17/30 Days of Illustration – Snow Monkeys

One of the things I still haven’t done in Japan is go to see the snow monkeys. These wild Japanese macaques are famous for their winter past time of relaxing in the hot springs around Nozawa Onsen in Nagano Prefecture. They are a popular tourist attraction, but when people do go to visit, it’s important to still be cautious and respectful, as these are wild animals.

When I was searching for reference images for this painting, I was struck by the human look of the monkeys. I tried to bring out this relatable quality in this painting. I’m happy with it and I like the expressions of the monkeys, especially the one on the right who looks very chilled. Although spring is on the way, it’s still fairly cold and wintery. I’m looking forward to the next time I can relax in an onsen too!