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The Velociraptor Hunting Dance by EWilloughby The Velociraptor Hunting Dance by EWilloughby
Velociraptor mongoliensis surely went after larger prey like Protoceratops at least occasionally, as we have fossil evidence that it certainly did so. However, like many modern mid-sized carnivores, its diet probably consisted of a large proportion of much smaller animals, which it may have ambushed or sniffed out of crevices. I imagine such a predation event would have been rather felid in nature, wherein the animal displayed a curious mixture of predatory grace and pure silly ridiculousness as it bounced and flailed after a frantic prey animal. In this case the prey in question is Zalambdalestes, a small shrewlike eutherian from the Djadochta Formation of Inner Mongolia.

This scenario - a pair of Velociraptors on a hunt - is something I've illustrated twice before, the first time in 2005 and the second in 2009. Hopefully the third time's the charm, since the first two are hideous.

This is a digital (Photoshop CS4 + Wacom tablet) and oil paint composite illustration, and will be eventually published in ~Agahnim's and my book on the creation vs. evolution debate. As always, I have ~Agahnim to thank for being a lot of help with shading and compositional critiques.
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:icon5aurophaganax:
5aurophaganax Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014
I keep looking at this picture and just wow,it's so incredible!You did a wonderful job.One thing I'd like to point is that (I believe) dromaeosaurs were nocturnal,so this scene happening during the day wouldn't be all that likely.Keep up the good,your dromaeosaur interpretations are my favorite ones of all DeviantArt.
P.S.Please check my account.Thank you! ;D
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:iconsagittariussigner:
sagittariussigner Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Hobbyist
Beautiful art !
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:icontrisdino:
trisdino Featured By Owner May 30, 2014
A great drawing, one of the best V. Mongoliensis ive seen. The thing I love about your art is that you are not afraid of making them straight up fluffy. In real life, fur and feathers often fully obscure the anatomy of an animal, but most non-avian dinosaur artists just do not show this.
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:iconyutyrannus:
Yutyrannus Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2014
Yeah, most artists don't do that. It's too bad, it looks cool. That's why I've been trying to do it in my more recent drawings. And I agree, this is a great drawing, by far one of the best on deviantart :)!
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:iconvelicen:
Velicen Featured By Owner May 17, 2014
These drawings are something special. I really like your much more realistic depiction of them in contrast to the usual huge size and lack of feathers.
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:iconaflahrman:
AFlahrman Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014
I LOVE VELOCIRAPTORS!!!!!!!!!!!!
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:iconcyfym:
CyFyM Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is beautiful. Just beautiful. That's all I can say.


And that's saying a lot, because normally I write short essays in comments. This piece just left me speechless


I'm going to stop not being speechless and stare, amazed, at this wonderful piece of art.
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:iconaladecuervo:
aladecuervo Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
wooooooooow! :clap: :#1:
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:iconwhiskerfacerumpel:
WhiskerfaceRumpel Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
He better get that Zalambdalestes!  I like how you gave them a coloration that would make them perfectly blend into their desert home. 
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:iconpraisedovahpie:
PraiseDovahPie Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
This is awesome, and very realistic.
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:iconpraisedovahpie:
PraiseDovahPie Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013
...and it's my new desktop.
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:iconsasiadragon:
Sasiadragon Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like the mix between the traditional and digital media :3 Especially the way you can see the canvas' texture in the background. The colours are also very pretty, and I like the Velociraptor's movement. Nice feather-texture C:
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:iconvoidrae:
Voidrae Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like this revamp - you kept the spirit of your older painting but the realism in this one is ridiculous!
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:iconyemayema:
YemaYema Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
a nice piece!
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:iconlanexcyteri:
LanexCyteri Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
its a fun dance I am sure and promoted pack bonding
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Well, there isn't any significant evidence either way about whether Velociraptor was a pack hunter (or any dromaeosaur, for that matter), so I wanted my painting to be kind of open to interpretation in that respect. Is the background Velo a pack member? A mate or family member? An unrelated animal who just happened to be passing through? Whatever works. :>
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:iconyoult:
yoult Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Probably the other Velociraptor is a member of NSA observing the hunting one, would explain its shadowy appearance. :D
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:iconlanexcyteri:
LanexCyteri Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
yeah, either if its just a mate or a family member I would still consider that a pack, more then two ^^ and besides which a certain deinonychus and her beloved I would call a pack ;)
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:iconxanefeather:
XaneFeather Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
Yay! Love it. <3
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:icont-pekc:
T-PEKC Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
Quite an amazing piece! You have my admirations for mixing traditional and digital art so masterful. I think this mix works great here and it would be real shame if this artwork is left out of your book.

BTW, you're very lucky to have someone at hand who knows enough for paleontology and art to give you advices and criticism through the whole process of creating paleoart.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks a lot Vladimir, as always that means a lot coming from you! I have a hard time conveying as much detail in feather and scale as you do traditionally, but have found that digital "doctoring" and overlay to a traditional piece often yields the closest result to what I envision.

And yes, I am very lucky in that regard, as I've let him know many times. =p He's taught me a great deal about shading especially. Some of my earlier cast shadows make me cringe. WHAT IS LIGHT SOURCE??
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:iconornitholestes1:
Ornitholestes1 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow, wonderful improvement! One of your best pieces yet.
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013
Hi again, great painting! There is a fairly big challenge for artists in portraying dinosaurs as feathery, it seems to me. A whole new tradition needs to be forged. I'd say you're responding to this challenge admirably well!
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks a lot Willem. I'm very happy to have been a part of the artistic dinosaur enfluffening movement. :D

With the way you paint birds, I would be really interested to see you try your hand at a non-avian dinosaur at some point, if you ever feel so inclined. :)
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:iconwillemsvdmerwe:
WillemSvdMerwe Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013
Hi and it's a pleasure! I am not quite confident about trying the feathered non-avian dinosaurs ... but I'll see about it! I do intend to get round to it ... right now I'm still working on prehistoric mammals and mammal relatives, since those (to me) are fairly straightforward. Not always of course!
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:icontarturus:
Tarturus Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A definite improvement. Good job. :thumbsup:
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:iconjd-man:
JD-man Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
I like this deviation for several reasons: It shows how for you've come (No offense, but it still hurts to look at the 2005 & 2009 versions); The background's painterly style reminds me of the American West; The Velociraptor's pose reminds me of the NHM model (which, as you may remember, is 1 of my favorites, lack of primaries not withstanding: [link] ); The Velociraptor's color scheme reminds me of a goshawk, especially that of the eyebrows (Was that on purpose?); All of the above combined make this deviation very easy on the eyes.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks a lot Jose. No offense taken, I feel much the same way about my older work. I wonder if I'll feel the same way about this in four years? Hah.

The color scheme isn't based on any bird in particular, though the eyebrows are loosely inspired by those of a cactus wren. [link] I studied the general sorts of color schemes typical for desert-dwelling birds and tried to forge something unique, though ultimately it didn't turn out as "interesting" as I was hoping (still need to work on that). I don't at all mind that it reminds people of goshawks, though - gorgeous birds.
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:iconzipclaw:
zipclaw Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Compared to the older ones, this looks far more realistic and convincing. Great pictures. :D
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks a lot Zip. :D
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:iconnicanorjourney:
NicanorJourney Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Student Filmographer
Love how this turned out. For some reason I particularly like how the Velociraptor's claws turned out!

For some reason the second raptor looks rather annoyed about something.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks Vance! Yeah, it's funny how bird facial markings can sort of inadvertently give them facial expressions. Killdeer always look worried, [link] and these guys' white eyebrows give them angry faces, haha.

Then again, the Velo in the background might just be genuinely irritated at her friend's wasting time on stupid little mammals when there are Protoceratops to eat.
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:iconnicanorjourney:
NicanorJourney Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Student Filmographer
Gotta love all the expressions birds seem to make.  I love feeding birds in the park and watching how they react to certain things!
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:iconorionide5:
Orionide5 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
Well, a gigantic improvement over the previous version, and a beautiful piece, but the feathers to me on this version seem like they belong on a recently flightless bird like the Weka or Kakapo, rather than a long-time flightless bird like a ratite, which is how I imagine large dromaeosaurs. Still, though, each analysis seems to give a different picture of dromaeosaur evolution, so either is a possibility; and this interpretation was executed extremely well.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks. Yeah, there is probably some amount that's left up to interpretation about feather types in non-volant dromaeosaurs at this point. I intended these feathers to be similar to the type found on Sinornithosaurus, which includes a mixture of type 2 (bundle of filaments bound together at one end, the body feathers) and type 3 (filaments attaching symmetrically to a central rachis, the arm/hand feathers and tail feathers). It is possible that they should look "scruffier" here, though I did try to make them look like they weren't interlocking, at least.
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:iconf0xridley:
F0xridley Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
I notice the terrain here is the same as in one of the previous illustrations.
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:iconewilloughby:
EWilloughby Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Professional General Artist
That's right, this is technically a redo of the 2009 oil paint version. I was generally happy with the background, so I left it mostly unchanged, while the Velociraptor needed a complete makeover.
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:iconalexraccoonglider:
AlexRaccoonGlider Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is the next best thing to a time machine! I could almost see this velociraptor in the middle of a hunt =3
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:iconelectreel:
electreel Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
Wow, really good job! :) Those talons look very deadly.
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:iconsaberrex:
Saberrex Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
highly impressive.
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:iconntamura:
NTamura Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
Brilliant! :)
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:icondinobirdman:
DinoBirdMan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Student Artist
This is epic!:)
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:iconhyrotrioskjan:
Hyrotrioskjan Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for this wonderful Velociraptor in "flight" :clap: the traditional texture is very Fitting.
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:iconcetaceaphile:
Cetaceaphile Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Rat gonna die :L
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:iconmalfunctioninghero:
malfunctioninghero Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Student General Artist
STUNNING :iconluvluvplz: as always~ :)
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:icon8bitaviation:
8bitAviation Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013
The third time certainly is the charm! This is amazing!
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