Monday, January 9, 2017

Lady with an Archaeoceratops

Lady with an Archaeoceratops ~ Watercolour with touches of gouache, approx. 138 mm. diameter

Happy New Year! May 2017 be kinder to us all.

I promised our regular reader, Andrew Stück, that I would post this piece, after he commented that it's been a while since my saurian incongruities were last seen on the blog. So here we are! 

This piece began simply enough as a sketch, when I decided to pair a Tang dynasty lady with her pet Archaeoceratops.

The idea of turning it into a full colour piece soon took hold. So much so, I began to entertain thoughts of an entire series of ‘fine ladies from various cultures with their saurian pets’. A few friends even read my mind when I shared the sketch on social media, not least of whom was Joschua Knüppe, who, when I'd finished this piece, went on to suggest even more irresistible pairings. 

The colours and markings for the Archaeoceratops were inspired chiefly by the black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus nigrifrons) and the Sri Lankan spotted chevrotain (Moschiola meminna)

Detail, during progress, with penny for scale.
I tried to think of a more succinct title for the piece but couldn’t come up with anything clever. Fellow illustrator and friend, Joseph Vernot playfully called it ‘Madonna and Child’, which I did like very much; but in the end, I settled for the simple, if not terribly creative, ‘Lady with an Archaeoceratops‘. After all, there is historical precedent for the form.


  1. Aw, shucks! An official mention on the blog! I'm blushing. A beautiful portrait as always! I hope to see more pieces in this vein!

  2. don't forget Girl With An Aquilops

  3. Very nice! The colors/markings of the Archaeoceratops are quite beautiful and convincing -- and I never would have guessed they were inspired by a mammal; it's not blatant.

  4. Beautiful work, definitely worth making more of them.


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