DOODLING CATS AND DOGS…

and monkeys too

As a young artist I went through numerous phases and enthusiasms, the briefest of which, being a desire to master the portrayal of animal-kind. I think my “animal period” lasted about five months in all, but despite its brevity, I still managed to fill several sketchbooks and give myself highly useful reference material for my later professional career.

Sadly, I have since mislaid two of the main sketchbooks, and could only find a handful of pictures as examples for this post. Nevertheless, I think they are sufficiently worthy, and interesting to be reproduced here.

Capuchin Monkey – Pen and Ink Wash – 1981: I spent two or three days at London Zoo studying mostly monkeys, the big cats, and birds. The monkeys were particularly fascinating as they all had distinct personalities and facial expressions. This guy/girl was always alone and sad. I think he/she was in want of a mate, but I can’t be certain.
Mother and Child Capuchins – Pen and Ink “linear” – 1995: Fourteen years after those visits to the Zoo in Regent’s Park, I made a small series of highly detailed drawings from some of the better sketches. All sold, and sadly this is the only picture I have on my files from that hugely successful group. There’s little doubt that I could have carved out an extremely lucrative career if I had continued making these drawings, but after about six of them, I couldn’t face doing another. They were painstaking in the extreme, and took many days each to complete, requiring a depth of concentration that drove me half-mad.
Cat Studies – Conté – 1981: The zoo was an expensive place to visit, even back in 1981, thus I mostly resorted to studying pets of friends (we had no animals at home) and when out and about in places like pubs. This little girl, whom I seem to recall was called Daisy was no shrinking violet however – hence some my humerous additions to the original sketches.
Make My Day! (British Bulldog) – Pen and Ink Wash – 1982: Meet Harry, who despite the title of the picture was as docile and sweet natured as he appeared.

5 thoughts on “DOODLING CATS AND DOGS…

  1. Until I retired, the only art I made was with pen and ink. There were a lot of dogs among my sketches and one orangatang. But as it was only a hobby, I never developed your skill and doubt I could have captured a monkey – they move too often.
    I always enjoy seeing your work.

    Liked by 1 person

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