How do I choose what prehistoric organism or environment I am going to illustrate? Scientists have identified over 700 different species of dinosaurs, but dinosaurs are only a portion of all extinct life. Millions of species have gone extinct, due to catastrophic events, climatic changes, and in more recent times, human involvement has played a role. Often paleoartists will choose a specific animal group (such as proboscideans or dinosaurs) to specialize in, or perhaps they will focus on illustrating organisms from a specific time period. I personally primarily illustrate dinosaurs and Pleistocene (Ice Age) mammals.
But with such a vast array of prehistoric life to choose from, how do I choose what species I am going to draw or paint? Often I choose whatever species comes to mind, or maybe a certain species I am in the “mood” to illustrate. I might be inspired by new research, or the discovery of a new species. I sometimes get inspiration from social media, seeing what other artists are doing. One thing is certain; I'll never run out of potential material.
A pen illustration I did of an Alectrosaurus, a tyrannosaur from Mongolia. This was my first time illustrating this species.