Bluegrass Wild: Palaeoart
  • by artist Stephan Moore

“Stephen (Stevie) R. Moore is a Lexington Kentucky artist and illustrator specializing in natural history subjects and wildlife art.  Stevie has a degree in fine art from the University of Kentucky and currently works as a muralist, art instructor, and freelance illustrator out of his home studio.  Primarily working in oil paints and digitally with Adobe Photoshop, Stevie also enjoyes painting subjects such as Dinosaurs and Paleoart, creatures design, and concept art. His other interests include aviation, aquariums, nature, photography, art, and history.

You can visit Stevie’s other artwork pages at Studiospectre.com and Stephenmoorefineart.com.

You can contact the artist here.”

(Source: Bluegrass Wild)

That teaser earlier? Well, that was this.

The comparisons of Therizinosaurs to the giant ground sloths of old are numerous and varied, but I decided to give it a go anyway! You remember those semi-aquatic ground sloths they found in South America? No? Well, I thought, what if Therizinosaurs discovered new foraging opportunities in the blue as well? And this happened. Aquatic Therizinosaurs. That’s right: I’m putting the Chelon back in Cheloniformis. *Reels in pride from awful nerd joke*

Also, I started AND finished a painting in the same day! Amazing!

Edit: you can find a better quality version on my DeviantArt here.

Making palaeoart is hard. It takes a lot of time and effort- both professionals and non-professionals will understand this.  The people behind this are not machines that churn out high quality palaeoart at no cost whatsoever, only to see them become memes. Artists are people too. Life is hard for palaeoartists. Palaeoart is not about the best or the most popular or the most meme-worthy artists. Palaeoart is a century-old practice that has, since the very start, been about restoring prehistoric life in an accurate and evidence-based basis, while stopping plagarism dead in its tracks and appreciating palaeoartists for the wonderfully talented people that they really are.

We want our graphic on blogs, articles, videos and even conference presentations as a means of promoting these issues as widely as possible. Remember that the whole reason for writing the Palaeontologia Electronica piece was to break these issues out into the wider world. The way to do that is through promotion in as many places as possible. We want it Facebooked, Tweeted, blogged, Tumblr’d and whaever else you can do on social media. We want it on respected, widely-read websites so those who don’t frequent the depths of the palaeoblogosphere can’t avoid it. We want SVP 2014 audiences seeing this in so many presentations that Berlin erupts with discussion of ‘what’s with all those palaeoart logos?’. However you do it, we’re simply asking for a bit of a fuss. Ultimately, we want this widespread enough that the folks involved in palaeoart production can’t ignore it, and will hopefully start thinking about palaeoartistry and its practitioners with the respect they deserve. 

Mark Witton couldn’t have said it better.


All Yesterdays has a page spread set aside for Tenontosaurus, a horse-sized North American relative of Iguanodon that lived in the early Cretaceous era. It mentions that because its remains were found in association with the raptor Deinonychus, it’s most often depicted being attacked by a pack of them. It goes on to say that it’s become such a cliche that it “is almost impossible to find a reconstruction of Tenontosaurus where it isn’t being torn apart by a pack of Deinonychus.”

I thought “surely that must be an exaggeration” but no. This is only as many as I could fit in a tumblr photoset. There are dozens more just on the first page of Google image search. Poor thing.

(The last image is the page spread in All Yesterdays, in which co-author John Conway provides a Tenontosaurus withsome well-earned peace and quiet for a change.)

The pterosaur Zhejiangopterus linhaiensis is in teh dinosaur base, eatin’ the all their dudes. Zhejiangopterus was an azhdarchid pterosaur from China, terrestrially stalking, as was (probably) their wont. I have given it a speculative soft-tissue crest — everything seems to have crests these days.

This composition is largely stolen from a painting by Christain Schloe. And thanks to Mark Witton for the skeletal reference.

P.S. Why is there an eye where the nostril should be? Your answer is in the question fish-bulb, that’s its nostril.