Sketching ageless distortions

Illustrating a fossil skeleton correctly and clearly is an enticing paleoart puzzle. It takes deep knowledge of morphology, anatomy, and taxonomy.

Sketching the fossils as they are is inviting yourself into their mystery and grandeur. The agelessness and distortions of deep time, understandable only as math and not experience.

I love sketching fossils as they appear, distortions and all. A little part of the mystery.

Sketch of the smaller Stenopterygius quadriscissus. This fossil is 180 million years old, early Jurassic. I curved the tail to fit on the page.

Sketch of the smaller Stenopterygius quadriscissus. This fossil is 180 million years old, early Jurassic. I curved the tail to fit on the page.

Recently, illustrators Liz Butler and Pat Butler invited me to join them for an afternoon of sketching at the ROM. Fantastic to meet them in person. Make sure you check out their work.

@liz_lagomorph on Twitter, Instagram, site

@phbutler on Instagram, site