How I painted this Gorilla in Miniature


gorilla painting by Rachelle Siegrist
“Standing Proud and Tall”

Wes and I were honored to be asked by the Explorers Against Extinction to create artworks for their upcoming “Sketch for Survival” Exhibit to be held starting October 6, 2022. All donated artwork can be purchased either through the online auction which will take place October 7th, or from their online or pop-up Affordable Art Gallery. 100% of the proceeds from artworks will be going to this very important cause and organization who has donated over £300,000 GBP to frontline conservation projects! So if you love our paintings and would also love to help out endangered species and support this great cause,  please visit their website here to learn more! And now that you know the reason for painting this miniature, I’ll share with you how I went about creating it. 

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After drawing a basic sketch of the gorilla. I put a light, warm-colored wash over the entire composition.

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Next I start painting in the darker areas of the fur

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Once I have the basic darker areas in place, I paint a wash of color over most of the gorilla’s body.

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Then I introduce a wash of warm sienna color to his head.

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Another wash was painted to darken the background a little more, and I started painting in some of the darkest details.

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The background was darkened a bit with another wash of color, and I continued darkening areas on the gorilla and adding more of the details.

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I then began painting in the grass, starting with basic shapes painted with a light wash, then I slowly painted multiple layers of grass, gradually getting darker with my paint mixtures of green. When I had it the mid and darker bits of grass painted, I came back with a light green color and painted in the highlights.

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Then came the fun part . . . painting in the gold background! I use Schmincke dry powdered gouache in rich pale gold, and pour a wee bit into a small container, to which I add a little water, and then mix it well with my brush. Then I add it to the painting, gently laying it in place with the brush and carefully stipple around the edges of the fur. Once I have the gold background like I want it, I go back in and add the final highlights and darkest darks to the fur and face.

painting a gorilla in miniature

The gold gouache will move around if accidentally touched or blown by your breath, so once you’re done with your painting, it must be sprayed with a UV varnish to secure it safely in place, thus making it permanent. This is tricky to work with, but the end results are certainly worth it!

Watch the entire painting process in my YouTube video “HOW DID I PAINT THIS tiny GORILLA


YouTube painting video

Below is Wes’ miniature painting of an adorable seal soaking up the warmth of the sun, that will be in the Sketch For Survival as well. I will keep you updated as the show and auction draws nearer.


basking beach babe painting

“Basking Beach Babe”


EXQUISITE MINIATURES now on display at The Art & Heritage Center,

Windsor, CO, May 15 – August 15, 2022 

 Francesca Anderson Fine Art, MA

To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows, please

visit our WEBSITE     Email us

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

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