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Jinfengopteryx elegans by rah-bop Jinfengopteryx elegans by rah-bop
New Caledonian crows fashion sticks into harpoons and use them to snag tasty grubs out of holes and rotting wood. I wanted to draw a dinosaur using tools the same way, and I figured if any dinosaur was clever enough to figure it out, it would be a troodontid. So here is Jinfengopteryx elegans, a small troodontid from China that lived around 122 million years ago. This was my first serious foray into paleo art and though I admit I took some liberties with the flora, I tried to be as accurate as I could with the dinosaur. :iconqilong: helped me out a lot with the anatomy (many thanks!)
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You made this dinosaur gorgeous. The colors on the Jinfengopteryx are something I think would be seen on a predator that would need to be camouflaged to survive. I see beauty and also ferociousness all rolled into one. Beauty because the colors that you gave this dinosaur are elegant and attractive to the eye. Ferociousness because as beautiful as this dinosaur may be, he still is a killer even though he is depicted eating the grub. I also really love the warm lighting and the little bits of cool lighting that you have put into this artwork; it gives a natural feel to the whole picture. I like how you have put different types of flora into the picture that might have been around during the time period that Jinfengopteryx lived. My favorites are the ferns and ginkgo leaves. They really are neat, especially the ferns because you gave them a soft, fuzziness that I don't normally see on pictures that include these types of ferns. The detail is beautiful and accurate and I love the colors that you have put on every part of this artwork. I don't think you have done anything inaccurate in this artwork and I really love how well done it is. It's so inspiring to see something like this pop-up in my inbox and I'm sure others really enjoy seeing your artworks and are inspired too. This is a stunning piece of art! Keep up the good work *rah-bop! ^^
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thePalmTree Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That’s a pretty interesting idea, seems realistic to think some of the smarter Dino’s using tools just like the smart modern day birds 
Mason915 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2017  Student General Artist
You have done an amazing job keep up the great work!
axalendra Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
very cool! I love it!
reptilian-bird Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2016
Beautiful! Art like this deserves more appreciation.
acepredator Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2016

We do not need larger, hypercarnivorous theropods fashioning weapons to kill prey.
chinmoy808 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No wonder this is in All Your Yesterdays!
Speedraptor7MTJF Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015
Absolutely amazing!!! Your drawing is practically perfect. My only small gripe is the speculation involved. As an aspiring paleontologist, I feel I must stress that while Trodontids are the most intelligent non-avian dinosaur, they barely have an intelligence level on par with the least intelligent avian dinosaurs (birds). This means that highly sophisticated behaviors seen only in the most intelligent avian dinosaurs (crows) is highly improbable to be seen non-avian dinosaurs. Sorry, if science is a total buzzkill. Your drawing is still fantastic nevertheless.
MREMILABLE Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Seesm like Crocdilies also use Tools
rah-bop Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Yep, you're right! It's probably pretty unlikely that any dinosaurs used tools like this, troodontid or otherwise! It is still fun to imagine, though. While I tried my best to make it look at least physically accurate, I am not suggesting that this behavior is any way indicative of real life. I genuinely just did this because it was fun and not because I was trying to prove anything.

Thank you for saying something! I am happy to hear from people who are passionate about dinosaurs! :D
Speedraptor7MTJF Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
Thanks for the reply. I know with so many gaps in the fossil record, it can be so fun speculating to fill in the gaps. When interning at Harvard's Paleoecology lab in June, I myself was guiltyof it XD . You're a great artist, much better than the penciled sketches I do and I hope you stick with it.
HUBLERDON Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I just watched a video on New Caledonian crows. I wonder if dromaeosaurids might have done that, too!
Adohr Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2015
i love it!
Bobtatnceltbieber Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
love it
hibbary Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2014  Professional General Artist
Soooooo pretty!
VincenAngellis Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
Traheripteryx Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Brilliant! I love it!
ihamo Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Awesome :D
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing!  I love the feathers!  :D 
Cetaceaphile Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy god damn this is good
Patrikia-Bear Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Found you through paleoillustration on Tumblr. I LOVE THIS IDEA. :D
KingVego Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fist i thought it was ludicrous for this creature to be using a tool but then i thought about how some birds today do this so this is not a big jump of logic at all.

Anyways the picture itself looks fantastic and it also makes you think. Well done.
mutantninja0 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
actually, there is some supposed reported and eye-witnessed evidence that some alligators( or crocs, I dunno) use sticks to lure herons and somesuch to eat them during nest building season.Sherlock Holmes 
KingVego Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
that is quite interesting.
hippogriffon Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
Good job :) Like it :)
SilverVulpine Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Awesome work! :aww:
SilkenWinds Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Absolutely gorgeous! :D
dinodanthetrainman Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very interesting love it :)
SepiaWren Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love the composition, the way you feels like you're looking in through the canopy... The ferns, foliage and mushrooms are as gorgeous as the dinosaur itself, which is very beautiful indeed! Great work, well done!
A3Kitsune Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013
Pterosaur-Freak Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
This is amazing. I absolutely love everything about it- The concept, the background, and above all the colours. I love how you made them bright and colourful and yet at the same time quiet and unobtrusive. And best of all, it's believably fluffy and yet still sleek and graceful. Adding it to my favourites now.
Angela239 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ha this is a first...Jinfengopteryx elegans is actually a species of troodontid I have not heard before! Gonna do some googling ^_^
Kazuma27 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Love the colors and the concept (totally plausible, IMHO) ;)
Hareguizer Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Awe and love! I especially like what you did with the out of focus extreme foreground vegetation - it gives it a great sense of depth of field that just using background bokeh can't match.
UltimateSassMaster Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Student Digital Artist
hey, i reblogged this on tumblr! absolutely pulchritudinous work <33
RobinRavenmoon Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student General Artist
love th colors
Sejuay Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent! I love the colours and all the detail in the background.
tikos Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
The idea of a tool-using Jinfengopteryx is super, and this piece is great as an art, too.
ForgottenDemigod Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww :aww: .
Apsaravis Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's my favourite reconstruction of Jinfengopteryx now :) Awesome!
ADigitalArtist Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The color in this is just awesome! :D
ScarabsCorner Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very kewl
PictureThisDeviant Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013
I love it!
Toonicorn Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, this is simply a masterpiece! The detailed painting and composition is complemented by the sense of movement and convincing detail. I like the way you had the Jinfengopterix (or as I call him, the "Dinobird") open his wings as he brandishes the stick; it adds interest and a sense of balance and weight to the Dinobird's form. Overall, this is simply splendid. Congrats on a terrific picture!
MoonyMina Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
gorgeous!! colors, background, anatomy, composition, everything is great!
KhoaSV Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013   General Artist
Bear Grylls as a dinosaur
bonefish Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The Early Cretaceous bird/dinosaur gets the grub.

I like your take on this fellow's plumage. The slight hint of Blue Jay-esque secondaries make his markings "pop".
andrea-koupal Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
Beautiful digital painting, especially the feathers!
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student Artist
Awesome drawing on your's.:)
CorusTenebrae Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:clap: nicely done :D
Wordworker Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Professional Writer
Beautiful work! You just get better and better!
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Submitted on
January 5, 2013
Image Size
336 KB


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