It's been a while since I've posted (what else is new...) so I decided to do a dino sketch for today. I went with something I don't draw very often. So here's a sketch of Citipati (click for larger view) :
I tried to accomplish a few different things with this guy. Mostly getting away from things that seem to commonly appear in depictions of oviraptors.
I've seen a lot of artwork of oviraptors, and they always seem like a challenge. I will preface this discussion with the fact that I have seen a number of really good pieces of oviraptor art, so what follows doesn't apply to everyone. But I will say, that quite often depictions of these animals bother me for a couple of reasons.
Many times renditions of these guys end up looking like half-molted monsters. Granted, they're really freaky animals, but I feel like they could look a lot closer to an actual animal, and less like an abomination. I've also noticed a lot of people like to restore them to look like Cassowaries. And i'm not saying this because of the similarity with the crest. I've seen renditions where color schemes are taken directly from cassowaries and applied to oviraptors; and I've seen it many times...by multitudes of different artists. The first time I saw this I thought it was clever and worked really well, but it seems to pop up again and again and has already turned into a paleoart meme of sorts.
So keeping that in mind, with this guy I tried to make him look fairly bird-like without completely overdoing it. I also wanted to get somewhere in between drab colors and extra flashy colors. It's become fashionable to get more interesting patterns and colors onto dinos these days, in thinking about sexual selection/display. I'm completely all about this, as it makes things visually interesting, but for this guy I wanted to include some features that could be used for display without going super saturated or over the top with the colors and patterns (after all, not all animals are peacocks). I went more with a colorful casque around the nostrils, and an iridescent head and neck (the idea being this would be more pronounced in the UV spectrum and would look more spectacular to an avian (or possibly dinosaurian?) eye). I also think that a simple black and white striped pattern on the primary and tail feathers would make excellent display markings, especially in contrast to the rest of the more "drab" body integument.
So that's my thinking on this guy. I'm not entirely sure if I've ever drawn an oviraptor before. I'm by-no-means an expert on these bizarre theropods, so I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes in there. Just thought I'd take a crack at it on this Saturday night, as it seemed like an interesting problem to tackle :)