Mar 26 2013 9:30am

Picturing Dinosaurs

Jeffrey Jones from Edgar Rice Burroughs' Back to the Stone Age

Welcome to the latest edition of “Picturing...” as we celebrate the art of dinosaurs and creatures in the spirit of dinosaurs. It’s no secret among my friends that I am obsessed with Natural History museums and have far more dinosaur toys in my office than any forty-three year old should admit to having. That said, I’m no expert on dinosaurs, not even in the way that most seven-year-olds can rattle off the names of their favorites. But I love these museums as art installations in themselves, telling nearly unbelievable stories that actually happened. The images included here were chosen because I love them as artwork and I have indulged in, more than a little, the fantastic stories that have been inspired by these creatures. Please enjoy this mix of science and art, fantasy (intentional or otherwise), old theories and new…

(above) Jeff Jones depicting Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Back to the Stone Age.

John Gurche, one of today’s preeminent paleoartists, playing with scale:



A city street from James Gurney’s Dinotopia series. Gurney is equally at home with scientific illustration and fantasy. It’s the mix of authenticity and imagination that make the Dinotopia books such a delight.

James Gurney


Larry Felder’s cute-as-pie duckbill hatchling.

Larry Felder


James Gurney’s Mei Long, “sleeping dragon.” This originally appeared in Ranger Rick magazine and then became the cover for Gurney’s painting techniques book, Color and Light (for obvious reasons.)

James Gurney


...and Gurney’s fearsome Giganotosaurus:

James Gurney


I had not heard of Douglas Henderson before I started this collection. Clearly he is well known in paleoart circles, and with good reason. He lends a real sense of narrative and mood to scientific illustration.

I love the light shining through the water, here. You can just imagine the terror you’d feel seeing such a creature revealed in the waves.

Douglas Henderson


Another Henderson plesiosaur (with one crazy-scary shark) from The Oceans of Kansas.

Doug Henderson


Henderson showing the sad and quiet drift of two drowned centrosaurs.

Doug Henderson


The highly influential Czech artist Zdenek Burian.

Zdenek Burian


Charles R. Knight, among the first dinosaur painters, and perhaps the most famous. These leaping Laelops reside in New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AKA my museum.)

Charles Knight


Zdenek Burian showing pterosaurs taking care of their young.

Zdenek Burian


A section from Rudolph F. Zallinger’s famous “Age of Reptiles” mural at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History featuring the quintessential tail-dragger—we love him so.

Rudolph Zallinger


John Sibbick’s neovenator is sleek like an Art Deco hood ornament.

John Sibbick


A late addition to the list becuase, when James Gurney emails to say you should check something out, you check it out. Here’s a haunting image of a fallen Leaellynasaura from Peter Trusler.

Peter Trusler


Disruption in the herd, from Paul Bonner.

Paul Bonner


What’s cooler than lasers? Dinosaur lasers. From the Dino-Riders series of toys.

Dino Riders


really lovely painting from Christophe Vacher for Disney’s “Dinosaur.”


Another day in the forest from Raul Martin.

Raul Martin


Mark Schultz, know for his man-and-monsters, post-apocalyptic Xenozoic Tales, takes on dinosaurs in their more natural environment, here:

Mark Schultz


Such a handsome face, from Peter Schouten.

Peter Schouten


John Conway’s dimetrodon is simplified, yet full of personality.

John Conway


From Ricardo Delgado’s beautifully drawn comic Age of Reptiles.

Ricardo Delgado


William Stout, another artist that can glide effortlessly between science and fantasy.

William Stout


Classic face-off from Charles R. Knight, part of the murals at Chicago’s Field Museum.

Charles R. Knight


Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins created some of the first dinosaur images ever seen, including London’s Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, the first exhibit of dinosaur sculpture.

Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins


Tarzan and Jane encounter dinosaur-riding natives from J. Allen St. John, the predecessor of both Frank Frazetta and Jeff Jones.

J. Allen St. John


Jeff Jones created a great sense of mood and mass with these simplified shapes.

Jeff Jones


J. Allen St. John and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land that Time Forgot.

J. Allen St. John


Neave Parker’s thumbs-up iguanodon.


Gregory Paul’s herd of Giraffatitan.

Gregory Paul


Nice values in this one from Robert Walters and Tess Kissinger.

Bob Walters  Tess Kissinger


Raul Martin’s apatosaurus herd on the move.

Raul Martin


Dan McCarthy has a series of wonderfully designed dinosaur and dinosaur skeleton posters.

Dan McCarthy


The jigsaw puzzle that is dinosaur hunting: Barnum Brown’s map of dinosaur bones at the Howe Dinosaur Quarry.

Barnum Brown map of dinosaur bones at the Howe Quarry.


I picked up this chalkboard T-Rex ages ago. I’ve always loved it—I wish I knew who did it.


 Peter Van Dyck is making great choices about missing pieces and lost edges. 

Peter Van Dyck


Who knew there was a Draw a Dinosaur Day? January 30th, apparently. This one is from Mark Ryan.


While working on this collection, I was very happy to stumble into Joanne Young’s museum series.

Joanne Young


Beautiful design in this very natural-looking scene from Douglas Henderson.

Douglas Henderson


Again I love John Conway’s simplified shapes and his color. The stegosaurus seems happy and confident on his swampy walk.

John Conway


Surrealist Jacek Yerka builds a city on a dinosaur.

Yacek Yerka


Arrrrrugghh! Walt Simonson and the Fantastic Four.

Walt Simonson Fantastic Four


Bob Eggleton’s T-Rex...IN SPAAAACE.

Bob Eggleton


Mark Teague teamed up with writer Jane Yolen to create a series of one of my favorite children’s books,  the “How do Dinosaurs...?” series. They teach kids how to behave well, while first delighting in all kinds of terrible behavior. I also love that, inexplicably, all the dinosaurs have human parents.

Mark Teague


Charles R. Knight’s holiday card. How great is that!?

Charles R. Knight


Chocolate Brontosaurus? I’m there.


And what’s cooler that pirates? Dinosaur pirates. Neill Cameron’s Pirates of Pangaea.

Neill Cameron's Pirates of Pangaea


Creature designer Terryl Whitlatch’s plesiosaur with its more modern cousins.

Terryl Whitlatch


Goncalo Pereira’s goat is not very impressed by this angry Rex.

Goncalo Pereira


John Gurche. I’m partial to this one since it depicts a scene from the lobby of my favorite museum, The American Museum of Natural History.


Arzach, Moebius’s wordless comic for Métal Hurlant.



I love this crested duckbill from Larry Felder—he almost looks as if he would like to apologize for being so big.

Larry Felder


Mario Larrinaga and Willis O’Brien’s concept art for the original King Kong movie:

Mario Larrinaga


Tim O’Brien was taught by legendary paleoartist Rudolph F. Zallinger. Here Tim takes on an editorial job touching on the topics of evolution and creationism.


Daryl Mandryk concept art for the Turok video game.



Airtight Garage from Moebius.

Moebius, dinosaur


A beautiful sun-drenched day from Kazuhiko Sano.

Kazuhiko Sano


Marc Burckhardt makes fox hunting a bit fairer for the animals...

Marc Burckhardt


Vincent di Fate pays homage to the B-movie drive-in.

Vincent di Fate


A couple of troodons under a magnolia tree on a nice spring day, by John Conway.

John Conway


Virginia Lee Burton’s Life Story, a history of life on Earth told in a series of play acts. 

Virginia Lee Burton


Sweet scratchboard portrait by Margaret Colbert for The Year of the Dinosaur.


Jessica Fisher’s poster for the American Museum of Natural History.

sica Fisher


Boris Kulikov artwork from Barnum’s Bones, a picture book about Barnum Brown’s discovery of the infamous T. rex.

Boris Kulikov artwork from Branum’s Bones.


Man versus plesiosaur in this early J. W. Buel engraving. So we’ve learned a few things since the 1880s...

J. W. Buel


Raymond Swanland with the contemporary edition of the vintage comic, Turok, Son of Stone.

 Raymond Swanland, Turok


The “Can we keep him?” adventures of William Joyce’s Dinosaur Bob.

William Joyce, Dinosaur Bob


Robert Neubecker’s Linus the Vegetarian T-Rex.

Robert Neubecker's Linus the Vegetarian T-Rex.


Michael Sloan. I grabbed this one for its tagline as much as for the drawing, “The water we use is the same water that existed during the age of the dinosaurs.”


Chris Buzelli with a very, very cold dinosaur. Poor T.


John Sibbick, with a sordes light as a feather.

John Sibbick


Zdenek Burian with the old-school brontos that needed to live in water to bear their weight. The brontos I grew up with.

Zdenek Burian Brontosaurus


Sleepy triceratops, by John Francis.

John Francis


Peter McCarty’s T is for Terrible.

Peter McCarty


Such a sad little guy stuck in the rain by John Conway, it makes me want to run out and adopt kittens in lieu of dinos.

John Conway


“It’s a Dinosaur” by Mark Englert. I love the color and values in this.


J. C. Richard’s lovely take on Jurassic Park.

J. C. Richard, Jurassic Park


Burian mixing sea (not-)birds with sea ships—what could be more natural?

Burian pterosaur


Another great, if melancholy, narrative from Douglas Henderson— the death of a giant while time, and others, march on.


Frank Frazetta’s cover for Piers Anthony’s Orn.

Frank Frazetta


Mark Witton’s poster for his talk “Our Lives With Pterosaurs: Answering dumb questions with hard(ish) science.” Yeehaw!


Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur....ROAR!

Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur


Aaaand what’s better than a F-14? A dinosaur in an F-14. Bill Watterson and the timeless Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobes, dinosaurs.


...and I couldn’t resist a full Calvin and Hobbes strip.

Calvin and Hobes, dinosaurs.


Mark Schultz’s comic Xenozoic Tales.

Mark Schultz


Joe DeVito, from his Kong: King of Skull Island.


Neave Parker’s crisp, clear lighting in Giants Past and Present.

Neave Parker


Heinrich Harder. I love the ballet in this. 

Heinrich Harder


You can really sense the weight of time—the upcoming sixty-five million years —before this guy will appear again. By Julius Cstonyi.

Julius Cstonyi


A parade of sauropods from Kazuhiko Sano.

Kazuhiko Sano


I’ll leave our final note to Dan McCarthy, showing the dinosaurs where we found them...just a sliver of earth between their fate and ours.

Dan McCarthy

2. Charley Parker
Thanks, Irene. Wonderful post!

As a long time aficionado of paleo art, I'd say you pretty much nailed it (with the possible oversite of Elllie Kish, and me - grin).

The mystery "Chris" is Christophe Vacher, concept art from Disney's Dinosaur.
Irene Gallo
3. Irene
Thanks guys! I updated the post.

Charley: I both love and hate seeing all the great stuff I miss in these posts.
Irene Gallo
4. Irene
I didn’t want to post any images only to poke fun of them for being “of their time” but...I just have to (lovingly) place this cha-cha-cha iguanodon vs. allosaurus here.

6. BLS
Brilliant! Thanks for posting these wonderful images.
Andy Kilby
7. adk2639
Great collection and variety of styles!
8. kdopita
Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this collection. It makes me smile!
9. Tomb
Dare I suggest the webcomic I write Krig RAWR?

Here is some concept and random art. But I highly recommend reading the comic. Better art and cooler dinosaurs!

10. GurneyJourney
Great collection, and thanks for including mine. I know you probably can't fit more in, but one of my favorite dinosaur images is by the Australian artist Peter Trusler, whose reconstruction of a dead Leaellynasaura is unforgettable: https://c479107.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/11978/area14mp/5jfnjchw-1340237966.jpg
Irene Gallo
11. Irene

That Peter Trussler painting really is haunting. I added it to the post.

I’m sorry I missed him through my internet travels -- there’s a bunch I owuld have loved to have included. Thanks for the tip!
Mordicai Knode
12. mordicai
Who has two thumbs & wants to look at dinosaur pictures all day?
13. Stevie Moore
Wonderful post on my most favorite of subjects!
14. Alarcão
I have so much fun following your "Picturing..." series. You have great editing skills. This a much demanded ar form as well.
15. Michael Mrak
I should have remembered to add him to the list, but Twitter is just sooo short. A great artist who actually works for the AMNH is Mick Ellison. He gets to go into the field and see these great fossils first hand and work with the folks digging them out of the dirt. Here is an early feathered sinornithosaurus that he drew.

Irene Gallo
16. Irene
Thanks for chimming in, Mike!

Can I pose as one of your assistants the next time you are at the AMNH? I’ll get you coffee and everything.
17. Michael Mrak
You can just come and hang out with us.I think that everyone in paleontology would be cool with that!

A word of warning: It can be a gigantic time suck though, because there is just too much cool stuff there!
Alan Brown
18. AlanBrown
Thought 1. Another "Picturing..." thread. Hooray!
Thought 2. It's dinosaurs! Awesome!
Thought 3. (There was no thought 3, I was stuck on awesome.)
19. David Marjanovi?
So... much... awesomeness...
I really lovely painting from Christophe Vacher for Disney’s “Dinosaur.”
So do I... I mean, it really is... I mean... :o)
Gregory Paul’s herd of Giraffatitan.
No, this is actually Brachiosaurus, encountering two Apatosaurus on the left.
Beautiful design in this very natural-looking scene from Douglas Henderson.
Indeed, but the scene is Late Carboniferous, and the vertebrate in it is the lizard-sized and -shaped near-diapsid Hylonomus.
Surrealist Jacek Yerka builds a city on a dinosaur.
That's... not... a dinosaur. It's a generic sea monster. Vaguely plesiosaur-like except for the tail...
Zdenek Burian with the old-school brontos that needed to live in water to bear their weight. The brontos I grew up with.
That's Giraffatitan and/or Brachiosaurus. Also, Zden?k. :-)
I’ll leave our final note to Dan McCarthy, showing the dinosaurs where we found them...just a sliver of earth between their fate and ours.
What it actually shows is a plesiosaur. Look at the fins and the head!
21. David Marjanovi?
...OK. So, the question mark in my name is a c with an acute accent; Burian's is an e with an upside-down ^ on it; when I write HTML entities instead of copying & pasting the letters from the character map, they disappear in preview; and I'll never start a blog on tor.com.
Irene Gallo
22. Irene

Thanks for the clarifications! I'll make some changes above.

I knew the plesiosaurs and others weren’t real dinosuars but I had thought “dinosaurs and creatures in the spirit of dinosaurs” in my intro would cover it. I’ve since learned that my laymans nonchalance is a bit more of an issue than I had realized. To do it over, I should have called it Picturing Dinosaurs and Other Ancients.
24. Joseph M
Lovely images, thanks.

On a lighter note, may I suggest Wexter, Axe Cop's pet T-Rex?
25. imbubbasmom
Wonderful, as usual. And thanks for giving me all the new blogs to follow!
26. Nuraal
Check out Brett Booth, he does some of the best dino illustrations that I've seen.
Heather Jones
27. JourneywomanJones
Brings back those all too brief days when I was a paleaontology student... Thanks Irene!
28. Lady Cygnus
The only one I'd add is a T-rex making a bed:
Kari Christensen
29. KariChristensen
Awesome post Irene! A few weeks ago I was thinking it would be nice to have a comprehensive list of dinosaur artists. I vividly remember the first time I went to a dinosaur museum when I was 5 years old. I was in love.

That Rudolfph F. Zallinger T-rex makes me smile everytime. It has the most evil looking red eye and tiniest little arms:)
30. Typhoonclass17
How could I have ever forgotten Dino-Riders!
31. Staar84
"I love this crested duckbill from Larry Felder—he almost looks as if he would like to apologize for being so big."

Well, Parasaurolophus was discovered in Canada...
32. museumwebbie
Fantastic collection! One small correction though, Zdenek Burian's illustration is of Brachiosaurs.
Bruce Arthurs
33. bruce-arthurs
The new post on dinosaurs in children's books reminded me of Loius Darling's illustrations for The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth (1956):

34. Ed the Roman
I cannot believe you left out Ubersaurus Rex from Mark E. Rogers' Planet of the Nazi Dinosaurs in Samurai Cat.
35. tim b
Glad to see the Louis Darling from The Enormous Egg.

But where's Syd Hoff's immortal Danny and the Dinosaur? As long as you're adding old book art, you can't leave that one out...
36. tim b
Just spotted the D&D illustration on a previous post this week. Never mind!
Pamela Adams
38. PamAdams
I've now changed my desktop wallpaper for the third time since this post went up!
Bob Walters
39. Dinobob
Thank you for including my work in your gallery of dinosaur artwork. Very good company to be in! Of course, I know and have had the pleasure of exhibiting with quite a few of these artists over the years. Thanks again!
40. MarcL
No Hal Robins?!

41. DarthKaal
You've misspelled "Arrrrrugghh!"...

Great great collection, very inspiring! Thanks.

What is the type of dinosaur seen in "Disruption in the herd, from Paul Bonner" (the ones in the herd of course)?
Rebecca Hogan
43. RoganArt
Great post, some of my absolute favorite artists are here (*cough* Guerney *cough*). However there is an additional artist definitely worth mentioning:

Stephen R. Bissette is a wonderful comic artist who, back in the day, worked on Swamp thing with Alan Moore. He is a long-time dino fanatic who researched, wrote, and illustrated his own series called Tyrant in the early 1990s.

44. LauraVR
Thanks for collecting these excellent examples of dino art. My favorite - Charles R. Knight and Gregory Paul. Charles Knight designed the reptile house and the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Wonderful mosiacs. The columns at the entrance rise up from the shells of giant tortoises. A grand surprise when first visted years ago.
46. tobbA


Great article, anyway :)
47. Alan Dean Foster
For those interested in regular doses of wonderful paleoart, I recommend a subscription to the long-running magazine PREHISTORIC TIMES.

The Burian pterosaur with the ship in the background may be an illo to the very ending of Doyle's THE LOST WORLD.
48. Celia Berrell
Thanks so much for collecting all these wonderful images. I'm looking forward to 30th January as "Draw A Dinosaur Day".
49. Michelle Leveille
I really enjoyed reading this "who's-who in dino art" primer. Thank you for compiling the images and writing the informative text. Now I'm really excited about January 30th!

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