Monkey Business – sketching monkeys I

May 16, 2011


Lar Gibbon (Hylobates lar) or White-Handed Gibbon (SW China/Thailand/Burma). When a juvenile reaches sexual maturity, it is expelled from the family unit.

Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis), a Madagascan lemur that combines rodent-like teeth and a special long middle finger to fill the same ecological niche as the woodpecker. Should one point its narrow middle finger at someone, they are condemned to death. Aye-aye sneak into houses trhough the thatched roofs and murder the sleeping occupants by using their middle finger to puncture the victim’s aorta, so say the Sakalava people.

Gorilla beringei beringei (Central Africa). Estimated number worldwide is 700.

These sketches, done in HB graphite pencil, were done quite a while ago when I was looking at the upper human spine (C1 to C7). Primate specimens and skeletons were on public view at the Australian Museum, Sydney.

I’ve dusted them off because of the scheduled meetup of the Sydney Sketch Club at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney at end of this month. With plans in mind for sketching the chimpanzees, gorillas and other monkeys at the Zoo, I need to go back to the Australian Museum and take a close look at ape anatomy, sketching them in detail which will respond better to scanning and uploading.

References            Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney.            Australian Museum, Sydney.

Szunyoghy, Andras. Anatomy Drawing School: Human, Animal, Comparative Anatomy. Drawings by A. Szunyoghy, text by Gyorgy Feher. Cologne: Konemann, 1996. The Ape, pages 395+.

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