Deinonychus (studies)

I was doing a few studies to draw an adult dienonychus. It presented some new drawing challenges; the feathers, for instance. There was also the problem of leathery dinosaurian skin coming from behind the plumage. Plus I wanted to do the same kind of thing I did with the T-Rex and try to get an understanding of how the anatomy worked.


The arm is where I first looked. I looked at a few photos of mounted dromaeosaurs to get s feel of how they sat. Some mounts had them outstretched and others had them tucked by their sides. What’s interesting to note is that the hands are horizontal, palms down, when tucked in; and upright, palms facing each other in the centre when the arms are extended. This restricted use of the wrist, is still evident in modern birds.


Drawing the limb, which very much resembles a plucked chicken wing; and then the feathers over it worked nicely. The plumage I kept grey as most likely it would have been. Next I had a look at the leg; again, comparing it to modern bird legs. They share a lot in common, even chickens still have reptilian scales on their legs. The big difference was the modified inside claw; this toe controlled the famous sickle claw of the dromaeosurs.


The first dienonychus reconstruction I drew was an adult animal in a dramatic pose. It was vocalising; and poised d though to leap or jump. However the leg gets lost amongst the arm plumage.


I wanted to create a bird-like, ignorant curiosity in the drawings. The next study is a more close-up view of the animal’s head and neck. The red eyes are a bit fanciful, though not entirely impossible, but I did want the dinosaur to have some colour.


The final drawing I want to do is of two adult dienonychus. One in an active pose and the other in a more relaxed state. I’ve got a few other drawings on the go so don’t know when I’ll get back to the raptor.