Both main inspirations for this book were visual (which is unusual for me). The first was the Dragonology series of calendars (based on the book of the same name, which discuss different breeds of dragons as if from the perspective of a natural historian. The second was the Draconomicon supplement for the third edition of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, which included beautiful artwork by Todd Lockwood, showing the skeletal and muscular structure of various dragons.
Todd Lockwood, of course, is the artist behind the beautiful cover (you can buy a limited signed print from his site). He also did the ten interior sketches, which, sadly, I cannot post here . . . you’ll have to pick up a copy of the book to see those!
I’m delighted to share, with permission, this piece of fan art by Victoria Ying:
Also, if you’ve attended any of my more recent book tour events, you know that I’ve brought along dragon fossils for the “show and tell” portion of the evening. Since not everyone is able to make it to an event like that, though, I’ve photographed the fossils for all to see: