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I know we should really stop this chatter ... but I can't help myself!
John Gurche certainly is an excellent artist, but he also, in a way,
"cheats," since he (I recall) sculpts and photographs his subjects before
painting. (Donna Braginetz, on the other hand, had created many
'photo-realistic' paintings without doing such a thing.) Douglas Henderson
is sickeningly amazing with background -- he doesn't actually focus on the
animals, he makes them a part of his backgrounds, as he notes in THE COMPLETE
DINOSAUR. Brian Franczak is, IMO, another great at backgrounds.
Well, the "wingless dragon" and "mutant horse" comments are sort of jokes on
my part... I don't like to confuse "desire with science," but personal
preference still gets in the way! I know that non-bony dorsal spines have
been associated with the tail of _Diplodocus_, but that still doesn't mean
all sauropods had the things going UP AND DOWN their necks, backs, and tails.
As for me, I'll just put them on my diplodocid tails right now. And, yes,
elephantine skin is a big no-no ... A bad habit for many paleoartists.
I can tolerate the "horse-neck syndrome" recent hadrosaur restorations are
exhibiting, that is, a thicker neck than usual. I actually did that for my
_Parasaurolophus_ drawing (at Mike Keesey's site) and I have no problem with
it. But filling the entire U-turn of the neck with muscle and stuff? A bit
too much, and something I don't see any scientific basis for.
At any rate, for the meantime, I try to be conservative with my drawings. (A
lot of people don't consider covering all small dinosaurs with
_Sinosauropteryx_-style "fibers" conservative, but I feel it is, as opposed
to full-out contour feathers.) Slightly thicker hadrosaur necks are a good
compromise for me, between the swan necks and the totally THICK necks. And
spines on the TAILS of diplodocids seems pretty good to me ... gives the whip
a little more sting. :) (_Amargasaurus_ looks good with a full back of the
Greg, you forgot ... we CAN photograph dinosaurs in the flesh, just maybe not
the ones you have in mind. :)