Break Charity first involved Phil in the Gogogorillas project with a brief to attempt to create a realistic gorilla from a large sculpture. Although Phils highly detailed paintings were a great basis for this project it soon became clear that painting fur onto a smooth curved surface was going to be difficult. After some trials, Phil decided to try a different approach and used a special resin product to coat the gorilla surface and then shape this to look like hair. Although time consuming the effect was one that had not been achieved before.
Applying this special product took several weeks to complete, then it had to all be painted, and then varnished! Although Phil had little knowledge of how this might work out he was supported by the manufacturers of the product and the final effect was superb. More sponsors came forward for Phil to work on their gorillas too. By the final launch on to the streets of Norwich 53 gorillas were completed; Phil had worked on 7 of them, plus 2 of the smaller school ones as well.
Phil's airbrush skills were used to create the illusion of folds in cloth on some of the gorillas. He perfected his fur molding technique which could be used on similiar projects. Creating logos, brands and colour matches was a major part of this work. The quality of materials Phil used on this project was second to none. Genuine quality acrylics and high UV and water resistant varnishes imported especially for the gorillas. This art had to weather the English summer and have a saleable value at the end.
Each Gorilla Phil worked on represented a different challenge in many ways.
Yo'man was all about preparation before any painting could be done.
Horatio was the learning curve for the hair effect.
Mogo meant working with the sponsor designing the look together.
Norwich FC gorilla was a lesson in colours and brand matching.
Chromilla needed the insight to work with an outside company.
Alanrilla was an outstanding achievement against time and possibilities.
Referee gorilla was an introduction into working with another artist on one project.