Studio Hyde Art welcome to my little corner of the internet

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A seaside shell in watercolour

Inspiration comes so simply sometimes.  This one was of a lovely shell we found on Saunton Sands beach a few days ago. ..   (also mentioned on Williams blog here).

I started out with a very fine pencil outline, just a guide really.  Then a simple wash of colour using

Yellow Ochre - which I also spread around for eventual background

and whilst wet dropped in a little Burnt Umber on the parts I knew would eventually need more shading

when this had dried I then added more Burnt Umber with a little Raw Umber here and there -
this is where more detail is also brought in to show the patterns on the shell -
I also lifted a little colour on the top of the shell with just clear water and a tissue for the highlights

and a mix of Ultramarine Blue with Burnt Sienna mixed together for the base shadow - using clear water to fade it out slightly.  I then used a spattering technique for texture.....

and there you have it
A loose impressionist style Shell

Happy Painting everyone!



  1. love it!!!! I am envious that you have the patience to let the paint dry before more paint... I have such a hard time with walking away, yet when I do, it comes out so much nicer than if I just keep going, and going and going - over working it to death... your painting is peaceful beauty!

  2. Simple but brilliant! Great loose sketch, as always!

  3. Thanks Dana - I know what you mean about the over working as I'm guilty of that too, hence I found leaving it to dry is so much better...

    Thanks Judy - It seems to have taken me ages to realise I like this style best - although whether a painting in this style would sell I don't know!

  4. I'm learning so much reading your blog! The different styles and techniques you use are really interesting, and show your creativity and talent!

  5. This is lovely, and thank you for showing us how you got there.

  6. Glad you enjoyed this post John!

  7. It is a great style, but will it sell? I have the same problem. I just painted another still life for a challenge, but who would hang that on their wall? Maybe we should learn to think more commercial, as American painters do.

  8. Hi Judy, I think you are right, the creating is one thing but the selling is a whole new ball game!

  9. Great shell! (Not that my opinion makes any difference but I think it would sell!)

  10. Thanks Robin...the whole selling debate is interesting, I'm amazed at some of the art selling these days:)

  11. Lovely painting.
    Loose work does sell, but as with any art, its all subjective. It really depends what takes the viewers fancy.
    Paint for yourself is the best answer, and if it sells, its a bonus.
    Unless of course you have to make a living from it, then you really do have to follow trends or find a niche market where your style is appreciated. xx

  12. Thanks Pat! Yes, it's sometimes quite a fickle field this selling art business...I do sell from a local Gallery, but again this year was an odd one. I think people are saving their pennies, but some of the art that sold in our group tended to be a lot of framed watercolours this year, I usually exhibit Oils and Acrylics there. It also depends on the subject as well, some of the group paint local scenes others seem to choose any subject like animals. I'm happy with what I sold and even sold one in another exhibition at Broomhill Art Hotel this year, yay! But I do have to say I don't like the selling part of the process - you are so right when you say to paint for ourselves and for next season I intend to choose exactly what makes me happy.

  13. This is fabulous, Ann!


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