Anchorage artist closes chapter on dinosaur paintings with ‘Return of the King’

Alaska artist closes chapter on dinosaur paintings with ‘Return of the King’
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 9:44 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - James Havens has been the Alaska dinosaur artist for the past 10 years, creating works of art that illustrate the prehistoric creatures that roamed the earth before humans. Now, he has decided it’s time for a change. Havens has finished his latest — and last — in a series of Alaska dinosaur paintings titled “Return of the King.”

It’s set in the Denali area. The summit of the mountain rises in the background beneath a peek of clear blue sky. A golden eagle sits in the foreground on top of a fossilized dinosaur skull — not unlike that of Tyrannosaurus rex — entombed in the face of a rock formation gilded with yellow lichen. Below the eagle the land forms a valley bottomed by two converging streams, and on their eastern edge a crop of evergreen trees stretch towards the sky.

Havens’ dinosaur paintings have been featured in numerous publications and museums. The Alaska Museum of Science and Nature in Anchorage has several of these life-size artworks on display.

Havens doesn’t just paint what he imagines the dinosaurs looked like — they’re accurate portrayals based on scientific knowledge. He worked closely with experts to depict the creatures as close as current information would allow. Everything else in the artwork is correct to the geologic period, too.

Havens hasn’t ruled out painting more dinosaurs in the future, but for now he is going to concentrate on new subject matter.

The latest information on his work and his future plans can be found at