Shell game – Daily Painting
“Shell Game” – Approx 8.5 in. x 6 in. – Watercolor on 140 lb. paper
OK, I lied. I said yesterday that I was mainly working on loosening up with a big brush and soft flowing edges. So what’s the next thing I paint? This.
Actually this is a community project for those of us who are daily painters, suggested by the very talented Laura Wambsgans. I’d love to try one in oils but I stayed in my comfort zone, watercolor. I was planning to break an egg and paint the contents of the shell in a small pyrex cup, but I had no sooner cracked it and set the shell halves down on our quarter-sawn oak dining room table in a shaft of afternoon sunlight that I saw what I wanted to work with.
I found this setup very challenging, but very instructive as well. The dark background is composed of at least a dozen layers of glazes, but no black. I wanted to keep the edges of the shell crisp but I didn’t trust masking so all of those areas were painted around with a very small brush tip. After all the layers were finished I went in with a fine pointed brush to add the “tiger” stripes in the wood which is so characteristic of golden oak. This is one that I wish I had been scanning in stages, but I was trying to push to get it done on time!