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Japanese Snow Monkeys illustration

February 02, 2017

Japanese Snow Monkeys illustration

This week I finished a new illustration of Japanese snow monkeys soaking in a hot spring. This piece was based on a quick doodle, which eventually became more and more complex. It went through a number of revisions, with more monkeys added in the background, rocks in the foreground, distant hills, and layers of rising steam.

snow monkeys illustration

Detail: a baby monkey soaking in the water next to it's mother.

Japanese snow monkeys, or Japanese macaques, live in groups called troops, which are organized in a complex hierarchy, each monkey has it's rank in the troop.

If your interested in more I recommend watching PBS's NATURE snow monkeys documentary. It follows a troop of monkeys throughout the seasons of a year, in particular focusing on the unlikely relationship between a grumpy alpha male and a playful youngster. 
"Their leader is still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. But one little monkey, innocently unaware of his own lowly social rank, reaches out to this lonely leader, forming a bond with him that manages over time to warm his less than sunny disposition. It is a rare and remarkable gesture that alters both their lives."

I watched it on Netflix. You can find more info on the PBS website.

Prints are available in the shop!