Critter of the Month: Stegosaurus

Meet Steggy.  She might not have very much of a brain, but she makes up for that with the softness of her heart.  There’s not a whole lot that’ll surprise her (thanks to Pete’s training), and she’ll let just about anybody clamber on her back. πŸ™‚

I say “just about” anybody, because there was that one time some kids wanted her to be their fortress in a water balloon battle.  That was a bit too much for Steggy.  But that class of preschoolers who came to visit were adorable.  Steggy just sat there and let them climb all over her (Pete stuck a few tennis balls on her spikes, so they wouldn’t be so sharp).  The kids had a great time painting stars and hearts on her big plates.

Steggy’s pretty mellow because of all the surprise games and “scary new things” Pete does with her.  Like horses, Stegosaurus tend to be nervous around anything new.  Like training a race horse to ignore the noise of the crowd and the track, Steggy here’s been trained to not freak out when she sees something new or something jumps out of the bushes.

That small brain (just one, and about the size of the average dog brain) means that Stegosaurus tend to be more reactive, you see.  More temperamental and aggressive when they’re surprised, nervous, or scared.  And they’re fast with that tail!

That tail is a spiked mace of pure muscle, and most Stegosaurus have a “swing first, don’t ask questions” sort of attitude.

But once Steggy figured out that Pete is just going to throw new stuff at her all the time, she learned to just not be surprised.

Here’s a peek into her thought process…

A giant stuffed bear in the crook of a tree?  Huh?  Weird.  Leaves are tasty…

Neon flags waving along the fence line?  What’s that! Ooh…pretty. (steps closer, takes a cautious bite out of a green one) Ooh, they taste funny.

A big, inflatable Halloween spider sitting in a corner of the pasture.  Monster?! Wait…monster? (stares at it for a while) Hmm…not coming closer…What’s for breakfast?

Making progress…

It’s been a whirlwind month of progress!

First up are some pretty pictures. Cassie was most disappointed that I finished her update one day after her Critter of the Month post. You might have noticed I snuck her into the critter page, but I thought she deserved a proper feature here. πŸ™‚

The pencil drawing is the same, but I completely recolored her and gave her the same artsy background as most of the others. I must say I really like the brushes on Procreate. It’s a very intuitive program, and many of the brushes have a more organic feel to them, with some of the lovely texture and chaos of real paints and brushes.

This next one is an illustration for my collection of short stories I’m putting together. I just had to draw an updated version of Dilophosaurus, but didn’t want to delay things by updating all the drawings I’d already finished. So here we have a new illustration of Dilophosaurus’ new look! I looked at a lot of emus and cassowaries for this one, and I really like the variety of textures.

This handsome gentleman is dancing for a potential mate, and she looks most impressed by his regal crest. The lizard would rather be somewhere with less risk of being stepped on.

On Instagram I follow many other artists (mostly paleoart of course), and one of the lovely people I follow is Phoebe Ginger. She has a darling style in colored pencil, and these Brontosaurus are based on her adorable Bronto. It’s my entry for a contest Phoebe had on her Instagram: draw her Bronto in your style, and you get a chance to win one of her books!

Her style is absolutely adorable, and I’ve been eyeing her book for a while, so of course I jumped on the chance. I didn’t win, but I had a blast experimenting with lighting. All the little mayflies were fun too. πŸ˜€

Click here to check out her art over at PhoebeGinger.com!

Next up is the back cover for my little collection, “Dinosaurs Don’t Play Fetch”. Why all the empty space? To make room for text! There is also extra space for the barcode, and along the edges so that when they cut the cover the edges are nice and clean. The next picture shows what the whole book cover would be like if you laid it down flat.

Speaking of the book…

It’ll be ready to launch in about a week! The files for the print book are all done except for last minute tweaks in the thank you section, and I’ve just been working on the eBook version so it’ll look good on Kindle and all the places you get can eBooks.

Let me tell you, I know almost nothing on HTML and computer coding! I’ve basically had to learn a new language this month so I could put together the eBook, and I still made tons of mistakes. I am eternally grateful for the people over at Holly Lisle’s writing forum, and for all the help they’ve given me, especially with figuring out how to use programs like Sigil for making the eBook.

I hope to see you soon!

Coming September 1st…

This little critter likes to party!

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

5 thoughts on “Critter of the Month: Stegosaurus

  1. Squeeee! It’s almost here!! This is so exciting! I like the cover design so much! Especially the back cover–the water looks so blue and pretty, and poor Pete looks so calm and oblivious to Tigger. ;P

    Great to see Cassie’s update, too! And the little brontos. It’s always so fun to do fan art. :3

    Like

    1. Heehee, thank you Brownie! I’m super excited! I’m halfway tempted to release the print book before the eBook is done, because that’s the big delay in releasing them both, but I must be patient. πŸ˜€ I think the next book I won’t bother with an eBook at all, because it’ll be even more picture heavy than this little collection. It’s just too much hassle to try and shrink the files, and only professionals have the proper tools. I’m lucky I have some guidance on this one.

      I’m glad you like the cover. I love the interaction of the tiny girl and big carnivore, like Tabby with the horses lol. I had fun with the water on the back too. Hehe, just play the Jaws theme song in your head during Tigger’s story. πŸ˜€

      Fan art is fun! I should do more of it. πŸ˜€ Oh, and I put up a calendar for this month on the home page. Go check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

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