Burrow the Wombat in Gouache

Just after I photographed this wombat at Australia Zoo, he came racing down the hill to a gate. I thought he was going to be fed by his speed, to my surprise he was going for a walk, so I managed to get a much closer encounter than I was expecting.

I also found out the wombats name was Burrow, well that’s what the leash was called.


I’ve started to enjoy painting fur and don’t see it as such a daunting task anymore, this still however requires a lot of time and patience to complete. Compared to my first squirrel painting that now lives in Germany, I have come along way with far more detail because I’m using 5/0 professional brushes.

So let’s begin with the art work, I’ll talk you through start to finish. After the initial pencil outline I wanted to try out a textured sponge I bought from the art store while in Sydney.

I had a quick read of the instructions and my test strip was way to wet and didn’t look at all convincing. I then painted the sponge and dabbed this onto the Archers paper with much better results.

Then I used a fine brush to add a few more darker tones under the wombats belly, this will later be re touched once the animal is complete.

I always try and start with the eyes, then I added some of the darkest areas with black gouache to get a feel for some of the patterns in the fur.


Next I give Burrow a brown wash to give him some volume.IMG_3777

I recently read that you paint the animal in the darkest shaded areas, the add layers of fur getting lighter with each pass, so I thought I’d give this a try.

This was very hard for my brain to cope with, as your trying to paint the shadows in-between the fur and not the light fur that matches your photograph.IMG_3786

Starting at the back legs and working up the body to the front of the animal because each hair lays on top of the one underneath so you try and paint the way nature flows. Burnt umber, neutral grey and raw sienna were used at this stage.

I also added a small strip of back leg so he didn’t look like he was missing a limb.IMG_3790

Next I paint another pass from the back legs to nose using a raw sienna and zinc white.IMG_3795

I lose count of the amount of passes I paint, but you keep lightening the fur from the back legs to nose using lighter paint each time and adding a few more shadows. Also I added some fur on his under belly so he doesn’t look shaved.IMG_3796

Now it’s a final check to add the detail, Creating a more convincing shadow on the ground that doesn’t darken the overall look of the painting.

A touch up of the nose, eyes and whiskers, these been very had paint with temperatures around 31 deg’s and the limited paint drying on the brush.

A few days later I find out a long thin brush would have been much better for creating grass and whiskers as the water content caught higher up in the brush keeps the paint moist.IMG_3804 2

A close up detail of Burrows face.IMG_3803


Gouache Colour Palette

Ivory Black, Neutral Grey, Zinc White, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna

This was a very limited colour pallet, which I enjoy using and the more I paint Australian animals I’m finding that they have a similar base colour. Obviously the much more colourful birds and insects have a rainbow of colours, which makes painting them very enjoyable.


Additional Social Media Sites

Just a reminder that I am in the process of splitting my Chris Osborne Adventures and my artwork into seperate sites.

The main reason is I’m planing on selling my original artworks and also some prints along with greeting cards and bookmarks. It would be a little difficult for people to troll through all my blogs to find my artworks to buy.

So my original WordPress friends that follow me across to my new site will receive a gift once I start getting things printed, next month.

WordPress Webpage : www.ChrisOsborne.Art The Follow link should be at the bottom of the ChrisOsborne.Art home page.

Instagram : ChrisOsborne.art

Facebook : ChrisOsborneArt




7 thoughts on “Burrow the Wombat in Gouache

  1. I love your new site! What a great way to showcase your work and maybe make some money doing it. I like the roos the best, it really gives off the personality of each one and as a group, well I just love it. It is like you caught them all by surprise out hiking. Best of luck to you and success in this new direction.


    1. Thank you so much.
      They were watching me trying to hammer tent pegs into the ground.
      Hopefully the follow button worked for you ?
      Things may not be running a 100% at the moment as I only got it all running yesterday afternoon and still playing with themes and the new block editor which is doing my head in.
      I like the classic better than the block editor but must move with the times as it have. Ore options.
      I’m just dreading all the store and PayPal stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

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