Buddy Davis: Making a Dino


Q. How do you sculpt the texture into the skin layer?
A. There is no one right way. LOTS of experimenting with different tools. LOTS of creativity and thinking "outside the box". LOTS of trials and errors. In fact, you use whatever you have that makes whatever texture you have in mind. Texture pads and rollers are a great place to start. Once you're feeling confident, it's easy to find the perfect texturizing tool in: the bottom of a tennis shoe, molds from alligator and snake skins, the bark of a tree, tinfoil, plastic wrap, dried corn cobs, whole walnut shells, or a latex mold of a cantaloupe or an orange. Sometimes I just sculpt what I want and mold that. Resin and sawdust mixed together make a good rough texture. Some of my favorite texturizing tools are dowels which I've carved to look like what I think my dino's skin looked like. It's easy, then, to just "roll the skin on".

Q. How do you know what colour to paint your skin texture?
A. Good question. You should always remember that no one knows what colour the dinosaurs were. Understand that? Colours are not preserved in fossils, so we DON'T KNOW. We can look at live reptiles and guess that they might be muted colours. We can look at other animals in God's creation, more brightly colored, and imagine that some of the dinosaurs might have been as beautiful as a toucan or a tropical lizard. I tend to lean towards the muted colours, myself, but the truth is that we don't know.


Q. How do you paint your dinosaurs?
A. Lots of different ways, depending on how I want it to look. I've used an airbrush, aerosol cans, a paint brush, rags, sponges, and stencils. Usually, I use stains and acrylic paints. A nice look can be achieved by painting or staining the skin and then rubbing the finish off before it's quite dry.

Q. How do you find dinosaur eyes for your models?
A. All of the eyes that I use are made of glass. Sometimes I buy pre-painted reptilian eyeballs, but sometimes I buy blanks and paint them myself. They're easily found at taxidermy supply houses.

Q. How do you get the wings on the pterosaurs to look like thin wings?
A. You know that pterosaurs are NOT dinosaurs, but they are classified as flying reptiles. I used "plastic food wrap covered in latex" for the wings of the smaller pterosaurs. For the larger ones, I used fabric (e.g., a bed sheet) covered in latex.


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