Semiconductor quantum dot (QD) arrays can be useful for optical devices such as lasers, solar cells and light-emitting diodes. As the size distribution influences the band-gap, it is worthwhile to investigate QDs prepared using different solvents because each of them could influence the overall morphology differently, depending on the ligand network around individual QDs. Here, we follow the nucleation and growth of gold (Au) on CdSe QD arrays to investigate the influence of surface ligands and thereby realized interparticle distance between QDs on Au growth behaviour. We particularly emphasize on the monolayer stage as the Au decoration on individual QDs is expected at this stage. Therefore, we sputter-deposit Au on each QD array to investigate the morphological evolution in real-time using time-resolved grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS). The growth kinetics - independent of the template - signifies that the observed template-mediated nucleation is limited only to the very first few monolayers. Delicate changes in the Au growth morphology are seen in the immediate steps following the initial replicated decoration of the QD arrays. This is followed by a subsequent clustering and finally a complete Au coverage of the QD arrays.