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novablue's avatar


By novablue
My first ever try at a Caudipteryx.
One thing that bothers me with a lot of dinosaur art is that A) they tend to look anorexic (like, you can see every bone jut out under the skin) and b) often when feathered they look like the feathers were glued onto that skin-over-bone base. Like they don't quite belong to the animal in question.

Now, I'm not saying I do any better, I'm a complete beginner at this more or less and for all I know my anatomy may be way, way off - I don't know the technical terms, don't have access to good reference materials usually (and when I do I usually view them on my phone so very small size etc). Hell I don't own a single dinosaur book.

BUT I do try to make them look like real animals. Like, have muscles and a thicker layer of feathers and so on. I draw much of my inspiration from my pet birds and my mom's pet chickens. So my guy here looks a bit fatter than many renditions I've seen of these fellas.

If you notice any glaring mistakes and such, do let me know, of course. Personally I think the neck looks a bit too long in proportion to the body - my (bad) excuse is that the heavy covering of feathers makes it look larger than it is, and part of the legs are hidden in the body feathers which make them look shorter...? XD

Oh and the colours are based on one of my RL pet birds, cookie points if you recognize it...

PS. Is it just me, or does it appear to be a dinosaur meme to "always" make these guys blue? lol. Not ALL are of course but a disproportionate amount of depictions show these guys as blue... Maybe because of the Carnegie model of it?
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© 2012 - 2021 novablue
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FeatherNerd's avatar
Like the concept, however, it did not have a full wing
Etomo's avatar
Aw, did nobody guess what you based the colors off of...? It's obv a button quail, what a cute neckstrap :D  I do like the tendency towards fluffier, less shrink-wrapped paleo-art, and I like the careful attention to patterning you displayed here on the feathers.
novablue's avatar
Yes, that's correct! I used to have a few button quails, they're neat :D
Etomo's avatar
They seem really cute! I like all their different color morphs too.
PineRain's avatar
I love it! Great coloration!

I also am annoyed by all the shrink-wrapped dinos out there. After all, it should look like a live beast, not a skeleton.
DinoBirdMan's avatar
pilsator's avatar
Very cool work! I agree with the statement about "shrink-wrapping" and unnatural-looking feathers - two common traps you nicely avoid with this one. However, the lower legs do look fat, especially in the unmuscled parts, and the metatarsi somewhat broad, short and unshapely. No offense, everything else looks awesome, but the stuff I pointed out is something that can easily be fixed/avoided in future artwork.

Keep up the good work!
novablue's avatar
Thanks, I'll definitely keep that in mind :) I drew this without a reference nearby, which is a stupid thing to do, especially when you're as green as I am lol. I think I'm still too used to drawing canines, which have much fatter legs in general (especially my dog XD). Birds and dinos are a different thing all together when it comes to legs...
pilsator's avatar
Well, I can't draw mammals for the sake of my life, so there goes - if non-avialan dinosaurs had a calcaneal tuber, I'd certainly be ... confused how to do that. And fuck that "green" stuff, the non-tibiometatarsal parts are amazing. I especially like the contour feathers on its torso. Much better than I can do, fwiw ;)
bubblekirby's avatar
I like the color scheme. Its not nearly as garish as most other reconstructions I've seen
Psithyrus's avatar
Albertonykus's avatar
Right on the money with anti-shrink-wrapping!

I'm guessing the blue Caudipteryx meme was started by this Luis Rey painting that was a base for this Caudipteryx model which has since made its way into many general audience dinosaur books.
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