Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Transitional ART Forms- September 2009

Welcome to a new monthly feature here at ART Evolved...

In these we hope to cover all things Palaeo-Art that happened during the month. Whether this be sharing some of the great palaeo-art that gets posted on the web everyday to the big scientific breakthroughs and discoveries that can help make your restorations all the more accurate and believable.
As this is meant as simply a gathering place for such information (and thus making so you do not have to hunt all these separate elements on your own) we are not solely responsible for selecting what gets posted here. In fact rather the opposite.
We are wanting any and all our readers to keep their eyes open on the web for palaeo-art content worthy of these posts. Send us the link (even without more then that... we'll follow it up) either in the comment section of any of our posts or email it to us at
So come join us for this first month of coverage.

In this section we are showcasing the many great palaeo-art pieces that get posted on the web each month. These can come from any source blog, website, flickr, deviantART, Renderocity, and or any other art hosting forum on the web. So if you see something art and prehistoric let us know so we can share it with the world!

This month's include...
Nima shares not only the making of this glorious piece, but also shares the importance of meeting art submission deadlines!

Mo continues his A to Z art tour of the wildlife of the United Kingdom.
An unidentified (on flickr anyways) Dromaeosaurid launches itself at us the view, in this piece by microraptor.

A rather classy Mixopterus by sk0gul over on deviantART.
The very talented Felipe Alves Elias has these details Sauropod heads up on his blog.

Dananddna engages in some neat speculative evolution if the Anomalocaridids had never gone extinct with his Anomaloshark.

VitalCreations has this very atmospheric Coelophysis on deviantART.

Novalecortar has some rather cute origami Dinosaurs (and other critters) up on flickr.

Two ceratopsians meet in andreasgr's piece up on Renderocity.

Renecyberdoc dedicates this great palaeo-landscape to the daughter of one of his online friends kids. lucky for us we can enjoy it too!

A herd of Styracosaurus come under attack by an Albertosaur in Dinoraul's latest Renderosity uploads.

Etrilobite has yet more of the weekly webcomic Walcott's Quarry. Be sure to catch up.

Lastly as if one weren't enough, Peter Bond created unleashed 5 new paints all on the same day!!!

This is a very exciting section, and one we hope to see expanded and to see more people share. Works in progress are a great chance for artists to get feedback on their work, and inversely for experts and technically knowledgeable people to help direct artists to creating better more accurate prehistoric restorations!
Please try and stop by as many of these posts as you can, and let these artists know what you think of their work so far. Maybe you'll give them the key inspiration or foresight to create a new palaeo-art classic!
Also artists please not only keep posting these great insights into your creative process, but be sure to send us the links to them. For this section we're more then happy posting sequential links on the progress of your pieces. It would however be nice if we received these from you, as on our own we might not get it right...
David has some a very cool start to his Sauropod entry for our Novemeber gallery. Can't wait to see the finished thing here...

Our very own Flying Trilobite is currently in the midst of making this and other, well, flying trilobites.
Art Evolved's Angie has this lovely CG Parasaurolophus in development. As if that weren't cool enough, she also has a Brachylophosaurus model in the works you can see in the same post!

Finally our resident Weapon of Mass Imagination has revealed some WIP's from a project he plans to chronicles more in detail here on ART Evolved! So be sure to take advantage of this sneak peek...

It can be hard getting references and information on creatures long extinct, so every bit helps. In this section we intend on collecting a month's more useful articles that include information relevant to artists. We're not as interested in keeping up with new species or the latest taxonomy, but rather aspects of behaviour and/or appearance of extinct organisms as these are what our art works are trying to capture.

Though not true palaeo-art, Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week shows us why it is important to get your proportions correct in restorations, otherwise to someone who knows your recreation could look as scary as this horse!

The Aquatic Amniote offers the beginning of a review of scientific restorations of Desmostylia.

Lastly we have this section to acknowledge and highlight any palaeo-art or artists who have been in the public eye for that month. We reserve this honour for such people and art that either appear on 5 or more blogs, appear at a palaeontologic institution, and or are included in a major press release.
The most popular palaeo-art piece making the rounds this month would easily have to be Todd Marshall's rendition of Raptorex. There is another version in which the larger Tyrannosaurus Rex looms over this its cutter(?) ancestor.

Darren Naish brings us the rare story of Dyzio the feathered Dilphosaurus of Poland.


davidmaas said...

Wow! Great to have such overviews. Some great stuff I had otherwise missed.

Nima said...

Thanks for posting my Dacentrurus piece!

Also, Felipe Elias is a MASTER and I'm totally jealous ;)

And Dinoraul's computer animated Styracosaurs are easily the best that I've ever seen. He gets the size, shape, and proportion of the spikes and the frill PERFECT.

I'm really interested in Raptorex, how much do we know about this creature so far?

Raptor Lewis said...

I really like these pieces! Excellent Job!! :D As always, I'm impressed! ;)

BTW- Do Photos count? I've recently did some Paleo Photography when I was in St. Louis and I think a few of them would be perfect for this! :)

ART Evolved said...


We will not be accepting "ordinary" photographs(artistic photos are another story). Otherwise we might as well link to every single post on the web with a picture of a fossil, and that is not the point of ART Evolved.

We are dedicated to artistic effort, and simple point and click photos such as those we have seen on your blog do not meet this criteria.


Raptor Lewis said...

I see....

However, before I go, I must say that that "Artistic" is ONLY opinion and not something that can be, I'm sure you agree, universally agreed upon.

I assume that photos are not accepted as this criteria seems near impossible to reach. Perhaps, one could show me by what you mean by "artistic."


ART Evolved said...


Yes, in a sense, the definition of artistic photography (or any medium) is to an extent a matter of opinion, but we will address this in a moment.

The key issues with your photograph Raptor, is that they are not palaeo-art. This website's sole mandate is the promotion and fostering of palaeo-art, and if a submission is not such work it is a waste of our time posting it here, as there are other venues better suited for it on the web.

Our definition palaeo-art is work where the present is somehow bridged with the prehistoric past. The key word there is work, as in it was created by or required some sort of effort on the part of the artist to produce.

Your photographs of fossils taken in museums, while displaying restorations of prehistoric animals, are not actually displaying your own work. The real palaeo-artistic effort was in the preparation and mounting of these fossils for the museum. You simply took a photograph of this work, and while this is good way to share this other person's work, there was no artistic skill on your part to obtain the subject of the photograph.

In other words if we were to post these pictures and promoted either you or your website as being the source of this art, it would be both false and more to the point stealing credit from the real artist (in this case a technician, which can be considered a type of artisan). The hard and true artistic work was in revealing the fossil from the rock that trapped it for millions or years, and hours of thought and skill in putting it on display. In comparison simply pointing a camera at it for a few seconds and snapping a photo just doesn’t compare sadly.

If you were to take pictures of a fossil you had prepared yourself, or done something clearly creative with, then we will post them. Simple point and shot pictures of someone else’s (including a museums) fossils will not be accepted for the reasons just stated. ART Evolved does not endorse plagiarism (which we are not directly accusing you of, but philosophically we would be committing promoting you as the artist behind such a photograph).

Alternatively if you were to research and write a post about the methods, technique, philosophy, and/or the creation of one of these particular fossil mounts we would also include it in Transitional ART Forms, as you would than be properly promoting the artist behind the mounts creation.

In summary, simple snap shots of anyone else's prepared fossils will not be counted as palaeo-art by ART Evolved.

Now for the opinion involved in artistic photography, this is a very complex subject matter. One that could probably generate a few good posts on ART Evolved, but for the moment we will just stick to your photos.

With all due respect, the two photos that were emailed to us were not composed in an overly artistic manner. There was no careful or crafted considerations that went into these photos...

The trilobite photo has the thumb of whoever is holding the specimen in frame, which greatly distracts from the fossil. The photograph of the Tyrannosaurus suffers from the flash bleeding out all the colour and detail of the skeleton, and includes random tourists in the bottom left hand corner of the frame.

They are very functional photos, but this is different from artistic. An artistic photo has great degree of premeditation and effort put into the final product. Yours, I think it is safe to say, were taken in the short time you had access to the specimen. This is admirable, but it still does not make it art. There is nothing different from this photos and those of most of the other people who visited the same museum.

Now we hope this clears this up.

Thank you for your interest in Transitional ART Forms. We hope to receive some proper palaeo-art from you in the future!

Raptor Lewis said...

Thank you for clearing that up! I will begin sending my own work soon for the next gallery.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

great to see artwork from different cultures!!