Grymm's Tips on Drawing Dinosaurs

Looks like Tyrannosauridae won. I will be doing Tyrannosaurus rex for the next class’s subject, so expect some BIG teeth n LOTS of muscle.

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Y’know, I’ve been thinkin, uh, about this class and just all these tips I give you. People have recently told me about how sometimes the paleontological community completely restricts creative liberties due to proven fact and scientific control over what the artists can and cannot do. I myself am guilty of such actions; I have very much criticized others (often harshly) of inaccuracies and outdated information. And I’m gonna say that I am very upset by my own actions, and want to kinda let go of that controlling feeling whever I see an inaccuracy, unless someone really wants to learn how to do “proper” paleoart.

The JP franchise often defines what dinosaurs appear and behave like. Why? Because the general public or audience won’t go out of their way to learn how these animals may have acted in real life. They just want to see lizard make scary noise and kill people. As a result, dinosaurs have sort of blended into the realms of being fantastical monsters, almost being entirely fictional. Raptors have become hyper-intelligent serial killers, and larger theropods like Tyrannosaurus becoming lumbering brutes with no higher goals than to kill everything about them. Obviously inaccurate, right? Well, not really. A lot of people, especially younger audiences, will assume this is fact based on this media, and marketing schemes will capitalize on the monster phenomenon and as a result spread even more misinformation. This puts paleontology basically on par with cryptozoology, which is not exactly beneficial for the study as a whole. Why would you wanna support finding what are essentially monsters? Seems silly and only a child’s dream. Right?

For example, let’s put Velociraptor in the spotlight yet again. It’s beating multiple dead horses at this point, so let’s skip over the inaccuracies. Now, the real issue isn’t the inaccuracies themselves, but how they persist even through decades of new understandings of the animals that just never arises to mainstream media. And that can be disastrous for the animal’s image. It’s like monster shark, gator, or snake movies, where a literally normal animal is expressed like a monster to stoke fear in the audiences. Jaws prompted mass killings of sharks (at least 70% of their population now gone), and reptiles are often very mistreated as a result. Recent studies have shown that many of these species are headed towards extinction, right alongside dinosaurs. And that is bad. Like, y’all may know it’s bad, but this is a global crisis.

Now, there is also the more creative and liberal side to this. Because Jurassic Park and its sequels are movies, which are meant to entertain, it stands to a more business-based reason, that they need to sell out these creature features somehow. People aren’t watching JP for a documentary. No, that’s what WWD is for. Not to mention the insane economic success the franchise has as of late, with Dominion in a lot of people’s minds. Jurassic Park has changed entire lives.

Now, let’s transition to paleoart. You know what it is. But the problem CAN be that some people are…very persistent about everything having to be accurate. As said before, I too am guilty of this. But why do we do this? Why do we go out of our way to go all Gordon Ramsey on some poor soul who didn’t know any better? The reason is to preserve the truth. Science is all about discovery and changing our understanding, to pursue truth at its core. And having mainstream media that romanticizes truth isn’t great for science as a whole. People are more interested with the sensation that delivers all that good stuff into the brain over the tedious methodologies of science. And so, some may be bitter about that. Their hard work being tossed aside for watching a CGI monster destroy things. My fellow science geeks get me. It’s hard making an accurate depiction of a carnivorous theropod just living life and recieving comments of having it way scarier and bloodier, always fighting something. Nature can often be more terrifying than movies. Take otters. Yes. Otters. Those nasty water weasels will do very morally questionable things and giant river otters will one-up everything in the river, anacondas, caimans, and jaguars included. Why turn to fantasy when reality can be even more horrifying if people just turn and try to look deeper?

Of course, art is up to subjectivity. That is art’s purest nature. So anyone can do anything anytime. It’s about how the audience will interpret the artist’s orginal message. And that applies extremely well to paleoart. When cranky nerds are bashing your work for being inaccurate, they’re doing it not only out of a will to see others improve, but out of fear that misinformation will continue to spread and undermine their own valiant efforts to discover our past. At the same time, harsh words will not make uprising artists wish to listen to them, as they feel invalidated by the ones they supposedly look up tearing their work to shreds in front of them.

To those few who do follow this class, I am doing this to help educate the world of what I do know, and hope to inspire others to search deeper and gain a better bandwidth on history and life. I don’t want to destroy the legacy JP has created, or any of its associates and contemporaries. The franchise has, obviously, every right to continue (with no authority from me) inspiring new generations to the realm of paleontology. But please, understand that this field should at least be better recognized not as monster hunters, but as historians and biologists hoping to form our world whole.

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I want to add that this entire thing is completely optional. I am NEVER gonna force anyone to only draw currently accurate dinosaurs. That is not what this class is for. This class exists for those who are willing to recieve an opportunity to at least attempt it. And do not ever take my word as gospel. I am not a professional in any way, nor am I even the category of being “good” at this.

As a result, I will be a TON less restrictive on what is “accurate”. I want to provide a foundation for artists to use to achieve higher goals. I will also showcase the liberties that dinosaurs have and will continue to be depicted as, which is way more crazy than you might think.

And please, if someone is drawing a dinosaur, or any paleo-creature, don’t immediately attack them for being inaccurate. That doesn’t make you look smarter or better, it makes you an absolute prick. Only give them tips and advice if they ASK for it. I don’t want people to recieve the same bombardment I did when I first started doing this. Be respectful, please. Allow them to do what they want. Even if you think it might be damaging to the community, that’s just part of the dinosaur community, and therefore should be treated the same way as any other media.

Lastly, I will stop the continuous JP slander. While yes the models for the animals are outdated and fictional, I will never deny what they’ve done to inspire people worldwide and to the future. To any hardcore fans out there, I am truly very sorry for my words and actions, and will strive to watch my mouth from now on.

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Unfortunately, class is suspended until stated otherwise. I will attempt to be more active by dropping tips and hints every now and then, and y’all are still always welcome to ask questions! I don’t think there will be any full-time classes anytime soon.

I am not in a good spot to spend time making classes, as life is not good right now, so I am sorry for the inconvenience.

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Hope you’re doing fine, and everything gets better!

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No prob man, hope stuff clears up for you.

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Alright! It’s been a while, but I finally have time to do somethin! And this time, for time and my own sanity, we’re doin this digitally. Same rules still apply though.

Today, we’re gonna focus on possibly the most famous dinosaur to have ever existed: Tyrannosaurus rex.

I don’t think y’all need any backstory on this guy. It’s frickin’ T.rex. Enough said. Onto the class.

But before that, we ought to distinguish the differences between Rexy and the actual animal:

unnamed
(Rexy)


(T.rex [credit to Digital Duck])

Take a look for a few seconds and see that there are quite a big number of differences. The Tyrannosaurus has way more smooth and round than Rexy, given the shrink-wrap effect that’s common with theropods in the franchise. Next, the arms. Rexy’s arms are comically large, especially for a tyrannosaur. Other than that, there isn’t really too much else, unless you really wanna go into specifics. But I’m no paleontologist, go watch someone like E.D.G.E. or Ben G Thomas about it.


Step 1: Body.
I decided to go with a more complex pose this time, with a rex on the move. Again, notice how the body is more full and muscles, especially on the legs. A lot of things I’ve seen with people drawing theropod legs is that they’re blocky and rectangular. In fact, theropod legs are very similar to birds, with segmented parts that are visible here. Now, why is there no skull? Well…


Step 2: skull.
Now, I SUCK at drawing tyrannosaur skulls. But if you wanna practice drawing their heads decently, skeletals offer great insight into how the teeth are placed, the location of eyes and nose holes, and the organization of crests. Tyrannosaurs actually had ossified or keratinous crests that they used for interspecies combat, by headbutting or ramming into flanks.



Step 3: Lineart.
I don’t think I need to explain myself as much, because if you took the first class you know how it goes. Just fill out the body with skin flaps, scales, fat, and keratin.


And with that you have yourself a T.rex!!

Now, for extra stuff here, I found some images y’all might wanna use as reference for their heads:


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I will be doing a full-color rendition of this, probably.

And if in case you’re wondering how that’s looking, here’s what I have so far.

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And no this bearded tyrant isn’t meant to be accurate. There will be an accurate version released too, but this is a more wild, fantastical take.

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That’s a nice drawing, Grymm. I’m only a beginner for drawing

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youll get there!

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I hope so. I’m learning on how to sketch. Not on animals, but with emojis

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Id love to see anyone’s attempts of drawing the animals through these steps

One of your drawings did actually help me design one of my own! Whilst not actually based off of your instructions, I did make this realistic Scorpius Rex doodle based off of your Carnotaurus drawing.


I also do intend on making a realistic Refrenantem based off of your guide on how to draw Dilophosaurus, since I unlocked Ref yesterday and wanted to make a realistic doodle of it as a sort of celebration.

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that scorpius design is amazing!!

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Thank you! I’m glad you like it. I also just finished drawing this realistic Refrenantem doodle thanks to your instructions and your own doodles. Thanks for contributing to the artistic side of the JWA Community!

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yooo that looks amazing!!!

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More realistic Apexes! This time, Mortem Rex. Thanks to your Tyrannosaurus Drawing Guide

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I love it, especially the eye ridges over the orbitals and nose!

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