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How to Draw a Tyrannosaurus

When I get bored in class I often draw little doodles of dinosaurs in the margin of my notebook, but none of them have turned out particularly well. I know what a lot of dinosaurs looked like, but transferring the image in my head to the paper can be pretty difficult. That's why I was excited to he...



When I get bored in class I often draw little doodles of dinosaurs in the margin of my notebook, but none of them have turned out particularly well. I know what a lot of dinosaurs looked like, but transferring the image in my head to the paper can be pretty difficult. That's why I was excited to hear that paleo-artist David Krentz has started a series of "how-to" videos showing viewers how to draw some of their favorite dinosaurs.

The first video in the series presents a step-by-step method for drawing Tyrannosaurus rex. All it takes are a few simple shapes; an oval, a "c," a "tooth shape," and a few others. The result of this basic technique won't turn you into a paleo-art master overnight, but I could definitely see the difference in my own drawing.

The video also serves as a quick lesson on paleontology and anatomy. While Krentz is drawing, the viewer is occasionally treated to explanations of details such as why Tyrannosaurus stands on its toes and how short its arms really were. Even though these tidbits might be old hat for the most avid dino fans, they are quick enough that there's no need to reach for the fast-forward button.

My only complaint about the video is that the latter portions, in which Krentz discusses different poses and giving your drawings a personality, go by too quickly. A few of them are available for viewing at a slower pace in the "special features" section of the DVD, but the leap between a basic profile drawing of Tyrannosaurus and a dynamic, head-on pose was not bridged very well.

Even so, my own drawing of Tyrannosaurus that I made after watching the video came out a lot better than my earlier scribbles. The most difficult thing is putting the head in proper proportion to the body. My Tyrannosaurus is a little big-headed, but I'm sure I will improve with practice. All in all, then, I definitely recommend the Krentz Presents DVD on how to draw a Tyrannosaurus. Whether you are picking up paper and pencil for the first time or have been drawing dinosaurs for years, it is a good primer on how to draw a better Tyrannosaurus.
About Brian Switek
Brian Switek

Brian Switek is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, and natural history. He writes regularly for National Geographic's Phenomena blog as Laelaps.

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