Urban the Orangutan

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My latest drawing is of Urban, an adult male Sumatran orangutan. He was born at the Sacramento Zoo and lived there until his death in February of this year. He was 28 years old. This press release was issued at the time of his death.

Urban - ink on scratchboard (Ampersand Claybord), 4" x 4"

I was not aware that he was ill; I began this drawing a few weeks prior to his passing, so it has special meaning. Even as I type this, I'm getting misty eyed. Urban was a charismatic ape and a wonderful ambassador for his species. He is greatly missed by Zoo staff and visitors. It's been nearly 20 years, but I worked at the Sacramento Zoo as Volunteer/Events Coordinator, so the Zoo and its denizens are near and dear to my heart.

My photo of Urban

Photo cropped to 4" x 4" format

Greyscale version of the cropped photo

A detail of the drawing

I had to take some artistic license on this drawing. The area around his eyes is pretty dark in the photo so I lightened it up to show his eyes better. I didn't try to replicate every hair tangle/strand, but I think I effectively showed the flow and direction of the whole mass (mess?).

RIP Urban, we miss you big guy!


Melody Lea Lamb June 16, 2009 at 4:43 PM  

Its a wonderful portrait of Urban and such a nice way to memorialize him. Thank you for sharing your wonderful scratchboard work with us Ann!

- - - All art and images ©Ann Ranlett, unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved. - - -
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