My husband and I spent last weekend on the Oregon Coast. The weather was so fine we hardly even went inside at all. So on our last day having not set foot in a shop all weekend, it occurred to us we had bought nothing for our daughters. So we stopped in a shell shoppe. We did find some lovey sea urchins for the girls. But we also found something for us, a bisected nautilus shell. Stephen wanted it to display it, but I wanted to paint it. I’ve just finished painting it and it now lives on our mantle together with fossil shells and a free form hand made basket. But it will visit the studio again.
I took great liberties with the color of the nautilus which is really is really a dull orange in the outer chambers fading to blue green at the center. The color shift in my painting was driven by the decision to heavily under-paint the shell in phthalo blue to emphasize the depth of the shell. I over-painted with various mixtures of new gamgee yellow, quinacridone madder rose, and phthalo blue.
The left most of the glass stones resting in the shell is actually stone marble. But the green and rust of the actual marble would have clashed horribly with the rest of the painting, so I changed it to a blue glass marble.
The background is a wash of burnt sienna grayed down with phthalo blue.
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