Green and purple shells

Sponsors at the Urban Sketchers symposia are always very generous. This past summer in Amsterdam our goodie bags were particularly full — so much so that I had to get an extra bag to bring everything home.

When I get back to my studio after this event, all of those samples (paper, paints and pens mostly) get filed on shelves or stored in drawers, and when the grey days of winter roll around I like to take them out and try them one by one. It’s like receiving a little gift each time I open something.

The shells today are painted with pans of Aquarius watercolours — high quality pigments made by Roman Szmal. I only have three pans of colour (one will be for another day) so today I tried Aquarius Green and Shadow Violet. I worked on a postcard-sized piece of hot press paper from Etchr Labs, but even on this smooth paper, the pigments create wonderful surprises. That’s likely because each one of these is in fact made from three pigments. The Shadow Violet is a mixture of Cobalt Green, Ultramarine Blue and Quin Violet. The Aquarius Green is mixed from Nickel Azo Yellow, Benzimidazolone Brown and Ultramarine Blue.

The consistency of the paint in the pans is creamy and pigment gets released quickly, without the need for too much water. I usually create my own colour for shadows but if I had some of the Shadow Violet with me on an outing, I would certainly consider using it. As for the green, it’s a convenience green that I could probably mix from colours I already have on my palette (Azo Yellow, Ultramarine and Burnt Umber) but it’s pretty rich and dark and in its diluted state, might just be the right pigment for painting the Live Oak trees in South Carolina where I will be teaching soon.

11 Comments on “Green and purple shells”

  1. joantav says:

    Every time I see you do sketches using the colors you got at the symposia I think how great of an idea that is…to explore their possibilities. I need to do that more often since most of what I get as freebies sits untouched. These colors work so well for the shell colors. I love the green which reminds me of the color many of the washed up shells on the east coast are covered with and that purple is great for shadows. Nicely done and informative!!! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joan. Now you need to try out some of your freebies. And thanks for the great idea of using that green for the washed up shells. So true about this green being perfect for that.


  2. Christine Powell says:

    Really love these and they make me feel of summer! Wonderful on a cold windy and wet night in TX!


  3. Bernadette says:

    I particularly like the shadows so washy and fresh with attention getting color. Lovely.


  4. I agree with Joan.


  5. Suzanne says:

    Opening the daily digest from you is always a spot of sunshine. Thank you Shari!


  6. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening Dear Shari,

    I love your choice with very beautiful sketch on Shells, they are called Shanka in Sanskrit.

    Hindus treat them very pious and keep them along with other Divine idols in the Prayer room
    for prosperity Happiness, fortune, safety and good luck..

    These are used by Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva.

    Lord Krishna blows this Shank as a green signal for victory before Mahabharata war starts, to be blessed with victory.

    These Shanks are of various kinds with Right opening and Left opening as you have shown them in your sketch, different Sizes from 1 cm to many feet and also of various colors.
    And the most popular one is white.

    Real Lakshmi (Goddess of fortune) Conch (right side spinning) are estimated to occur only one per 100,000 conch shells and are very costly.

    That’s why fake Shells are also made and sold, cheating the public.

    You have drawn almost all of them.

    Read more opening below link, because Shank is your subject of art.

    Apologies for taking your time



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