I'm stumped and need big monkey help
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Thread: I'm stumped and need big monkey help

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    I'm stumped and need big monkey help

    OK, personal project. Monkey King is my favourite fictional character, and I've always wanted to interpret what he would look like for real. I've been looking at a lot of reference photos and drawing monkeys. These are just some really quick sketches to sort of... test some poses out. See what I like. Thing is, I think I've scrutinized these so much that I need some fresh pairs of eyes to help me see where my mistakes are. I'm particularly concerned about the bottom 2 images. The others are just there for, um, comparison If maybe I did something right in one of them that I didn't do in the bottom 2...

    I've based it off a rhesus macaque, which seems to be the most populous species around the historical location of Monkey King's home (yes, I know... technically his species is a stone monkey... i guess). I've attached some of the reference photos I've been looking at.

    Sorry for the long post! But I'm hoping to get some good crits. I really want to do a good job on this!

    Oh, and is anybody here pretty familiar with Chinese art history? Might ask questions about that later on if there is...

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    Last edited by stylus; August 9th, 2009 at 09:03 PM.
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    I'd appreciate any help I can get. I realize these are very quick sketches, but they are just so I can explore poses and form. Hopefully they communicate enough to be able to be critted? Or are these not developed enough to be on this forum? (Just in case, I posted it in my sketchbook... link in my sig) I would like to progress, but my intuition's telling me that there's something I need to fix before I can continue. Any crits would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    You're definitely getting there, the pose of the last one looks good. The proportions are still a little too human, though. His trunk could be a bit longer.


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    Right now the shoulders you have drawn are too human-looking. If you compare the side view macaque skeleton with a side view human skeleton, you will notice that the position of the shoulder blades is very different. The macaque's shoulder blades lie along the side of the ribcage, while human ones are on the back. This brings the macaque's shoulder joint well to the front of the sternum, so that its arms are almost on the front of its chest instead of to the sides of its body. Then again, since the monkey king is a fictional character, you might very well be distorting the monkey's anatomy deliberately, in order to suit your fictional needs. In that case, disregard my comment.

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    Hm, I think I like the bottom right one best, the staff compliments and reflects the angle of the leg, giving the stance a good solidarity and balance while still having a good bit of energy and force to the pose.

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    Thank you all for the posts! Really appreciate it! In hindsight, I think I should've posted this in the WIP forum... I somehow missed it while creating the thread. And AGH!! rolandb just reminded me of some reference photos that I forgot to put up!! I just put those up. I want to post a new drawing up, but rolandb's comment is making me want to discuss it a bit before I start drawing...

    Elwell: Thanks! I measured it out myself before posting but I just measured again and you're right. Looks to be about 4 heads from the top of the head to the groin.

    rolandb: Yeah, thanks for noting the shoulders. I should've mentioned this before, but he will clothed in armour once I finish the painting. I thought I'd draw the unclothed body to get a sense of it under the armour before I draw the armour on. Also... the story goes that he hung around humans until he learnt their speech and mannerisms. Arguably, he physically started resembling them too, but I'm not taking it that far. However, since he will be wearing humanoid armour, do you think his shoulders would be where they are in the drawing? (I'm looking at the reference photo above of the dressed up macaques.)

    EhnaRa: Thanks for your crit too! I think I'm going for that drawing too.

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    Hey there

    This topic has been treated many times in the past, and always the artist had opted to make basically a monkey head on top of a human body. For good reason I think, since a monkey is basically a quadraped that sometimes stand on 2's and the conformation of parts is big different from human. The long, bendy torso, knees that don't lock out, super slopey shoulders.. don't add up to a heroic figure.

    Good luck with this. I love monkeys!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by link_choi View Post
    Hey there

    This topic has been treated many times in the past, and always the artist had opted to make basically a monkey head on top of a human body. For good reason I think, since a monkey is basically a quadraped that sometimes stand on 2's and the conformation of parts is big different from human. The long, bendy torso, knees that don't lock out, super slopey shoulders.. don't add up to a heroic figure.

    Good luck with this. I love monkeys!!
    Thank you for the well wishes! It is a challenge, but there's something kind of... exciting about how challenging it is! And it's very possible:



    He looks pretty proud and very, um... high and might. Confident. Doesn't look like a guy in a suit either

    Hmm... I'm researching a lot more photo refs just to see about the shoulders... It looks like they can actually position them like a human if in the right clothes... Just looking even at the wedding photo above... I'll draw more and next time, post in the WIP forum. Thanks all for your help!!

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    all I can say is "monkey magic..... monkey magic..... monkey magic' lol I loved that show

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT3LlxdfOHc

    I think your poses are rather cool. I would be interested if you decide to stylize this a bit or keep it realistic looking. Currently your drawing the monkeys hands to big. They have small fingers and hands but long palms.

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