Using tracing paper over the original sketch of a skeletal mount to build up the muscle and flesh. This helps me to visualise how the animal’s soft tissue fits over the framework of the skeleton, especially in a dynamic hunting pose such as this.
The photo above shows the skeleton from another angle. The species is Albertosaurus sarcophagus, part of the Tyrannosaurs – Meet the Family exhibit at the Australian Museum. Due to the ambient lighting opting for a dark, cinematic feel, there wasn’t much light to sketch by. Dramatic lighting isn’t conducive to optimal drawing conditions.
Aside from the skeletons of long dead tyrants, there is an interactive element to the exhibit, mostly in the form of giant tablet and Wii-style games which bore some tangential link to the subject matter – from what I saw it was a prehistoric patch of either Angry Birds or Asteroids. Guess for those parents that brought along their children there had to be at least one platform game to satiate them away from stealing dad’s smartphone. While the kids were crowding the games areas I could happily sketch away in obscurity, and did meet a retired artist named Billy who was drawing skulls of the various animals.