Skip to content
Answering Your Questions About Reactor: Right here.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter. Everything in one handy email.

Picturing Dinosaurs


Picturing Dinosaurs

Home / Picturing Dinosaurs
Books Art & Illustration

Picturing Dinosaurs


Published on March 26, 2013


Welcome to the latest edition of “Picturing…” as we celebrate the art of dinosaurs and creatures in the spirit of dinosaurs. It’s no secret among my friends that I am obsessed with Natural History museums and have far more dinosaur toys in my office than any forty-three year old should admit to having. That said, I’m no expert on dinosaurs, not even in the way that most seven-year-olds can rattle off the names of their favorites. But I love these museums as art installations in themselves, telling nearly unbelievable stories that actually happened. The images included here were chosen because I love them as artwork and I have indulged in, more than a little, the fantastic stories that have been inspired by these creatures. Please enjoy this mix of science and art, fantasy (intentional or otherwise), old theories and new…

(above) Jeff Jones depicting Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Back to the Stone Age.

John Gurche, one of today’s preeminent paleoartists, playing with scale:


A city street from James Gurney’s Dinotopia series. Gurney is equally at home with scientific illustration and fantasy. It’s the mix of authenticity and imagination that make the Dinotopia books such a delight.

James Gurney

Larry Felder’s cute-as-pie duckbill hatchling.

Larry Felder

James Gurney’s Mei Long, “sleeping dragon.” This originally appeared in Ranger Rick magazine and then became the cover for Gurney’s painting techniques book, Color and Light (for obvious reasons.)

James Gurney

…and Gurney’s fearsome Giganotosaurus:

James Gurney

I had not heard of Douglas Henderson before I started this collection. Clearly he is well known in paleoart circles, and with good reason. He lends a real sense of narrative and mood to scientific illustration.

I love the light shining through the water, here. You can just imagine the terror you’d feel seeing such a creature revealed in the waves.

Douglas Henderson

Another Henderson plesiosaur (with one crazy-scary shark) from The Oceans of Kansas.

Doug Henderson

Henderson showing the sad and quiet drift of two drowned centrosaurs.

Doug Henderson

The highly influential Czech artist Zdenek Burian.

Zdenek Burian

Charles R. Knight, among the first dinosaur painters, and perhaps the most famous. These leaping Laelops reside in New York’s American Museum of Natural History (AKA my museum.)

Charles Knight

Zdenek Burian showing pterosaurs taking care of their young.

Zdenek Burian

A section from Rudolph F. Zallinger’s famous “Age of Reptiles” mural at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History featuring the quintessential tail-dragger—we love him so.

Rudolph Zallinger

John Sibbick’s neovenator is sleek like an Art Deco hood ornament.

John Sibbick

A late addition to the list becuase, when James Gurney emails to say you should check something out, you check it out. Here’s a haunting image of a fallen Leaellynasaura from Peter Trusler.

Peter Trusler

Disruption in the herd, from Paul Bonner.

Paul Bonner

What’s cooler than lasers? Dinosaur lasers. From the Dino-Riders series of toys.

Dino Riders

really lovely painting from Christophe Vacher for Disney’s “Dinosaur.”

Another day in the forest from Raul Martin.

Raul Martin

Mark Schultz, know for his man-and-monsters, post-apocalyptic Xenozoic Tales, takes on dinosaurs in their more natural environment, here:

Mark Schultz

Such a handsome face, from Peter Schouten.

Peter Schouten

John Conway’s dimetrodon is simplified, yet full of personality.

John Conway

From Ricardo Delgado’s beautifully drawn comic Age of Reptiles.

Ricardo Delgado

William Stout, another artist that can glide effortlessly between science and fantasy.

William Stout

Classic face-off from Charles R. Knight, part of the murals at Chicago’s Field Museum.

Charles R. Knight

Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins created some of the first dinosaur images ever seen, including London’s Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, the first exhibit of dinosaur sculpture.

Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins

Tarzan and Jane encounter dinosaur-riding natives from J. Allen St. John, the predecessor of both Frank Frazetta and Jeff Jones.

J. Allen St. John

Jeff Jones created a great sense of mood and mass with these simplified shapes.

Jeff Jones

J. Allen St. John and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land that Time Forgot.

J. Allen St. John

Neave Parker’s thumbs-up iguanodon.

Gregory Paul’s herd of Giraffatitan.

Gregory Paul

Nice values in this one from Robert Walters and Tess Kissinger.

Bob Walters Tess Kissinger

Raul Martin’s apatosaurus herd on the move.

Raul Martin

Dan McCarthy has a series of wonderfully designed dinosaur and dinosaur skeleton posters.

Dan McCarthy

The jigsaw puzzle that is dinosaur hunting: Barnum Brown’s map of dinosaur bones at the Howe Dinosaur Quarry.

Barnum Brown map of dinosaur bones at the Howe Quarry.

I picked up this chalkboard T-Rex ages ago. I’ve always loved it—I wish I knew who did it.

 Peter Van Dyck is making great choices about missing pieces and lost edges.

Peter Van Dyck

Who knew there was a Draw a Dinosaur Day? January 30th, apparently. This one is from Mark Ryan.

While working on this collection, I was very happy to stumble into Joanne Young’s museum series.

Joanne Young

Beautiful design in this very natural-looking scene from Douglas Henderson.

Douglas Henderson

Again I love John Conway’s simplified shapes and his color. The stegosaurus seems happy and confident on his swampy walk.

John Conway

Surrealist Jacek Yerka builds a city on a dinosaur.

Yacek Yerka

Arrrrrugghh! Walt Simonson and the Fantastic Four.

Walt Simonson Fantastic Four

Bob Eggleton’s T-Rex…IN SPAAAACE.

Bob Eggleton

Mark Teague teamed up with writer Jane Yolen to create a series of one of my favorite children’s books,  the “How do Dinosaurs…?” series. They teach kids how to behave well, while first delighting in all kinds of terrible behavior. I also love that, inexplicably, all the dinosaurs have human parents.

Mark Teague

Charles R. Knight’s holiday card. How great is that!?

Charles R. Knight

Chocolate Brontosaurus? I’m there.

And what’s cooler that pirates? Dinosaur pirates. Neill Cameron’s Pirates of Pangaea.

Neill Cameron's Pirates of Pangaea

Creature designer Terryl Whitlatch’s plesiosaur with its more modern cousins.

Terryl Whitlatch

Goncalo Pereira’s goat is not very impressed by this angry Rex.

Goncalo Pereira

John Gurche. I’m partial to this one since it depicts a scene from the lobby of my favorite museum, The American Museum of Natural History.

Arzach, Moebius’s wordless comic for Métal Hurlant.


I love this crested duckbill from Larry Felder—he almost looks as if he would like to apologize for being so big.

Larry Felder

Mario Larrinaga and Willis O’Brien’s concept art for the original King Kong movie:

Mario Larrinaga

Tim O’Brien was taught by legendary paleoartist Rudolph F. Zallinger. Here Tim takes on an editorial job touching on the topics of evolution and creationism.

Daryl Mandryk concept art for the Turok video game.


Airtight Garage from Moebius.

Moebius, dinosaur

A beautiful sun-drenched day from Kazuhiko Sano.

Kazuhiko Sano

Marc Burckhardt makes fox hunting a bit fairer for the animals…

Marc Burckhardt

Vincent di Fate pays homage to the B-movie drive-in.

Vincent di Fate

A couple of troodons under a magnolia tree on a nice spring day, by John Conway.

John Conway

Virginia Lee Burton’s Life Story, a history of life on Earth told in a series of play acts.

Virginia Lee Burton

Sweet scratchboard portrait by Margaret Colbert for The Year of the Dinosaur.

Jessica Fisher’s poster for the American Museum of Natural History.

sica Fisher

Boris Kulikov artwork from Barnum’s Bones, a picture book about Barnum Brown’s discovery of the infamous T. rex.

Boris Kulikov artwork from Branum's Bones.

Man versus plesiosaur in this early J. W. Buel engraving. So we’ve learned a few things since the 1880s…

J. W. Buel

Raymond Swanland with the contemporary edition of the vintage comic, Turok, Son of Stone.

Raymond Swanland, Turok

The “Can we keep him?” adventures of William Joyce’s Dinosaur Bob.

William Joyce, Dinosaur Bob

Robert Neubecker’s Linus the Vegetarian T-Rex.

Robert Neubecker's Linus the Vegetarian T-Rex.

Michael Sloan. I grabbed this one for its tagline as much as for the drawing, “The water we use is the same water that existed during the age of the dinosaurs.”

Chris Buzelli with a very, very cold dinosaur. Poor T.

John Sibbick, with a sordes light as a feather.

John Sibbick

Zdenek Burian with the old-school brontos that needed to live in water to bear their weight. The brontos I grew up with.

Zdenek Burian Brontosaurus

Sleepy triceratops, by John Francis.

John Francis

Peter McCarty’s T is for Terrible.

Peter McCarty

Such a sad little guy stuck in the rain by John Conway, it makes me want to run out and adopt kittens in lieu of dinos.

John Conway

“It’s a Dinosaur” by Mark Englert. I love the color and values in this.

J. C. Richard’s lovely take on Jurassic Park.

J. C. Richard, Jurassic Park

Burian mixing sea (not-)birds with sea ships—what could be more natural?

Burian pterosaur

Another great, if melancholy, narrative from Douglas Henderson— the death of a giant while time, and others, march on.

Frank Frazetta’s cover for Piers Anthony’s Orn.

Frank Frazetta

Mark Witton’s poster for his talk “Our Lives With Pterosaurs: Answering dumb questions with hard(ish) science.” Yeehaw!

Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur….ROAR!

Jack Kirby's Devil Dinosaur

Aaaand what’s better than a F-14? A dinosaur in an F-14. Bill Watterson and the timeless Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobes, dinosaurs.

…and I couldn’t resist a full Calvin and Hobbes strip.

Calvin and Hobes, dinosaurs.

Mark Schultz’s comic Xenozoic Tales.

Mark Schultz

Joe DeVito, from his Kong: King of Skull Island.

Neave Parker’s crisp, clear lighting in Giants Past and Present.

Neave Parker

Heinrich Harder. I love the ballet in this.

Heinrich Harder

You can really sense the weight of time—the upcoming sixty-five million years —before this guy will appear again. By Julius Cstonyi.

Julius Cstonyi

A parade of sauropods from Kazuhiko Sano.

Kazuhiko Sano

I’ll leave our final note to Dan McCarthy, showing the dinosaurs where we found them…just a sliver of earth between their fate and ours.

Dan McCarthy

About the Author

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments