Zoo Trips – Week 2

I only made it 4/5 days this week, but they were all very useful! I definitely understand lemur hands and feet more than this time last week.

I spent a fair bit of time chatting with the keepers, who taught me fun lemur facts (they hate water, including rain) and explained how to tell the lemurs apart. There are two with shorter tails, two with longer teeth, one who’s always a bit dishevelled, and another with a lopsided smirk. They’ve also got varied markings, particularly in their faces. I can only pick one or two at the moment, but maybe I’ll learn more in the next few weeks.

Some of the keepers asked whether I was learning to draw lemurs for a particular project. Beyond ‘learning to sketch more’ the answer was no, but now of course I’ve started to come up with one. So that’s fun too, because in trying to sketch lemurs from imagination I learn what it is that I still don’t understand about their shape. At this point the only reference I’m allowing myself is my own sketchbook, which is really showing me what I still need to learn. Mostly it’s to do with movement, and those really quick gestures, but I still have a few anatomical confusions too.

Zoo Trips – Week 1

Even before I knew I was doing for the rest of Blaugust, I already had one plan in place: to visit the zoo every (week)day.

I narrowed in on lemurs as my main sketching subject because there are lots of them and they’re usually easy to see. One week in and I now have pages and pages of lemur sketches, from which I’ve pulled out just a few to share here.

The main purpose of the project was simply to get used to having my sketchbook out, and to use it more often. It has already been a complete success. I also sketched while out and about on the weekend and in a lull while volunteering today (for the Melbourne Writers Festival).

My focus for the next week is to really watch the lemurs and then sketch my impressions of them. Less direct observational drawing and more short term memory of specific poses or personalities.

After that, maybe I’ll focus on particular anatomy: how do their hands and feet work, perhaps. We’ll see. It’s been really nice, anyway. I think I’m just gonna wanna visit the zoo every day forever.