Too many sabertooth drawings (almost)

Trying to put some order among the papers that pile up in my studio I came across some of the folders containing the drawngs I did for the book “Sabertooth” (at least those that did not go to the dustbin earlier on). I gave in to the temptation to open a couple of folders, and as often happens when I do this, I shook my head at the amount of attempts I seem to need in order to get anywhere close to a “final” version of an illustration. How I envy those artists who seem to get straight to their final concepts with almost no hesitation!

Some of the countless sabertooth sketches, spread on the floor for a little while before returning to their folder
sketches 1 machaeroides

I also took a quick look at the finished drawings depicting the skulls of each sabertooth in various views. Not for the first time I thought about how similar many of the skulls must look to the non-specialist viewer, even though they may belong to animals that are rather distantly related. When they were alive, their striped, spotted or plain coats would have gone a long way to help recognize each species, but when it is only their bones that we have to look at, it is a matter of developing an eye for details. Convergent evolution can so easily fool the beholder!

Some of the original drawings of skulls I did for the Sabertooth book

I ended up spreading a few dozen drawings on the floor and gliding my video camera over them to compose a short video. The piece is intended to show you a couple of glimpses of the piles of paper that went into making this book, and to celebrate the fact that “Sabertooth” got this year’s Independent Publisher Gold Medal for Science books.
Happy viewing!


Posted on 06/10/2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. ¡Enhorabuena Mauricio! :]

  2. Sheila Collins

    I have learned more about prehistoric mammals – not just cats and not just sabertooths – from your work (including this blog) than from any other source. Your gold medal for “Sabertooth” is well-deserved. And it’s refreshing to know that even such accomplished artists as yourself undergo the same process of indecision as amateurs like me before completing your masterpieces!

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