Following on from the increasingly successful palaeoart interviews, Brett Booth of Carnosauria has kindly answered a few questions as well. He considers himself only a semi-pro palaeoartist, but as you might guess from his style Brett is a comicbook artist of note and if he want’s to say the dinosaur side is only semi-professional then who am I to argue? Certainly his work is interesting and not of the style of most other dino artists and none the worse for it. As before, images are his property blah blah etc. Take it away Brett (who you should remember for this little effort):
I’ve always enjoyed art even as a child, but my ‘big break’ came in 1993 when I was asked to join this comic book art studio with a bunch of heavy hitters in the comic world. So, if I’m doing my math correctly 17 years.
- How long have you been producing palaeoart?
About 10 years. I got inspired to try drawing dinosaurs again after reading an article in Prehistoric Times. I noticed they were looking for submissions so I drew one up, my wife colored it and off it went.
- What first got you interested in dinosaurs and art?
My Dad seemed to like them (dinosaurs) so he’d get me books or watch specials on TV, but the first book I remember really liking was a Charles R. Knight book that the school library had, the penciled ornitholestes grabbing the archeopteryx image, I would just study that for hours. I loved that book and it was the only one I checked out of the library for some time. I can’t find the name online but I know I saw it somewhere recently…
- What is your favourite piece of dinosaur art that you have produced?
Hmmmm, tough question. I’m usually not super happy with anything. But I’d have to say the Tarbosaurus attacking the hadrosaur Shantungosaurus (see top). I had a very hard time getting reference for Shantungosaurus. But I did find a drawing of the skeleton (by Luis Rey) that I was able to use. I drew that for fun for a Jurassic Park web site. It’s the first scene picture I colored, the drawing took about 3 hours but the coloring that took about 3 days. NOT something I’m used to doing. But I did learn a lot doing it. But I’m most proud of this one – the first work I did for an actual paper. I was TOTALLY geeking over that. Still am a bit:) [Ed note: to be picky I'd call this technical work rather than palaeoart, but who am I to judge?].
- Who is your favourite palaeoartist or piece of palaeoart?
Greg S. Paul, would be my favorite. His art blew me away when I first saw it. The feathers, the slimmed down anatomy. As for a piece, I used to have this Daspletosaurus sculpture my wife got for me by Michael Trcic. I loved that piece, the movement, the balance. Perfect.
- What is your favourite dinosaur / archosaur?
This is a tough one right now. I usually say Acrocanthosaurus, but the megaraptors are moving up fast. I like the big theropods. And I prefer the Allosaurus line, the tyrannosaurs are far too over exposed.
- Is there any animal you would like to paint but have not?
The drawings I do I do really fast, so if I’m dying to draw a specific animal I usually just sit down and draw it. Takes about an hour or so, but the digital painting… that takes far more time. I’ve drawn most of what I’ve wanted to, but I would love to do a Dinotopia like book, or at the very least a comic (which I may get to do at one point. I have a publisher, just need the funding now.)
Wow, massively hard question to answer. Research, would be my first answer. When I plan on drawing an animal I get as much a possible. Scott Hartman’s Skeletal Drawings web page is a first stop. If it’s new I usually head over to Dinosaur Tracking or Theropoda or your blog for some good images to use. I have at least three dinosaur folders on every machine, half with my work in them and half reference I get from the web. You can never have enough reference!
But after thinking about it it might be comparative anatomy strictly for the art part. Knowing (in these cases, educated guessing!) how the different species moved and might have looked. Getting reference from related species to plug in the holes. Then fleshing out the animal, a solid knowledge of anatomy is a great help.
That’s all I can think of.