Illustration Blogs

This week I have been away from my art studio visiting family, so I thought I would link to some good Illustration blogs I have found recently (and some old favorites). I’m still busy sketching more dinosaurs though, so look out for those in a few weeks :)

In the mean time here are some awesome blogs:


Continuing the dinosaur theme I thought I’d write about Iguanodon which is Illustrated below (bit of tradigital on this one for a change).


Iguanodon was the second dinosaur to be named in 1825. It lived during the early Cretaceous period and ate ferns and horsetails which it found in marshy land of the sub tropical environment.

There were no teeth at the front of its mouth where it had a bony beak, but its cheek teeth were strong and ridged. It was 9 metres long and 5 metres high (about as tall as a double decker bus).

Iguanodon moved on its two hind legs upright, but also walked on all fours every so often. It is thought that the spiky thumbs were used to fend off predators such as Megalosaurus.

header image hylaeosaurus

Richard Owen: Namer of the Dinosaurs

In 1842 comparative anatomist Sir Richard Owen invented the name “dinosaur” for the discoveries of Buckland and Mantell.

Sir Richard Owen

He realised that Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus were not just giant lizards, but a long extinct group of creatures,very different from living reptiles.

Owen also advised on the Crystal Palace dinosaurs made by painter and sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins for the Great Exhibition of 1853. You can still visit the dinosaurs today.


Here is a Hylaeosaurus. It was the third dinosaur to be discovered and named in 1833. It was about 6 metres long and covered in spiny armour. It belonged to the Anklylosauria family of Dinosaurs.


Pioneers of Paleontology

I decided to dig out my old books on Dinosaurs and I’ve been having a lot of fun drawing dinosaurs and reading about the past. The study of evolution is fascinating and I’ve had a few ideas for some future Illustrations.
I thought I would write about and Illustrate some pioneers of Paleontology. I will follow up next week with some more famous people in Dinosaur science.

Robert Plot

Dr Robert Plot

Robert Plot was an Oxford University Professor who wrote a book called The Natural History of Oxfordshire, published in 1677. In the book there was a detailed drawing of a bone specimen he had found which he described as coming from a giant man or woman (perhaps he had found a fossil bean stalk next to it). The bone was later understood to come from the thigh bone of a dinosaur called Megalosaurus (giant reptile: the first dinosaur to be named later in 1824 by William Buckland). The understanding of the origins of the earth still relied on Biblical accounts at this time and fossils were not really understood by scientists. People thought that the Earth was created at 8pm on Saturday 3rd October 4004BC, so the notion of prehistoric life was completely crazy to them. People preferred to think the bones came from giant men.

By 1820 science had progressed and people understood that the Earth was much older and fossils were the remains of ancient plants and animals. Geologists had analysed the thickness of sedimentary rocks and understood there had been extinctions from discovering bones of Mammoths, although they still theorised that the Great Flood in the Bible could have been the explanation.

Mary Anne Mantell

Mrs Mary Anne Mantell

I remember reading about Mary Mantell when I was a child. Mary is famous for finding one of the first dinosaurs whilst walking along a road in southern England in 1822. In some rubble she found the huge tooth of an Iguanodon. She was a remarkable and intelligent woman who found many rocks and fossils and also Illustrated them, although her husband at the time Dr Gideon Mantell gets a lot of the credit for her discoveries.

In next weeks blog post I will follow up with some more pioneers of the past and perhaps a few dinosaur Illustrations as well.

Mermaid Story Sketches

I put a selection of sketches together that I have done from last year in my art course, and more recently as practice tests. I want to finish writing that mermaid story and Illustrate it in colour at some point but I’m still doing art tests for the technique I will use.

selection sketches

In other news I made a weekly schedule for myself last night for the many things I want to do. I often feel indecisive about which tasks to focus on, so I think just picking one or two different things to focus on each day will be more helpful (a little like my spinning wheel idea). I got the idea from listening to podcasts (thank you Sean McCabe and Alex Mathers). I am learning how to do new code on Codeacadmy, doing School of Visual Learning Courses and doing self initiated Illustration projects. I had taken a hiatus from website work and I don’t regret this at all. However I still find coding fun and I want to combine it with my art more, so I’ve decided to jump back into it at least once a week. I want to get back to the fun part of it though, not boring templates and box layouts….

Fridays will be my main blog update day from now on.

I’m going to get back to my drawing board now, over and out :)