Since it’s the Year of the Monkey it seems appropriate to include this little guy next. A “monkey” isn’t necessarily a specific animal, but any of 260 versions, so there was a lot to choose from. I think chimpanzees are cute, but they’re not actually monkeys, but apes, since they don’t have a tail. I opted for this baby macaque after skimming through references that looked like everything from Einstein to Yoda. There seemed to be something quintessentially monkey about this guy so that’s where we landed today. Though the first day of the Chinese New Year was actually a week ago, and many who celebrate it are returning to work now, here’s a little monkey to usher in the year.

When I was a kid we would go to a favorite little Chinese restaurant in town. I remember how fun it was to find my animal on the little paper placemats emblazoned with the Chinese zodiac. I always wanted to be a cute little monkey, and looked again each time as though it might come up differently, but was instead continually deemed a pig, based on my irritatingly persistent birth year. An unfortunate discovery to be sure, when you’re a nerdy, chubby kid about to chow down on a giant plate of General Tso’s chicken… with a fork. Actually, in some restaurants the placemats said “Boar” but that didn’t really make things any better.

Some of you out there might be a Monkey if you were lucky enough be born in one of these years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004. As the Chinese placemat states: “You are very intelligent and are able to influence people. An enthusiastic achiever, you are easily discouraged and confused. Avoid Tigers.” That last bit seems rather obvious for a monkey, but there you have it. You’re welcome. Next up is “N” so if you have a suggestion of a creature starting with that letter, be sure to shout it out in the comments!

About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

50 replies on “M Is For Monkey

  1. It depends on what month you’re born in, not just the year! If your birthday is Jan or Feb, you could be a different sign! Not that I believe in astrology of any sort.🙂 Your baby macaque is sooooo adorable!❤ I want to hug both of you!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like the colors you chose for your cute monkey, Charlie! 🎨💕👍 I looked up my Chinese sign and apparently I’m an Ox. This doesn’t feel very exciting to be this animal either. Lol! 😜 As for the letter, N – Nothing comes to mind… So I will look forward to your surprise animal! 😃💜

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  3. What a cute monkey!! I. Went to a lunar new year celebration at my school last Friday. One of classes have all Chinese students who are resident students. They love being here but they miss their families. I always thought my sister was born in the year of monkey but she was born in 1969. I wonder if it’s the way the calendar is kept since her birthday is in January..

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  4. Cheeky monkey! And your doodlewash looks mischievous enough too😉 Oh he’s so cute. I feel like I’m saying that every day…. that can’t be a bad thing, Charles! Love him and his little hands – as long as he’s not one of those sneaky (hilarious) pick-pocketing monkeys. I was indeed born in a Year of the Monkey, and I am most definitely easily discouraged and confused. Hahaha, ‘avoid tigers’. I’ll try my best but hey, it’s Norfolk – I can’t promise anything.

    N is really troubling me. Newt? Nanny goat? Hmm!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My favourite monkey experience was in Bali at the Monkey forest – there was a HUGE sign saying do not feed the monkeys. Sure enough someone was ignoring it and had a monkey on his shoulder which promptly peed in copious quantities all over him. I tried not to laugh too loudly…. happy days. I’m a dragon, by the way….

    Liked by 1 person

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