Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Whole Stegosaur

10/14/14 Sailor Jentle Doyou ink, Caran d'Ache Museum water-soluble colored pencils, Canson XL 140 lb. paper (stegosaur)

I hate to say it, but I think the outdoor-sketching season is over for the year. To initiate the start of indoor-sketching season, I headed over to one of my favorite places, the Burke Museum, where I had a long-delayed appointment with a stegosaur.

Back in March 2013, I took a 4-by-6-inch sketchbook to the Burke, so I sketched only the stegosaur’s head and one foot – all I could fit on those pages. I had vowed to return someday to sketch the whole cast replica of the huge, plant-eating beast. Although I’ve been back to the Burke several times since then, I got distracted by other, equally fascinating beasts, such as the elasmosaur I sketched last March. This morning I had the dinosaur exhibit nearly to myself, so I decided it was time.

The tip of the stegosaur's tail sketched
on another page.
I had my usual sketchbook paper, which opens out to a 9-by-12 spread. A couple of college-age art students joined me in the exhibit with their 18-by-24 drawing pads, and I started regretting that I didn’t bring something similar. Although I tried to scale my sketch carefully, I had a bad feeling I wouldn’t be able to fit the whole thing on the spread. Sure enough, when I got to the very tip of its tail, I ran out of space, so I had to use another page (one of these days I’ll learn how to stitch images together in Photoshop and make a complete skeleton).

I recall hearing a docent say that the plates on a stegosaur’s back are the size of a stop sign. As I sketched, I kept wondering how an animal so large could function with such a tiny, tiny head?

Pondering these and other thoughts, I was interrupted about 45 minutes into the sketch by a museum staff person who came by to let us know that in 15 minutes, about 90 fifth graders would be visiting the museum. “Thank you for the warning,” I said, and I made sure I was done by then!

10/14/14 Sailor Jentle Doyou and Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun inks
(pig's jaw)
I still had some time left on my parking meter. With the sound of 180 fifth-grade feet stampeding toward the exhibit, I made a beeline to a quieter room. As I sketched a pig’s jaw, I marveled at how similar its molars were to mine. 


  1. Bravo for that sketch of the stegosaur!!! You must have a lot of patience to sketch each of the bones interlocking in the tail. Impressive, Tina!

  2. These are really good, Tina. I love how you do bones :-) Looks like my outdoor seasons is coming to an end as well.

    Cheers --- Larry


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