A steep learning curve or Artwork for the book

I’m currently on a steeeeep learning curve for producing artwork for the book – I’d like to include some symbolic drawings for every ammonite, so it was time for a graphics program, in this case Adobe Illustrator, to get drawing.
I would call my computer skills “advanced” without having to blush, but this is a hugely powerful and complex program and it took me the better part of a weekend to get into how this thing works in principle (and I’m sure I barely scratched the surface…) and to produce some simple graphics.  I prefer learning a new program this way, I just need a meaningful, yet simple enough project to get started.

Every ammonite species in the book will have a symbol showing which type of ribbing the ammonite shows and what a whorl section to expect.
These are important diagnostic features that will be shown (apart from on the actual picture of the fossil) in a simplified graphic :


Whorl section and rib diagrams for the book

Whorl section and rib diagrams for the book

If you noticed the little stylized ammonite in the lower right corner – in the book you’ll see a lot more of it – have a guess what for !


Abundance (or rarity...) indicators for the book

Abundance (or rarity…) indicators for the book


Every species page will show a set of these, indicating the abundance (or rarity) of the species.
This of course can only be an estimation from experience – even after 24 years there can be beds I have not found yet where a seemingly rare ammonite
occurs in abundance…


To keep your withdrawal symptoms at bay, I will shortly post more about “real” ammonites from my spring collecting trip.


Leave a comment


  1. byron

     /  June 9, 2013

    bloody good stuff! look forward to seeing the whole thing ! 🙂

  2. Steve

     /  June 12, 2013

    Andy…. I like the idea of a rarity indicator…Nice one…. Its going to be something else and quite unique if it includes pathology, shell types etc….

  3. shaun

     /  June 12, 2013

    Andy….im so looking forward to this book!…is the little ammonite you mention for scale?


    • Shaun,
      The nice thing about drawing these with a true vector drawing program is that you can resize them without loss of quality. I’m still working on the actual layout of the pages (which of course I will show on the blog once I’m satisfied with it), so I’m not completely decided yet which size they will be – in my current working version they are a bit bigger.

      All the best,

  4. Mike Forster

     /  February 2, 2014

    Any news as to when the book will be ready? Looking forward to it (-:
    Just enjoyed your site this last hour. Saw quite a few bits I’ve found and good to see them again and to know they’re in very good hands! The sun star partial was from Saltburn. The Amal stoke with no keel was from the fall just NE of RHB. I’ve looked again for the gibbosus at Staithes but not a hint of one. Still got a decent 5cm one found on the same day as the one of mine you got from MM. I once had a 125x125x50mm block of Oist and starfish arms from Skinningrove you’d have loved – stuffed with ammos and arms… don’t know where it is now…. although Pete at Derby might have it… he has a LOT of stuff that I found and prepped…. a really sweet androg trago double springs to mind amongst many….. wish I’d kept good pics of all that stuff!!
    Mike Forster.

    • Mike,
      Hope you liked the tour around the site – thanks for providing details on the fossils, always nice to have a bit of provenance,
      I did not realize they were all found by you. Work on the book is progressing well, but I do not yet know if I can finish it this year,
      my day job will keep me more busy than usual in the first half of the year.
      All the best,

  5. Mike

     /  February 5, 2014

    Thanks for the response Andy.
    I think a lot of folks have fossils found and prepped by me and don’t realise it! I must admit I sometimes feel a bit peeved for not getting any credit….. except to my bank balance! BTW, how much did you pay for the partial sunstar? The accumulating years are blunting my memory!
    Not much action up here at the moment. But I did find a nice 60mm (just roughed out so far but pin-sharp middle) lytoceras on Sunday so mustn’t grumble they’re scarce little ammonites, and one of the most attractive aesthetically in my opinion.

    • Mike,

      You do not want to know how little I paid for that partial Luidia… I had asked MM before about it because I saw it on the shelf, but he would not sell at that time.
      Next time I was there I asked again, and he surprisingly sold at a comparatively low amount, must have caught him in a good mood…
      Aching to come back for collecting myself…

      All the best,

      • Mike

         /  February 6, 2014

        Only asking as I hadn’t realised it (being mine to sell) had ended up with you until the other evening.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: