Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Painting a conch shell

I used very dry burnt umber and ultramarine blue for the background. The burnt umber dries so fast that putting paint on top of it is much easier than other underpaintings.
Those pinks and blues changed dramatically everytime the light from my window faded or got brighter. It drove me crazy. It was like painting a sunset.

Conch Shell
oil on masonite

My wife collects shells and sand and sea glass(pieces of broken glass made smooth by the surf). Her love of the sea and growing up on the New Jersey shore has helped fuel this collection. Everytime we vacation on a beach we bring home some sand. We have several jars of shells and several of these beautiful conch shells. Since we are now living in the middle of the USA thousands of miles from the ocean, our only connection with the sea now is these shells. You know the trick about holding the shell up to your ear to hear the ocean.
We do that. It brings a smile to my wife's face everytime.

I found painting this shell as hard as painting any human figure. I think because the subtle tone, coloring and the highlights make it very similar to human skin. Also the form itself almost looks muscular. For all of you art students out there: The next time someone tells you that you can't be a good artist and learn form or how to paint subtle tones unless you paint nude women. You tell them to go paint a naked conch shell.

It was a fun assignment. I will have to do more of the collection.

O.A.A. (official artist apology)
I must hang my head in shame and stand in the corner for two minutes today. A very nice person and fellow artist ,(June Parrish Cookeson), alerted me that several of her comments have not shown up on my blog. If there is anyone else who has had this same experience please forgive me. I have not intentionally kept them off but may have mistakenly deleted or not published them. I have removed the monitoring option so this should not be a problem in the future. Thanks for understanding. Can I come out of the corner now?


Britt-Arnhild said...

I have visited your blog for some time now. It is such a wonderful place to find inspiration. Do you really manage one of these beautiful paintings every day? I am amazed.

June Parrish Cookson said...

Peter, you can come out of your corner. All is forgiven.

Word of advice to bloggers, be sure to check your Junk Email Folder before deleting. As I told Peter, usually I don't bother checking and just delete. But several days ago I was surprised to discover comments from people who wanted to post at my blog. Glad I checked.

Peter, I enjoyed our email correspondence. And thanks for the tip on Daily Painters.

Anonymous said...

Come on Peter, naked men have just as many subtle tones and form!
Love the shell, very shell like and beautiful. How long did it take you to catch this one?
I would miss the sea if I couldnt visit often.
Go see my other blog by the way, a bigger watercolour of Ireland awaits you.

Peter Yesis said...

I usually don't put comments on my own blog, But since two of you asked similar questions, I thought others might want to know too.
I usually take 2 -4 hours to do a daily practice painting. This one took 3 hours and when my wife came home she made a suggestion and that took another 1/2 hour. Yes, I do them everyday. It is the best thing any artist can do. Even if it is only an hour a day

David said...

Peter, no doubt that you had to fight for it, but you've managed to create another piece that seems easeful, and un-fussed with . . . forgive my word use, but you know what I mean. Cheers!