Critter of the Week Dilophosaurus

Meet Picasso.  This quiet softie loves spending time with his special person.  Snuggling under the tree to hear a good story?  That sounds like a lovely way to spend a warm afternoon. 🙂

picasso_update

Picasso looks very happy to see you, and he wonders very much if you like his red crest.  He’s very proud of it, you see, and he’s been strutting around the field like a very large rooster.

He marches up and down the fence line with his chest puffed out and his neck arched like a stallion.  He watches over his patch of yard like the duke of the land, and if something doesn’t look quite right, he’ll stand as tall as he can and show off those blue feathers- just so you know he has things under control.

Oh yes, feathers!  Now we don’t know for sure if this critter had feathers or not, and the whole subject of feathered dinos deserves it’s own series of posts, but there’s a definite possibility. 🙂

If you want to find out more about dinosaurs and feathers, here’s a post on what makes a feather, and here’s a post on figuring out which dinos might’ve had them. 🙂

I’ve given Picasso a coat of feathers similar in texture to an emu’s, which gives him the furry look.  His fingers and feet are feathered too, like a snowy owl, but they have pads on them for walking and grabbing.

But Picasso may need a new look at some point.

Dilophosaurus lived in North America, in the Southwestern areas around present day Arizona and New Mexico. According to my research, it looks like temperatures and climate in the area were not all that different than they are today.  That is- hot and mostly dry. Not a lot of shade to go around.

Since Picasso is taller than your average human, he would get quite hot with all those feathers. Picasso is of the domestic variety of Dilophosaurus, so I could say that his floofy coat is due to selective breeding of the wild species…but at some point I’ll need to experiment with fewer feathers. 🙂

 

Making progress…

 

The next couple of weeks are going to be quite a bit busier than usual. And I mean crazy busy. So progress will be slow. But even a little progress is better than no progress right? 😀

I’ve been slowly gathering all concept sketches, thumbnails, and other progress stuff to compile into something I can put on display. So far I have most of the digital files round up, then comes the messy task of looking back into old sketchbooks. 😀 The purpose of the exhibit is to show the process of picture-book development, including the messy stuff, so I’m having some fun looking back at old sketches and doodles. 🙂

I’ve also been doing research on how I’ll be building my little scene dioramas. There are a number of scenes where I had a lot of trouble figuring out how everything would look, space wise. This might be simple for a lot of people, but it’s quite a challenge for me.

My whole understanding of an object’s mass and placement in space is getting better since I’ve been making little clay models of my critters. 😀 Macquettes really help rewire my brain into thinking and seeing an image in those terms. Something about forming that object with my hands before looking at it as an illustration. 🙂

So I’ve been doing some research, and watching a lot of Youtube, and I found this awesome tutorial on making dioramas. 😀 I think the video is about 7 minutes long, so I’ll keep my post today short.

I like how cheap and simple this person’s method is (though I’m glad I don’t need water for my first one!)

I don’t think I’ll go so far as to paint the diorama, since I really just need it as a lighting and space reference. Once it’s all made up I’ll just spray paint it a matte white or grey and call it done.

Next week I’ll share the fruit of my research, including the nitty gritty into my plans on making the diorama. 🙂

In the meantime, here’s a little teaser sketch. 😀

Diorama sketch.jpg

 

Coming Next Week…

This big guy is always ready to flash a big, toothy smile, especially at mealtime.

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

6 thoughts on “Critter of the Week Dilophosaurus

  1. Nooooooo,the feathers! (Slowly backs away into a corner and cries)
    I know it’s not accurate,but i like Picasso with more feathers,but i still prefer accuracy.And……errrrr…i was late i know,sorry,i forgot the post since i made a report in my class and it took me all night and i still have to print stuff :,( Excited for the dioramas,even though it would probably take us till Christmas when we get one.You have also been watching Kayakasaurus lately,i really want to sculpt really badly,but what i think in my mind that’s usually amazing,and then sculpt it and it will look like Shrek and a Cyclops slapped on a face of a random dinosaur.Next passenger on the COTW train is Tigger. 🙂

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    1. Hi Kaprosaurus, it’s always good to see you here! No worries about the delay of your post. School reports are definitely a priority!

      I’m sorry I took a while to reply. I wrote a reply when I first saw your comment a few days ago, but for some reason the internet ate it. 😦 It took a while for me to get back here and try again.

      As far as accuracy goes, we honestly don’t know if Dilophosaurus had feathers or not. It might have been scaly all over with no feathers! So Picasso is a mix between science and my own personal preference. Since I really like fluffy dinos, and find ancestral fluffiness in dinos plausible (because of pterosaurs)…then I’d like to have fluffy Dilophosaurus. Plus I like to imagine petting his pretty floofiness 😀

      And honestly, full fluffiness might be possible, even in warm weather. The feathers Dilophosaurus had probably was more like fur, and there are plenty of furry critters the size of Dilophosaurus that do fine in desert environments. They stay in the shade during the heat of the day, and most of their activity is at night or twilight.

      I love watching Kayakosaurus. 🙂 The critters look a bit underfed for my taste, but all in all the sculptures and dioramas look amazing!

      Hehe, and yes, Tigger is getting loaded up into a big tanker car for the train! He’s got a load of fish and squid snacks, so he’s excited for his turn. 😀

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  2. I think I’m actually going to miss Picasso’s floofy coat (funny how I say that, because when I first saw his feathered design I honestly thought it looked just a little strange :P), but we wouldn’t want Picasso to fry now, would we? I’m sure a trim will do him some good!

    Also, cool teaser sketch! Do you think that the maquettes would help with graphic novels, too? ^^

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    1. Hi Brownie, good to see you here! 🙂

      Maquettes are actually a very important part in the development of any film or graphic novel.

      It ensures that all drawings of a character stay consistent from all angles. 🙂

      And no worries, Picasso is a variant of the domestic breed of Dilophosaurus, so he’ll get to keep his feathers. I’ll have fun experimenting with other less feathered variations though. 🙂 it seems feathers are easily tweaked with, genetically. Just look at all the variations of fully feathered, naked neck, or fully naked chicken. 🙂

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      1. Ah, ok. 🙂 Good to know! And just so you know, I admire how you’re trying out all this stuff with no experience whatsoever. 😛

        I think I’ll get the fluffy variety. 🙂 Would adapting Picasso to a warmer climate affect his design?

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        1. Thank you. Everyone’s got to start somewhere! I’m glad my blundering experiments are inspiring 😀

          I would imagine it might be relatively easy to breed a fluffy Picasso, depending on how much fluff his wild cousins have. If there’s no fluff at all it would be a challenge. Non-fluffy dinos have other ways of staying warm though. 😉 You don’t need feathers if your scales act just like a thermos. 🙂

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