Thursday, March 15, 2012

Strathmore online class: lesson 2 part B

I did another painting for lesson II from life (instead of photo like the earlier two).  I decide to paint a shell instead of another flower.  The cowrie shell is very simple and yet challenging.  The shell is very shiny, providing intense highlights and deep shadows.  The snail enlarges its shell by laying down thin layers of semi-transparent calcium crystals.  The effect makes the brown spots appear blurred, or fuzzy.  I tried to imitate the look by adding several layers of brown spots on top of each other as the paper slowly dried.

Jim, a class member, commented on Shells being wonderful subjects.  I have to agree.  In addition they are what got me working in watercolors to begin with!  My training is in drawing, pen & ink and scientific illustration; not painting.  A shell club I belonged to needed some art for their show and I decided to give it a try, especially since I found watercolor pencils.  Now I am learning about watercolors and painting, not just messing about with it.


  1. Your shell looks amazing. You reminded me that I have a collection of shells stashed in a box under my house. I'll have to dig them out to draw and paint!

  2. I look forward to seeing what you draw.