In line with a question during an earlier discussion about how might have the dodo really appeared, the famed artist and Hollywood special effects man Bill Munn […] contacted me.
Munns wrote: “I have done scientific reconstructions of the Dodo (of how they may have looked) with all coloration based on actual descriptions and the head sculpted from a skull cast provided by the Harvard Museum of Natural History.”
The following reconstruction is what Bill Munns created of the dodo, and may be the closest thing we have to how a living dodo looked in the wild.
The following reconstruction is actually the picture you saw above. For a bit more about information about Munns visit his site.
This bird from the island of Mauritius could not defend itself against humans and their animals, and died out by 1681. This carving is 8 x 8 x 2 cm (3 x 3 x 1 inch).
I use knives and chisels, not a power carver, to finish shaping the basswood. This technique gives crisper details. It is sanded smooth, and an airbrush used to apply water-based inks, with some details being burned In. It is finished with 3 coats of water-based urethane, and signed and dated on the bottom.
I had the pleasure of working with the incredible Vince Nguyen here at Blue Sky on this piece! This sculpture is based on his character he designed for a children’s book. (I’ll try scanning in the drawing I used to create this scupt) I must say, these talented folks I work with in the design dept. sure keep me busy with all these “SIMPLE” designs. Hard and time consuming to sculpt, but so fun nonetheless!
So here’s a beautiful sculpt of Louis riding a dodo bird by Alena Wooten. The character was shown in a children’s book called Louis and the Dodo. It was one of my first children’s book years ago and it’s still one of my favorite books I’ve worked on. Alena is a super star sculptor at Blue Sky Studios and I jumped at the chance to get her to sculpt anything for me.
And finally the very cute illustration with the original characters from the book Louis & the Dodo by Mark Shulman, illustrated by Vincent Nguyen: