Red is a color difficult to paint in large areas when showing form. Within red there are nuances of yellow, pink and then blue within the shadows. Since I have started painting in oils it has been difficult to grasp starting with dark and going to light with the paint. I find myself pushing and pulling the color to get it right. My only conclusion is I need to paint more! Practice, practice, practice!
I am enjoying painting from a bag of tiny sea shells a friend lent me. I find inspiration in the least suspecting places these days. I am enjoying painting from random photos taken quickly. This has changed from last years art, as I was painstakingly taking photos and setting up still life images with perfect lighting. Frankly I feel so liberated working this way.
Here is the little bag of tiny little shells I hope to be digging into some more. The friend who lent them to me must have so many sea shells as she lent me a whole shoe box full. This is what happens when you live in an area where there are lots of sea shells on the beaches. You become a collector. In my case I am a collector and painter of sea shells.
When painting a white object like a sand dollar you might think black and white paint out of the tube will work. Introducing color into a painting without much color can give some fun and interesting results. I’m not saying this was an easy exercise. I was quite challenged by all the variety of greys in the sand dollar. I don’t think I will look at painting a white object the same ever again. But that’s the fun of it!
At a Lee County Alliance of the Arts painting class I met a woman who showed me her photos from a local conservation organization. She was kind enough to lend me a photo she took along a trail. I loved the bands of unique colors in the landscape and the peaceful feel of the wide open space. I hope to go back to this place again. After one visit I find it a majestic retreat from the fast pace of life.
In my quest to find fun shells to paint I pulled this one out of my collection. I usually paint local shells and I am guessing the sundial is a rare find in my area. I did find it listed in a shell identification book as a relatively uncommon find in my area.
The sundial sea shell reminds me of a winding spiral staircase. The colors in the shell are truly deep and rich like the finished painting. I enjoyed painting this little beauty. It amazes me that a living creature actually created such beautiful and colorful patterns.
Here is another small painting on a 6″ x 6″ canvas of a Shark’s Eye. This sweet little shell actually bores a hole in unlucky clam shells to acquire its meal. That is why you might see a small hole in a clam shell lying on the beach. I know even a shell has to eat, but that kind of creeped me out.
I painted this shell using acrylics and have since been using oils. Today is another day of painting a small shell on a small canvas. You can see how the oils lend themselves to a looser style in the previous post of the Nerite shell. I am so enjoying a more free brush stroke. Probably because the paint doesn’t dry so quickly. Here’s to free, loose brush strokes! Happy Friday!