignified for public presentation. (I’ve caught him chasing after a lizard in a most undignified way when he thought no one was looking 😉 )

      Thank you for stopping by! 🙂


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