Evolutionary art by Afton Kern

My name is Afton Kern and I am currently a junior at Sacramento State university. I am an Anthropology major and my primary interests are in zoology and scientific illustration. Over the last year I have been working on doing facial reconstructions of human ancestors, such as Sahelanthropus. To complete a facial reconstruction, I look at images of the skull and utilize the Anthropology lab at my school, where I may spend 1-2 hours studying skull casts of fossil hominids. I then reference human and ape facial anatomy to begin re-creating a face over the skull.avimimus henI am also interested in the evolutionary connection between birds and dinosaurs, and a I spend many hours bird-watching and studying avian anatomy and behavior. Referencing from nature is the greatest inspiration for a drawing. I use a Canon Powershot to take both photos and videos of the birds I see so that I may use these for reference later on. Purchasing a good camera, I think, is essential for creating your own artistic reference. You get to be out in the field and see the wildlife first hand. Planning trips to zoos, nature preserves, and local parks is another great way to obtain inspiration and reference. In nature there are endless possibilities and endless inspiration.  Cretaceous end hippogriff1Alpine Ibex Primitive conditionAlpine Ibex Proconsul Sahelanthropus