Monday 22 June 2009

Art Monday: WWI pterosaur sketchy sketches

The last few weeks of Art Mondays have mainly been sketches and unfinished drawings. This week is a bit more of the same. I fins that sometimes, inspiration for new and varied pieces falls into my mind in a torrent, and I struggle with my pencil to keep up.

Perhaps it's the season. I walk to my day-job, about 40 minutes through a beautiful park, past galleries and boutique clothing stores in one of the hippest areas in Toronto. Trees are full, the air is warm and we haven't had a smog day yet. It's a good time for thinking.

Next week, Art Evolved is launching it's third gallery of prehistoric art, and the theme is pterosaurs. There's been a lot of debate about physiology flying back and forth on Art Evolved. Unsure of my exact position in scientific illustration, I p
ondered whether to go for a full-on restoration illustration, or something unusual and fantastic like my first two entries.

It's a rare thing, when the whole idea appears before your mind's eye, full-blown, down to the brush strokes. This happened here.

A little research, and I am falling in love with the idea. I plan to keep
it loose, and go for a more sketchy painting style in this one.

In brief, I wanted pterosaurs, specifically Quetzalcoatlus northropi fighting alongside the RAF against the Red Baron. I'm not a World War 1 history buff by any stretch, though lately I've been reading little bits. I came across the name of Major Billy Barker on Wikipedia, and knew I had the right hook to the painting. Barker was Canada's own flying ace, with 50 confirmed aerial kills, and he pioneered the leader-wingman strategy for pilots. A real character.

And the best part is, the pterosaur gallery is launching on July 1st; Canada Day. Sweet.

I used to hesitate to put sketches like this online. They contain a lot of useful information for me to use, but they are by no means drawings in their own right; and that's an important distinction. A sketch is a rough idea, an analogue to a hypothesis in science. The drawing is the capital-T Theory, fleshed out and a piece of art in it's own right, paint not necessary.

Hmm. This post is like my art lately. Wandering all over the place. Ok. Time to get back to the aerial battle and oil paints.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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traumador said...

cool. sort of a more violent modernish dinotopia... or better yet dino riders!!! man i loved that show hehehe

Maya said...

i love our art. :)

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Craig, I'm trying to make it this concept art piece. A story you kind of get instantly, at least to a degree, without further exposition.

Thanks Maya! Thanks for checking it out!

Marek said...

This is epic... THIS IS EPIC!

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Posts over 14 days old have their comments held in moderation - I've been getting an unusual amount of spam for a guy who paints trilobites. I'll release it lickety-split though.

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