8 of 30 Long-spined Star Shell

"Prickly" (Long-spined Star Shell)
5" X 7"

The long-spined star shell may have been the first shell that I picked up when I realized there were shells on the beach by our house. I had never seen them before, so they were like a wonderful treasure! Although (five months later) I still like them, there are a lot of them around, so they do not seem quite as special anymore. I still pick them up if none of the spines are broken and they are particularly spiky. The one in this painting is one of the largest that I've found (over 1").

As far as the process goes, this painting started well. I took one work-in-progress (WIP) photo:

About half-way through painting, I got "off" on my spirals. I kept working on it, but was just really unhappy with the result. I debated starting over. In fact, I set the painting aside and did a "sketch" painting to see if I could reclaim what appealed to me about the subject.

In a way, this painting is more how I envisioned painting the shells before the challenge began. Quick! Fresh! But, I have a way of painting and I am trying to incorporate new skills and ideas without remaking myself completely, so I refuse to stress over whether or not paintings end up as I envisioned before beginning.

After the sketch, I took another look at the painting and lifted and reworked a few things. I found my opaque white and used it to highlight a little (something I rarely do). When I stood back and looked, I decided that it turned out well despite the pain involved in bringing it to the finished state.

Sidenote: On Monday, I was three days ahead. I've since squandered my stockpile of paintings while grocery shopping and putting about 25 crockpot meals in the freezer. I need to get back ahead at some point because I am taking a watercolor workshop with Lian Zhen the 27th-29th.


Kellie Chasse said...

Love you shells - just beautiful!

Sheila said...

I adore this! The purples have a lot to do with it, and the placement. Love reading about your struggles, and how you overcame them :)

Nancy Murphree Davis said...

Thanks, Kellie! And Sheila, I don't paint much purple, but it seemed appropriate. Thanks for commenting.

CDR Liz Booker said...

This is my favorite so far!