Sock Monkeys are Animals too by guest blogger: Jack Skellington Walsh

Allow me to introduce myself! I am a most handsome sock monkey by the name of Jack Skellington Walsh. I have had many exploits but upon meeting Ben just about three years ago I was touched by how much he cared for kids. I have personally had an aversion to those little nasties from time to time but nevertheless have agreed to be Ben's personal assistant for this summer (And oh boy, he does need assistance. Absent minded to say the least!). Anyways, part of my job as assistant is to do a guest blog here every once in awhile to report on what Ben has been doing and to give him dearly needed feedback on his work.

Ben has started out this summer working on an illustration project through the Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund (http://www.bethsgirls.org/). He has been providing illustrations for several stories by Njolomba Mbongo. These stories are all about animals. Personally, my opinion is that sock monkeys are the only ideal animal to be written about but I was willing to make due with Ben illustrating the book with sock monkeys doing heroic things. Unfortunately, Ben did not take me seriously. Nonetheless, here are some of the illustrations (in need of improvement by means of sock monkeys):

You can see that he started out with doing some pencil work but time in the end did not allow for this sort of detail.

This one is a much simpler design but nice colors for the sky. Perhaps he should not have used pen on this piece and instead relied on the watercolor and gouache.

Ben got a taste of needing to entirely redo a piece that he liked at first. The fish just wasn't quite right (looked more like an angel fish when he should have been doing a catfish).

More to come soon! Let us hope that Ben will paint some more sock monkeys in the future.