Thursday 3 January 2013

Ceratosaurus Science Ink

Another dinosaur tattoo design!

In March of 2012, I posted a bit about the process behind paleontology author and blogger Brian Switek's 
Allosaurus tattoo design, which he commissioned from me and had inked at the Heart of Gold Tattoo studio.

Brian Switek is the author of Written in Stone and My Beloved Brontosaurus and the former blogger at Laelaps on Wired, and Dinosaur Tracking on the Smithsonian site.

Recently, he's taken his Laelaps blog to National Geographic's new "science salon" blog network, Phenomena. 

You can read more about how I personalized it with hidden Easter Eggs in the design to make it specifically for Brian in the original post.

Brian liked it enough, he needed another carnivore.


Sketching the horned beastie in my Moleskine. Ceratosaurus was much like Allosaurus but with a wicked horn, and devilish ridges over its eyes. 

My work in progress, inking using ArtRage Studio Pro. The inks in ArtRage are pretty phenomenal. In this case, I mostly stuck with the technical pen. 
Illustrators out there can see why I enjoy Artrage so much. It's like working on a desktop in realspace. Reference photos pinned, all my tools on the quarter-wheel to the left, all my paints in the palette on the right. 

My first proposed final design. 

You can see one of the differences I made from the Allosaurus in the top image in this post:  The allosaurus had hollow, outlined vertebrae and ribs, with solid black limbs and skull and the Ceratosaurus has the reverse. The dinosaurs are similar enough (and I was proud of my skull linework on the Cerato) that I thought this might be interesting.

Brian made the call, and it was the right one to have both matching: outlined vertebrae and ribs, solid limbs and skull. The two predators are, after all, side-by-side on his arm and so the similarity strengthens the design. 

From left: Allosaurus, revised Ceratosaurus, initial Ceratosaurus. Click to enlarge.
Yeah. The middle one matches the Allosaurus much better, and the skulls have more impact in solid black

Brian visited Jon at Heart of Gold tattoo in Utah again, and here's the final result!  

Brian's arm photo by Tracey Switek.

It was amazing working with Brian Switek again and boy oh boy - I want a dino skeleton tattoo now myself.

You can read more about how the two skeletons I largely worked from for the Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus are related over on Brian's post on the new Laelaps!

If you'd like to see more of my science ink designs, check them out at my portfolio at under the science tattoo header

Thanks Brian!

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

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