I know it's wintertime and you all are still not over the first snow of the season. Running around and over the snow dunes, throwing snowballs at someone and even getting hit by some yourself. Did you try to make snow butterflies too? If not, you should try that out. It's super fun.
Well, no matter how much fun the snow and winter bring, I'll always be a beach bum at heart. Walking while my feet are taking a dip in the sand, soaking in the sun, reading a book, sipping on my favorite drink and lots and lots of sunscreens. This thought made me miss summer days so much.
I decided to refresh my memory of the sunny beach days and paint a few of the shells from my collection. It's like a hobby of keeping a souvenir of every beach I visit. These are some of my favorites and I would want you to see how beautiful they are. I have listed down the materials required. Follow the steps and enjoy the process.
Materials required -
- Colorsheets -I’m using Viviva Colorsheets. It reminds me of summer, bright and beautiful. You can use any other watercolors you like.
- Watercolor paper or Sketchbook - The watercolor intended paper is highly recommended as it can soak in some water and would not buckle up like any other low-quality paper. You can use anything above 200/250gsm (140lbs) and texture of your choice.
- Palette - Viviva Colorsheets come with a color mixing palette. You can use that or any other palette that you have.
- Sketching pencil - You can use any drawing pencil you use already.
- Water brushes - I’m using two round brushes, size 14 or 16 and size 1 or 2, any of these would be ideal. You can get it from an art store nearby.
- Waterproof fineliner - I’m using a Sakura Micron pen. Tip number 1 or 2 mm. You can use any other pen if you have that already.
- A white paint pen - I’m using Sakura Micron for this one too.
- Jars of water - One for cleaning your brush and another for adding clean water to your paint.
- A piece of cloth - A piece of cloth or paper towel to wipe off the colors and to clean your brush.
You can always substitute the supplies with ones you already have at home.
Let’s get started with it now!
Start by sketching out the shells. Make rough outlines first and then add in the details. Remember to sketch out with loose hands, making light pencil strokes. This will make it easy for you to erase it before painting them.
Shark Eye Shell
Place the pencil on the paper and start by making a spiral, winding up 3 times.
Now, you need to make the texture of the shell. Start filling the spiral shape with curved lines from the center. Remember, these are shells and the lines don't have to be straight lines. Refer to the GIF below. Keep a good distance between these curvy lines as we need to paint these later.
Lettered Olive Shell
First, make a vertical oval shape. Then add 2-3 scoop-like shapes at the top of the oval. First scoop being the biggest and last scoop being the smallest. Refer to the image below. In the same way, add one scoop at the bottom. Voila! your Lettered Olive Shell is ready.
Same as the previous one, make a horizontal oval shape. Make this one wider than before. From one edge, draw a curved line (similar to what we did for Shark Eye). Now from the top of this curved line, start making another similar line, like drawing layers of petals. Refer to the GIF below.
Atlantic Auger Shell
Make a tiny speech bubble. From the tail of the speech bubble, stretch a line and make a circle around it.
Draw two straight lines from the circle. Join the ends of these lines. It’s similar to drawing an ice cream cone. To give texture to it, draw horizontal lines inside the cone, from top to bottom.
Same as above (Atlantic Auger), make a big horizontal speech bubble. Draw a curved line from the tail of the shell to its body. Refer to the image below.
Now, just like Lettered Olive, make scoops on the right side of it. 3 to 4 layers of scoops, one after the other.
The layering part is important in all the shapes, as it will give them the texture of a Shell.
Outlining the shells
The sketching is done, now it's time to work with the waterproof fineliner. Using the fineliner, outline each shell one by one. Simply trace over the pencil lines. If you don't have a waterproof pen, you can always outline the shapes after painting them.
To add a little extra touch to the shells, you can go around each one of them and outline it again, which will bulk up the outer lines. This will distinguish the edges of the shells and add fine details to it.
Once the shells are properly outlined with the fineliner, rub off the pencil lines.
To begin with painting, brush a layer of water inside the first shell. Fill it completely and properly. Make sure the water doesn't go out of the shell as the color will flow wherever the water is. Add a layer of water on all the shells in the same way.
Now choose any 2-3 colors of your choice. Using more than 3 colors might result in a muddy and messy painting. You can use the color palette and try out different combinations.
Here I have used Blue, Green and Burnt Umber for the first and Burnt Umber, Pink and Blue for the second shell. In the same manner you can choose any three color combination for all the shells.
Dip the tip of your brush in water and take the color you want, gently dab the tip of the brush on the shell. The color will flow with water. Now take another color and follow the same step. You don't have to do anything other than just plain dabbing on the shells.
All the colors are very vibrant. You don't need to scrub the brush on the colorsheets. You only need a little bit of it on your brush and drop it into the wet layer of water. It is also useful to drop the colors at a distance, giving them space. How much the color will spread will depend on your paper and the layer of water added. Keeping the colors separate as you drop them in will help to prevent all of them from merging together.
After you have added colors to all the shells, take the small brush and brush the edges of each shell. Make sure the paint is reaching out to the edges neatly, as there are often a few gaps.
You can also go in with the brush and clean water to assist the color with blending or fill out any white patches. The paint spreads out as it dries, but sometimes it needs extra help.
If you feel you haven't added enough color, you can add more to the wet paint. It is the same as adding color to the water layer. Just add a bit at a time. A large blob of pigment could take over the entire shape.
If you have added too much water or paint accidentally, you can dab it up using a paper towel.
Once the first layer of paint is dry, we can now add in a few shadows. For the shadows, we're going to use the mixing palette. To prepare the paint, simply mix a little color with a little amount of water on the palette. Choose a color that is more in quantity than others in every shell for creating the shadow effect.
Pick up the paint prepared on the brush and add in a shadow line. For most parts, the shadow lines will follow the inner lines of the shells and not the outer lines. The shadow lines will give the shells a bit of a 3D effect.
Once finished, clear your mixing palette using a piece of cloth or paper towel.
The final step in the painting is to add highlights using the white paint pen. You can add various dots and lines into the shells. If you're confused about where to start from, simply follow the lines of the shape and keep adding dots and small lines next to them, inside the shell. You can also add in some sparkles if you like.
There you go. Congratulations! You have created a frame of colorful Seashells. Beautiful, bright, and I'm sure it's making you miss your beach walks now. I hope you enjoyed it and also loved the shells in my collection. Do let me know if you have a habit of collecting souvenirs too and what it is.
Do not forget to share it on Instagram using #vivivacolors. I'll be looking out for each of your paintings and I will see you guys super soon.
Have a happy & healthy day!