Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gorilla (New Art)

My last painting that's finished (I have two in progress) turned into this beautiful and intense gorilla. Some of you may have already seen him on Facebook, but I thought I'd show you some progress photos here.
He started out with a layer of light molding paste on canvas. You can see the texture in the photo below. When you spray that with water and then drip high-flow acrylics on it, it brings out really beautiful patterns. Hard to control, but then control is highly overrated...
I added some yellow, which mixed with the teal to make a beautiful green. I also added some phthalo turquoise for a little contrast.
When I turned the canvas to see what I might discover, I immediately "saw" a proud gorilla. Can you see it?
Once I know what I'm painting, the first thing I finish are the eyes. They help me connect to the rest of the painting and to the animal itself. Everything else flows from there. I had never noticed just how soulful and human gorilla eyes are!
Then came the rest of the face and the ear. The nose took the longest. Have you ever looked up close at a gorilla nose? It has so much dimension to it and folds and creases. Quite amazing, really! My challenge was to get it to look "right" without going into really realistic painting, which is not a direction I want to go in.
And there he is. A proud and strong gorilla!
Lean on Me!
acrylics on 9 x 12 inch canvas

I'm linking this to the super fun and inspiring Paint Party Friday.

We have had some cold and rainy days and even today it's still cloudy and won't warm up for another few days yet. But by next week we are expecting more spring-like weather, which is much more normal for us.

I hope you are all faring well this intense winter, especially you all in the northeast! Stay warm and cozy!!

With lots of love and appreciation for you all,



  1. Those eye speak to me! Great job Again !

  2. OhI I love this, Silke!
    I have written about Willie B., the lowland Gorilla that lived at Zoo Atlanta for many years. I wrote a post about him. His eyes! So human and you have captured that perfectly. xx

  3. Silke, I am so in awe of how you have developed. Kudos to you. Your paintings are really stunning. Those eyes are magnificent!

  4. Wow, der Gorilla ist schon sehr imposant.

    LG Brigitte

  5. Richtig klasse gemacht,bin begeistert. Diese Augen sind so lebendig,da braucht es kein fertiges Kopfportrait. Ein richtig eindrucksvolles Bild.
    Liebe Grüße

  6. This is an amazing painting-no wonder it sold already-congrats!! Your gorilla's eyes are so penetrating and have a somewhat gentle and loving gaze. Just beautiful.

  7. Oh these have an amazing capture here. Beautiful work! Happy PPF

  8. Love him! His eyes are so alive ....

  9. The color and composition are wonderful. This is an intriguing piece and I'm not surprised he's sold. Thanks for sharing your technique.

  10. Impressive, eyes on green background surprise the viewer.Saludos

  11. I like to see your work in progress. Saludos

  12. Absolutely fabulous!! Love his pensive eyes...very human!!

    Hugs Giggles

  13. Love the gorilla! i love how you found that balance between realistic and abstract. Beautiful work. I'll be back for a visit. xx