Decorative Deinonychus

This post is brought to you by having so much that I wanted and/or needed to do last weekend that my brain shut down and said “Screw all this, let’s draw a dinosaur”. So I did.

Specifically, I decided to draw a deinonychus because A) velociraptors are fun but they get all the love and B) I like the name. My artistic process is deeeeep, guys. Now, whether this guy is actually recognizable if I didn’t tell you which skeleton I was looking at for reference…no idea. But I swear that under all that dino-fluff (because why not, I like drawing feathers) there is theoretically a deinonychus skeleton.

I started by sketching out the pose in pencil. You can see where I’ve changed my mind a few times and moved things around. When I’m doing this sort of clean line drawing I’ll work out pretty precisely where I want the final lines to go before committing to them in ink.

I’ve started inking. I use brush pens which are the best thing EVER. Before I discovered brush pens I used Microns in various thicknesses and had to go back over lines in order to get the variation in width that I wanted.

Some of my favorite pens.
Some of my favorite pens.

The inking is now complete on the dinosaur, and you can see where I added a lot more detail to the feathers as I went. That’s the sort of thing that I trust myself to do on the fly and I generally don’t worry about working out in pencil ahead of time.

The dinosaur (they need a name, what should it be? Delores? Diana? Dameon? Is there a limit to how much alliteration you can use in a lifetime and am I approaching it?) looks a little lonely on the page, so I’m going to add a decorative border. Like everyone else I like the Art Nouveau style of ornamentation, and I also spent a lot of time as a teenager teaching myself how to draw Celtic knot-work designs. In general I find drawing decorative linework very soothing, and over the years those early influences have morphed into my own style of decoration.

And here’s the finished drawing!

Celia Yost

Celia Yost is a graphic artist and painter by both training and trade. She's also prone to ill-advised craft projects and yelling about politics.

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