Tuesday, 3 September 2013

It's about time I made a dragon

I haven’t done much in the sculpture department the last couple of days because I’ve just started a new job, but I have been playing around with a concept or two.  I’m always very impressed by Dan Reeder’s work, and looking at his blog makes me think it’s probably about time I made a dragon.  For those not familiar with Dan “the Monster Man” Reeder, he’s a paper mache artist and tends to specialize in dragons.  The things he can do with paper mache have to be seen to be believed.  In this time lapse video, you can see him make a sculpture of Drogon from Game of Thrones:

I also had heaps of fun making Bruce the anatomist’s head, and so I got to thinking about what dragon anatomy might be like.  Then I remembered how, years and years ago when I was a kid, someone told me that dragons are actually dinosaurs.  I say “are” because this guy believed dinosaurs had survived the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction and a few of them were still around today.  He thought people encountered dinosaurs in historic times and called them dragons, because they hadn't invented the word dinosaur yet.  He said a fishing trawler dredged up a plesiosaur carcass in the seventies, which proved his claim.  At the time I mentally filed this one under Would Be Cool If It Was True But I Bet It Isn’t, especially since this was coming from a man who didn't know the difference between dinosaurs and plesiosaurs.

The “plesiosaur” was a disappointment, as you would expect.  It was a shark carcass that had decomposed to a point where it was no longer recognisable, a fact which was proved by analysing tissue samples.  But nowadays we know that some of the smaller therapods’ descendants really are still around; we call them birds.  So I started thinking, well, what if dinosaurs evolved into dragons?  What would a dinosaur-dragon look like?  Would it have a beak like Gigantoraptor?  I think this idea deserves further exploration.