This is the first artwork that I have ever wanted to do more than once – the first one that I did was back in 2006 and it was a tiny ACEO (2.5″ x3.5″ Art Card). At the time I did think that a larger painting would be worth pursuing, as the reference material (courtesy of Toni-Marie Hudson) is fantastic, and one that a number of artists have attempted in a variety of different mediums. I did use two slightly different reference photos though, as I thought the slightly different angle of the face would be better for the larger format painting.
I created the ACEO in colour pencils, and this new larger portrait has been done in traditional oils on prepared mdf, to the size of 9″x12″. The painting is finished, but I won’t be adding it to the FIne Art Gallery until I have varnished it which will get rid of the gloss shine from the dried liquin that you can see in the left corner around my signature.
ACEO Gibbon 2.5″x3.5″
Gibbon in Oils 9″x12″
There are fifteen living species of Gibbon – I believe this one is a White-Handed or Lar Gibbon (Hylobates lar) and as there are many colour variants in the species their subspecies identification is often unreliable unless the provenience of the animal is known.
GIbbons are small tree-dwelling primates whose original natural habitat is the tropical and subtropical rainforests of South, Southeast and East Asia. Gibbons are yet another endangered animal – some of the 15 species of Gibbon are at the brink of extinction, and are currently only found in small populations in Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Bandladesh, NE India and Myanmar.
The primary reason for the endangered status of GIbbons is the loss of their forest habitat which is being destroyed at the horrific rate of 32 acres per minute. Unfortuantely, factors such as illegal wildlife trade, poaching and the use of their body parts in the manufacture of traditional medicine have also contributed to the demise of these beautiful creatures.
Gibbons are incredible acrobats and can swing up to 50 ft between trees at speeds up to 35mph, as well as having the dexterity to walk upright on the ground! They are one of the few monogamous primates, living in nuclear families consisting of the mated pair and their dependent offspring living in a family territory that they defend by vigorous vocal and visual displays. Gibbons are often referred to as the ‘songbirds’ of the primate family and they can project their voices up to 2 miles through the rainforest canopy. The vocal displays of these musical land mammals usually consist of a duet between the mated pair, sometimes with accompaniement from their offspring.
If you would like to help with the plight of the critically endangered Silvery Gibbon, please visit The Silvery Gibbon Project to donate, purchase merchandise or become a member of this conservation organization which is a registered environmental organisation based in Perth, Western Australia.