Paint Zoo Animals in Oil


Learn oil painting tips for fabulous backgrounds from Pip McGarry.

Let’s Go to the Zoo
I love going to the zoo and having a chance to see, up close and personal, the kinds of animals that would likely either run away from or that would eat me in the wild. I have great memories of visiting the zoos in different cities, from the London Zoo, where I saw a massive tiger stretch himself up to stand on his hind legs with his paws against the glass right behind the security guard and a monkey sat with his chin on his hand and watched us all go by, to exploring the many offerings at the Columbus and Cincinnati zoos with my niece and nephew, where the polar bears and penguins are our favorites.

McGarryMeercatThere’s something awesome and humbling about seeing the way that characteristics we think of as “human” mix with their native instincts. From their body language and social interactions within their species, we can learn a lot from animals in the zoo, whether it’s about them, the world we live in, and even ourselves. It’s a reminder that we’re not alone on this rock, and that we’re not the biggest (bears), fastest (cheetahs), or even the smartest (elephants) creatures in the animal kingdom.

So it’s no surprise that zoos are popular places for artists to visit. What better opportunity to practice your craft and learn how to paint the anatomy and movement of big animals and small, in different sizes, shapes and colors? You’ll get a chance to study your subject for the price of a single admission (or a membership), and really learn the characteristics of each species and individual. And indeed, part of the fun of the zoo is watching the animals watch us in return. So why not take your sketchbook or plein air kits and head out for a day at the zoo? It’s the next best thing to capturing them in their native habitats, and without the danger.

Learn How to Paint Animals in Oil
McGarryRhino2Put together your study of the animals and the lessons you’ll learn from A Brush with Wildlife in Oils with Pip McGarry. In this art video, you’ll learn how to paint zoo animals in oils, using brushwork and color mixing tips from a popular wildlife artist. With expert advice that makes painting rhinos, giraffes and other animals easy to get the hang of, you’ll find yourself endlessly exploring your favorite animals to learn all of their traits and characteristics.

You’ll start with a quick sketch of a group of meerkats at the Marwell Zoo to pick up tips for capturing the unique traits of animals. Then, follow along with his step-by-step demonstration to paint a rhino, capturing its varied textures and colors with the oil painting tips and tricks that have made Pip famous for his art. You’ll also love learning the composition techniques and tricks, as well as why oil is such a fantastic medium for depicting the beautiful backgrounds and environments for your animal subjects.

Preview A Brush with Wildlife in Oils with Pip McGarry now to learn how to block on a rhino’s head and establish a sense of harmony with color. Then, head over to for the full-length video, access to the materials lists, and to read and write reviews.

Want to start with oils but without the mess? Pick up these free oil pastel techniques.

You may also like these articles: