Jurassic Pokemon

65 min read

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52-img-00a by techgnotic

arvalis aka RJ Palmer is a long time deviant who has created his own unique niche at DeviantArt.

He was first known as the artist who drew incredibly realistic dinosaurs. Somehow his depictions of dinosaurs began morphing into Pokemon characters. He is now renowned as dA’s master of realistic Pokemon illustrations. His has been quite a success story through art. His rise has been quite a success story on how to build a following in the community. RJ has wonderful tutorial drawing sessions on his DeviantArt profile for you to follow in his footsteps. He is an artist in his ascendancy. Who knows how far he will rise…

RJ’s top 5 up and coming deviants for you to go +WATCH right now

“I decided to include artists in my profile whom I felt were deserving of more attention. Here are the five deviants I’m watching who I feel deserve wider recognition:”


Paleoart is a relatively unappreciated community on DeviantArt but there is a lot of top talent in there. Paul Heaston is no exception, he gives incredible weight and textural detail to his dinosaur work. His ink work is also quite impressive.”


Sculpting is a skill I greatly respect after having tried my hand at it a few times. This guy goes one step further and does insanely detailed dinosaur skeleton sculpts.”


This guy, wow. He has some of my favorite creature illustrations on all of DeviantArt. There is so much rhythm in his work, and his shape design is some of the best I've seen. Whenever I'm drawing a creature illustration, his stuff is at the back of my mind for inspiration.”


Another sculptor to the list. This guy works so small but packs so much detail into his work. Compared to the others on this list, he is incredibly under-appreciated.”

This one is a rather recent find. Though he may not yet be very technically skilled, he has the ideas of a master creature artist. As I looked through his gallery, image after image I was shocked at how unique and inventive he is. I wish I had more of his creativity haha.”

Interview with RJ Palmer

You clearly love dinosaurs so what is your first memory of them and was it love at first sight?

I was a child in the early 90s, so it was pretty hard not to love dinosaurs. I distinctly remember being three years old, in preschool talking with some friends about Jurassic Park. I thought it was so funny when I heard someone got eaten by a T. rex on a toilet. Dinosaurs have been a life–long love and they only got cooler with feathers.”


What’s your favorite version of Godzilla?

The 90’s Japanese Godzilla is pretty hard not to love. I am also pretty fond of the new U.S. Godzilla design, I think they did a pretty great job with most of his design.”


Choose your poison… The new Jurassic Park or the next Godzilla movie and why?

Thats a tough call considering that neither have a trailer yet. Though overall I think I’m more interested in Jurassic World as I enjoyed Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed much more than I did Gareth Edward’s Monsters and the recent Godzilla film was a pretty major disappointment outside of the Godzilla design.”


Pokemon… Have you been into them since the beginning or was a it something that you got into later? What is it about them that has you still trying to catch ‘em all?

Man I got into to it pretty early. I got my first Pokemon game when what must have been my 10th birthday back in ’99. I had that goofy Pikachu version Gameboy and I played it all the time. Like many for kids in the late 90’s Pokemon was just the thing to do, when you weren’t playing the games, you were collecting the cards. The games were good and the designs were awesome, and they had a major impact on young me. I’ve been drawing Pokemon now for 15 years.”


What gave you the idea to do realistic versions of the Pokemon?

Ever since going to art school I’ve been infatuated with nature and real world influence. So it was really only a matter of time until both interests in Pokemon and nature converged. The series, though, started when I was avoiding some freelance work. I started doodling a sharkosaurus which transitioned into Garchomp. Then I did more and the rest, they say, is history.”


You’ve been a deviant for 9 years now. What tips can you give the community to help them grow their profile on the site?

Its really simple actually. Stumble into doing something people really like, then do it some more. I picked up on this early on when using dA, but never had lightning strike until the Pokemon thing. Just keep drawing what interests you and eventually you should luck into success.”


Your Thoughts

  1. Would you like to see an animated Pokemon feature film with Pokemon creatures created by arvalis?

  2. Are there other videogame or cartoon characters you would like to see rendered in “arvalis realism?”

  3. What is the Pokemon arvalis should do next in this series?

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