I was inspired to to paint this portrait after visiting Howlett’s zoo in Kent with my daughter who kindly did a photo shoot for me. I decided to develop a close up shot of a gorilla’s eyes into a full face image using a limited palette of colours on a black canvas.
I began by mapping out the features using washes of white and yellow in order to see the drawing on the black background. I then blocked out areas using stronger mixes until the depth of the portrait grew, continually blending as I built up detail. Finally neat paint was used to create the textures of the gorilla’s skin and darkened areas enhanced using blues and browns.