Attendees draw on paleo artist’s advice

University of Otago geology and paleontology student Shane Meekin (left) gets advice on how to...
University of Otago geology and paleontology student Shane Meekin (left) gets advice on how to improve his sketch from Weta Workshop artist Shaun Bolton at the Otago Museum on Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
What does a fossilised dinosaur skeleton look like with skin stretched over its bones?

It is a question that fascinates University of Otago geology and paleontology student Shane Meekin, because nobody has ever seen one.

The only thing that remains of their existence is their skeletons, so the images we see of them today are created by paleo artists, who attempt to depict prehistoric life using scientific evidence.

So when Mr Meekin discovered Weta Workshop paleo artist Shaun Bolton was in Dunedin on Saturday, he leapt at the chance to go to his paleo art workshop at the Otago Museum.

Mr Bolton’s art and stop-motion animations are well known.

At Wellington’s Weta Workshop, he worked with the sculpture and design team on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the remake of King Kong, and The Water Horse.

Mr Meekin was one of about 30 people who attended the workshop, where Mr Bolton gave advice about the paleo drawing process, by offering tips on composition, structure and dramatic emphasis while participants created their own sketches.

Mr Meekin hoped the advice he had received at the workshop would come in handy if, or when, he discovers a fossilised prehistoric skeleton in the future.

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