Dinotopia is an illustrated fantasy book series written and illustrated by James Gurney as well as the name of the island where shipwrecked people and dinosaurus live together. The first book (1992) has been a great success with translations into eighteen languages and sales in 30 countries. Moreover, Gurney won Hugo Awards for the best original artwork with the first two books: Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time and Dinotopia: The World Beneath.
Although the series have a very interesting adventure story, this post will focus on the illustrations. In the video below, James Gurney explains what inspired him, and the creation process of his realistic illustrations.
As Gurney explains, he made use of real life models to paint such realistic scenes for his books. He even built a 3D model of the structures to adjust the proportions, perspective, shadow, etc. in his paintings. The fact that he traveled around, analyzed and sketched dinosaur skeletons, and built models for his imaginary creatures make his work even more impressive. Here are some of Gurney ‘s illustrations posted on his instagram account, jamesguirneyart that reflect his great artistic skills.