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How James Gurney paints dinosaurs

[Video Link] I love James Gurney's art. He is the creator of the beautiful Dinotopia series of books, and he's just made a video that shows the process he used to paint two illustrations of dinosaurs for Scientific American. This trailer shows how much careful planning Jim puts into his work -- sketches, color, studies, photography, and cool 3D models. Wow! I sure admire his devotion to his craft.

The 56-minute video is available at a name-your-price starting point of $15, which is a great deal. It'll also be available soon on DVD with bonus features.

James Gurney's "talking portrait" of 17th Street Locos

My friend James Gurney is the creator of Dinotopia, and he is a sketching fanatic. When I had lunch with him at Bob's Big Boy in Burbank a couple of years ago, he and his wife (also an artist) stayed at the restaurant after the meal to sketch street scenes. He just posted this excellent short video with a sketch he made of some men at the Santa Monica pier.

In 1981 I drew a portrait of two guys on the Santa Monica pier, then asked them to describe themselves into a tape recorder. For the first time, their faces and voices are brought together in a talking portrait.

Talking Portrait: 17th Street Locos

Dinotopia artist James Gurney on exhibit at New Hampshire Institute of Art


James Gurney's paintings, drawings, and incredible hand-made models from his Dinotopia books series are on exhibit this month at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.

From the soothing, restorative environment of Waterfall City to the hidden wonders of Chandara, acclaimed author and illustrator James Gurney’s magical Dinotopian world comes to life in this enchanting exhibition that features 22 original paintings from the best-selling illustrated books Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time (1992), Dinotopia: The World Beneath (1995), and Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara (2007), and presents fascinating examples of the illustrator’s creative process, including reference materials, and a handmade scale-model.

Inspired by archaeology, lost civilizations, and the art of illustration, Gurney’s Dinotopia, an extraordinary place where humans and dinosaurs live in harmony, fuses fantasy with realism and scientific accuracy. “The thing I love about dinosaurs is that they are on that balance point between fantasy and reality,” says Gurney. “It might be hard to believe that mermaids and dragons really existed, but we know that dinosaurs did―we can see their footprints and skeletons but we can’t photograph them or see them, except in our imagination.”

Dinotopia: The Fantastical Art of James Gurney