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!

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Celia Yost

Celia Yost

I'm an illustrator/graphic artist from Ohio. I like drawing monsters, coffee, and painting outside wearing a fancy hat.


  1. October 23, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I love this and the border!

  2. October 23, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks 🙂

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