The most recent illustration for The Primate Diaries at Scientific American was a challenge. Unlike my usual chimp head on a human body I challenged myself to use the wild chimpanzee to communicate the narrative in this illustration. The idea was to show these wild animals in their environment holding mobile devices and communicating via facebook, twitter and text. The article was about how primate brain size increased over evolutionary time as an adaptation for increased social networks.
I started with a line drawing in ink on 140 lb Stonehenge cream color paper using black ink on the middle toned paper to begin to push and pull my values. I am already making choices as to were my darkest darks and lightest lights are.
My next step is using lamp back watercolor and watered down ink I create washes modeling the form and continuing to push and pull the values.
As you can see in this detail I use a kolinsky sable brush to model the wash. After this I put an acrylic varnish over the entire image creating a surface suitable for painting
Using gouache I add my lightest lights with titanium white and yellow ocher. I paint in the leaves and sky and for a final touch I paint the phones into the chimps hands.