A brief preface, as is to be expected in this era of decreased activity here at the blog. I am very much committed to continuing it, but I expect that its focus will continue to shift. When I was a nine-to-fiver, I found it much easier to be up the latest research. I could spend lunches and breaks writing posts. Though they often betray my status as a novice in paleontological knowledge, this type of post has been very satisfying for me, and writing about hot new taxa is a perennial source of traffic.
As a freelance designer and full-time student though, it's simply not something I can do anymore, so those sort of posts have faded considerably. I feel like it's turning into much more of a paleoart-focused blog than a paleontology blog, and that's just fine with me. I'll keep sharing my work (of which I have loads needing to be photographed). Maybe Marc will even share some of his, if we nudge him persistently enough!
One thing I'd like to do is share more work of more recent artists. One of my greatest regrets was not being conceived a decade or two later, so I could have taken advantage of the social web when young. I'm envious of you whippersnappers who get to grow up with the access to paleontologists and artists that today's web allows. The era of open-access and the participatory web is going to drive scientific discourse, which is a really exciting thing. To that end, I think I could do more here to help give contemporary dinosaur artists a bit more presence online.
Enough navel gazing though, let's look at the illustrations of Christoph Hoppenbrock!
I became aware of Hoppenbrock's work at Flickr. He's a designer and illustrator with an impressive range of work, including wonderfully intricate 3/4 view worlds illustrated for the German Playboy. When I wrote to ask permission to feature him here, he added a disclaimer I have read on his illustrations before. Some of it is a bit out of date; in particular Christoph is hungry to illustrate some feathered theropods and fix the pronation issues in some of his pieces. Those bits aside, his work is certainly worthy of dinosaur lovers' time. And like I told him in my reply back, there are plenty of scaly theropod fans who will appreciate his lizardy compsognathids. When he expressed his mild shame at the outdatedness of some of his work, I told him that to me, what's more important is the unique character and aesthetic of the work; anyone can learn the fundamentals of anatomy, but not everyone has arrived at a style that will invite viewers in. That ability to imbue a work with an inviting narrative - whether subtle or expicit - is a lot harder to teach, and I think he's got that aspect covered. The small body of work he's shared online features a slice of Jurassic life, focusing on his home country's paleontological heritage. Enjoy!
Anurognathus and Allosaurus
A sleek and colorful Compsognathus
Inside and outside Compsognathus
A mesozoic croc gets a dinosaur for dinner.
Check out more of Hoppenbrock's work at Flickr and his personal website.