The velvety vervet and the curious kangaroo

My most recent pieces have been a bit of fun. I’ve worked from my own photos, one of a kangaroo that was very inquisitive and the other, a vervet monkey that had clearly not had enough sleep. I really tried to create nice soft fur on the vervet, prompting friends to say it looks like it should be called a ‘velvet’ monkey. I’m happy with that!

I think I’m a lucky guy having lived where you see plenty of both of these animals. The kangaroo is obviously an iconic Australian animal and the vervet is such a cheeky – well, er, monkey! We had one literally destroy our food stash in False Bay Park in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa. We were glad St Lucia was just down the road where we could stock up on groceries again!

Despite looks, these two boards were created in opposite fashion. The kangaroo was done on a scratchboard, which is coated in black ink and you remove the ink with a variety of scratching tools to create the image, kind of like drawing in reverse, whereas the monkey was done on clayboard (which is white) by spraying diluted Indian Ink and then scratching back to create the image, and repeating this process as often as needed to get the desired effect. I’ve predominantly used a fibreglass brush for both pieces.