Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I found a number of whelk shells on a beach the other week. I hadn't seen them in numbers or larger sizes previously. They were near a fish plant so I presumed they were probably part of a test fishery. I took them home and let them steep in some water with bleach more to get rid of the strong smell than to whiten them. I guess leaving them in the sun in the greenhouse would have worked too but I wanted to speed up the process.
The white shells are now rather like casts and perfect for drawing. Examined closely they seem to have the start of coral growing on them, or perhaps its simply a layer of shell that is sloughing off naturally. Whichever the case, it gives an interesting effect and texture to the shell.
I played around with the blank shell canvas with the idea in my head that these shells could make interesting decorations. I added watercolour washes of quinacridone gold and red to the shell then touched indigo and turquoise to the edges to enhance the texture. I like the matte finish but it likely will need to have a coat of varnish of some kind to protect it.
Potential for Christmas tree ornaments perhaps. I'll work on a hanging mechanism next then see how it balances.
This was all done under the watchful gaze of Tripod, so during the news, I sketched him.