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Thylacoleo Digital Rough by StevoDarkly Thylacoleo Digital Rough by StevoDarkly
This has too many "wish I done differentlies" to make into a finished piece of "art" without starting over, but I'm posting it as a sketch or study of a drawing I'd eventually like to do in finished form.

This is another study of Thylacoleo carnifex, a vaguely pantherlike marsupial predator of Pleistocene Australia.

In 2008, an ancient Aboriginal rock painting was discovered that is believed to be a depiction of a then-living Thylacoleo -- the powerful clawed forearms were the giveaway -- that gives us new clues about what the animal was like. It is depicted as having vertical stripes running along its back from shoulders to hips (but only reaching down about halfway between spine and belly, unlike my attempt) and apparently having a tuft on its tail. The head is blunt and has triangular ears.

That inspired me to want to do another depiction of this beastie. I've also wanting to do an image that showed off this animal's truly weird dentition. (The animals it evolved from had lost their canine teeth, but Thylacoleo developed its incisors [front teeth] into piercing weapons, and had huge axe-like slicing cheek teeth as well.)

I found a cool photo of a cougar in a tree, in a semi-plantigrade stance, and I was off. But I was in too much a hurry to see what this might look like to be careful.

My "wishovers":

1) The color and markings look too much like the recently extinct Tasmanian "wolf" (thylacine). It needs the vertical stripes to conform to the rock painting, but maybe I can think of some variation that doesn't mimic the thylacine so strongly. And the stripes shouldn't be quite that long.

2) The head facing right at you is kinda dramatic, but maybe a three-quarter's view would give a better idea of the shape of the head.

3) I want to improve on the markings of the face.

4) The feet, only vaguely indicated here, need to be completely redone, and the famous clawed "thumbs' of the front feet should be more visible.

5) From other reconstructions I've seen, apparently the tail of this animal is kind of stiff and would be sticking out more at an angle, rather than hanging straight down.

6) In general, I need to figure out a more delicate technique with the blending tool that doesn't wipe out the texture of the fur and look so damn smeary.
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:iconchip46:
Chip46 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
This looks amazing!
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:icondarthgojira:
DarthGojira Featured By Owner May 25, 2010
Very lifelike! Well done
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:iconstevodarkly:
StevoDarkly Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010
Belated thanks! I guess "Lifelike-ness" is one of the advantages of starting with a photo! ;)
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:iconguyverman:
Guyverman Featured By Owner May 16, 2009
This is awesome! one suggestion is that I think his tail should look more like a Kangaroo's or Tasmanian Devil's.
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:iconstevodarkly:
StevoDarkly Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
Thanks! In my next attempt, the tail will definitely be different. A couple other restorations I've seen depiict it as kind of stiff and straight -- kind of like a kangaroo's tail but straighter. More like a thylacine's tail.

The recently discovered rock painting (see [link] ) seems to depict it as having a tuft at the end (like a lion?) and possible held in more of an upraised position.

The eyes might be too far apart too. I've since found a head-on view of the skull that may help there.

PS: Hey, interesting stuff in your gallery. I think Emmy Rossum as a Vulcan is my favorite!
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:iconcynomolge:
cynomolge Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
Awesome creation. BTW how do we know that rock painting was made a few thousand years or a few days before it was discovered?
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:iconstevodarkly:
StevoDarkly Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2010
Belated thanks. There are apparently techniques to date the paint (like radio-carbon dating if it contains any organic ingredients; maybe others). I don't know the details, but I'm going to assume the discoverers know what they're doing unless given a reason to suspect otherwise. :)
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:iconguyverman:
Guyverman Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
Np!
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May 13, 2009
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