I’m becoming increasingly interested in dragon art from ancient cultures.
I want my dinosaurs to look like real animals, and I’m suspicious of paleo-art that copies the same ideas over and over. Especially when new details come to light, like maybe dinosaurs were skinnier than we draw them, or the big sauropods had long spikes on their backs. This sends ripples of shock through the paleo-artist community, and the art fluctuates wildly.
S8int.com had a great post this past week, Crouching Dragon, Hidden Dinosaurs. His premise is that dinosaurs are never allowed to be portrayed as dragonish, because people might draw a connection between dinosaurs and dragons in ancient cultures. Especially dragons that looked very dinosaurish.
Anyway, as I was looking at all these dragons from all these cultures, I noticed that the sauropod-looking ones all have some kind of feather thing on their heads. Spikes? Ears? I don’t know. But across all cultures, they all have this thingy on their heads. A lot of times they have a spiky dewlap under their chins, too.
So I took a whack at it.
Just some random sketches to conceptualize it. It makes little prosauropods look very dragonish, doesn’t it?
I also found this site, which has even more great pictures of dragons from various cultures. They even have skin comparisons, comparing the artwork to skin imprints we’ve dug up (they match).
I think I’m going to tackle the cerotopsians next (like triceratops). They’re drawn as “dragons”, too, and they have spiky bits on their backs, as well as this kind of armor shell thing on their backs, like really tough hide.