Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Back to the Burke

3/12/13 Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-Guri ink, Hand Book journal
Ever since I visited the Burke Museum with a few sketcher friends, I’ve been wanting to return to sketch more prehistoric skeletons. Last time I had only a few minutes to spend on the Hoplophoneus, so I sketched the forest-dwelling feline’s skull. This time I devoted a full hour to sketch its entire 25-million-year-old skeleton.
The Hoplophoneus lives in the education room that was empty when I started sketching, but a few minutes later a classroom of first graders, their teacher and several moms came in for a presentation by a Burke staff member. They didn’t shoo me out, so I stayed, and as I sketched, I learned the criteria for something to be identified as a fossil – it must be natural (not a buried Barbie doll head), it must be previously living (not a rock), and at least 10,000 years old – and other interesting facts about very old creatures.
3/12/13 Private Reserve Velvet Black ink, Hand Book
On my way out, I sketched the head of a Xiphactinus audax, an 85-million-year-old “Daring Sword-Ray” that was found in Kansas.


  1. I think i would get lost sketching all those bones and teeth. These are impressive sketches.

    1. Thanks, Joan. I generally get freaked out trying to sketch something with a lot of detail, but for some reason, I find these prehistoric skeletons to be intriguing and compelling.


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