Any time I find myself in a library, the first thing I do is reflexively walk over to Dewey section 567.91 to see if there's any fresh content available for updating my personal brand. This is almost invariably a Quixotic adventure; 90% of the time the shelf contains the same books that I read 500 times when I was a kid; the other ten percent I'm presented with a collection of new but awful, brightly-colored, lowest common denominator dinosaur book-mill garbage publications, completely devoid of facts and with illustrations literally traced, poorly, from previous publications and then run through a couple photoshop filters and exclamation points everywhere, because apparently kids these days will bail out of any sentence if they sense that they're not going to be rewarded with the sweet payload of an exclamation point, justifying their efforts. So in summary the dinosaur book equivalent of today's cartoons. This is an entirely different but equally sad crisis.
Imagine then, my surprise and joy when last week I chanced upon the holy grail of the library dinosaur aisle venture; a new How to Draw Dinosaurs book that I've never even seen or heard of. That library-specific, quietly excited dying crow noise welled up in my throat. I quickly checked it out using my mother's library card number and she will definitely be paying the fee for a non-returned book because it's a very slippery book and I'm sure to accidentally drop it into a vent or a suitcase or otherwise somehow "lose" it.
And this book is actually really, really good. It's almost too good. The process is a little bit like this:
Like the guy just comes flying out of the gates with these unapologetically organic curves and angles that are tricky enough for me to reproduce, let alone some poor ten year old who would be better served by at least a couple straight lines to hang things on and some geometric shapes to help understand why things are going where. But the illustrations themselves are pretty amazing, and the anatomy is surprisingly on point and up-to-date.
And I've run out of Norris-thing manifestations to post, and my next self-portrait is getting a little extra attention, so I'm just going to start posting these as I go through the book. There's nothing more enjoyable than exercising your own creative expression and vision, but there's something uniquely cathartic about just following instructions and giving your right brain a breather.
So, enjoy these. The book is How to Draw Incredible Dinosaurs and the fantastic illustrations are done by Juan Calle. Execution and extra zazz courtesy of me.
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and doing well. Sidenote - incoming polyphasic sleep update soon.