Paleocreations is an art studio established in Bristol, UK, by Robert “Bob” Nicholls. Bob began drawing prehistoric animals from the moment he was old enough to hold a pencil, and today, he has nearly 20 years’ experience in creating anatomically accurate reconstructions of natural history specimens using a unique and thorough reconstruction process. Paleocreations has an extensive portfolio of both 2D and 3D artworks for both temporary and permanent displays in nearly 50 museums around the world. He has also been published in over 40 books on natural history and produced work for broadcasting companies including the BBC and National Geographic. At any moment Bob could be producing a small painting for a postage stamp or building a life-size dinosaur!
Extinct dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals were not the monsters so often illustrated in books and movies, they were real living animals. Animals alive today have functioning anatomy that dictates their visible exterior forms and this would have been the case for extinct species too. So, to accurately reconstruct an extinct animal a paleoartist (paleontological artist) must understand the anatomy of his/her subject; otherwise their artwork is pure fiction.
To create the anatomically accurate reconstructions of extinct animals exhibited on this website, Bob Nicholls uses a unique and thorough reconstruction process. He begins by examining his subject’s fossil material and reading the scientific literature related to that animal. Then, using comparative anatomy, he will reconstruct the animal from the inside-out. He starts with the skeleton and cartilage, then adds the internal organs (digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and sensory systems), the muscles, and ends with the integument (skin, fur, feathers, horns, etc). This is a complicated and time consuming process but it is an essential component in the making of good paleoartworks.
Animals alive today have a great variety of complex behaviours and interesting interactions with their environments. Although evidence of such events are almost never preserved in the fossil record, it would be wrong to assume that these vibrant and social lifestyles are entirely new phenomena. For example, it cannot be correct that all that dinosaurs did was charge from fern prairie to forest clearing roaring and killing each other! It could even be argued that not including informed speculations about colours and behaviours in a paleoartwork, which can be defended with a reasonable argument, can only result in an incomplete picture.
To create the plausibly coloured and convincingly complete extinct ecosystems exhibited on this website, Bob Nicholls combines an extensive knowledge of extant animal colouration and behaviours. It must be understood how colour pigments, such as melanin, carotenoids, and structural, etc, enter the integument of an animal and when those abilities evolved so that an extinct animal reconstruction is given the correct spectrum of colours. It is also vital to understand how living animals use colour to camouflage themselves, warn or scare away predators, and attract a mate. Combined with a good knowledge of the subject’s anatomy, these colour strategies can supply a wealth of glues as to the appearance and behaviour of an animal that cannot be observed.
All enquiries regarding the commissioning of new artwork should be directed to Bob Nicholls, via the e-mail address at the top of this page. All natural history, archaeological, and science fiction subjects will be considered for 2D or 3D projects. Bob is always eager to supply clients with the very best quality artworks that meet every individual’s needs. Whatever is required, Paleocreations is the one stop shop for artwork that satisfies your brief! Every project is unique but the production process for new commissions is usually as follows.
• Bob and the client will discuss how the artwork will be used (publications, merchandise, or exhibits, etc), the reproduction rights, and the required content of the composition.
• Following the reconstruction process and speculations on colour and behaviour, Bob will produce a preliminary sketch that will illustrate the proposed final artwork. Production of the final artwork will not begin until the client is completely happy with the preliminary sketch. This process might require multiple preliminary sketches, but that is ok, it is all about ensuring the client gets an artwork they love!
• When the final preliminary sketch has been agreed, Bob renders the final artwork.
• On satisfactory completion of the final artwork it will be supplied to the client with an invoice. Ownership of the artwork and all reproduction rights remain with Bob Nicholls until the invoice is paid.
Many original artworks on this website are available to buy and most are reproduced as prints and poster prints. The availability of every artwork on this site is listed beneath the relevant image on all pages, simply click on BUY to purchase your artwork.
PRINTS are all high quality giclee reproductions on premium paper (329mm x 483mm, 13" x 19") and signed by the artist. They are packaged in heavy duty cardboard tubes, and a maximum of four prints can be packed into a single tube. The postage and packing fee for each heavy duty tube is £5.00 for UK First Class Mail, £8.00 for UK next day Special Delivery and £8.00 for all International Airmail destinations.
POSTER PRINTS are listed in three standard sizes -LARGE, OVERSIZE and MAXIMUM- but posters of specific dimensions are available on request (contact email@example.com). Each different image will vary in shape; however LARGE posters always have a shortest edge of 40cm (approx. 16'). OVERSIZE posters always have a shortest edge of 60cm (approx. 24') and MAXIMUM posters always have a shortest edge of 80cm (approx. 32'). Poster prints are packaged in strong, water resistant plastic tubes and about four prints can be packed into a single tube. The postage and packing fees are listed here, below.
LARGE poster prints: £8.00 for UK First Class Mail, £10.00 for UK next day Special Delivery and £10.00 for all International Airmail destinations.
OVERSIZE poster prints: £10.00 for UK First Class Mail, £12.00 for UK next day Special Delivery and £12.00 for all International Airmail destinations.
MAXIMUM poster prints: £12.00 for UK First Class Mail, £14.00 for UK next day Special Delivery and £14.00 for all International Airmail destinations.
ORIGINAL and cast copy artworks will be wrapped in protective, water resistant packaging. Small two dimensional originals will fit in reinforced envelopes and larger ones in cardboard or plastic tubes. The postage and packing fees for envelopes are listed below. Some paintings and 3D cast copy models will need to be packaged in custom built containers and will be priced individually (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details).
Small envelopes: £3.00 for UK First Class Mail, £5.00 for UK next day Special Delivery and £5.00 for all International Airmail destinations.
Large envelopes: £5.00 for UK First Class Mail, £8.00 for UK next day Special Delivery and £8.00 for all International Airmail destinations.