anne4bags My art work

More limpet shells, less frustration

You patiently listened to me moan about my frustration in painting limpet shells. I did go away, with a couple of simpler shells and some clean sheets of paper. This is what I came up with


They are A4 size, so much larger than the actual limpet shell. Also, the limpet models are not quite as flamboyantly coloured as these paintings. But I love that exaggeration of colour and texture. I am not an abstract artist ~ in fact botanic and abstract art may be at the opposite ends of the spectrum ~ but somehow these enlarged shells are becoming more abstract as they get larger. Maybe I will take a section of shell and just paint that… for thought.

Anyway, I am happier with these limpet shells and have put them for sale in my Etsy shop. These links will take you to the orange one and the blue one. There is more detail there about price, paper, shipping etc. However, if you would like to buy something (and my drawings make great Christmas gifts) you can contact me through this blog or email me on

13 replies on “More limpet shells, less frustration”

Beautiful. 🙂 I looked and looked, but it wasn’t until you mentioned the A4 size that I finally accepted these were drawings/paintings, not the real thing. Okay, I admit I don’t know what a limpet shell looks like, but I can tell 3D when I see it. 😀 Congratulations!


I am very touched by your comments, Meeks, and they mean a lot to me. Thank you.
Limpet shells are like many things in the natural world. They look pretty ordinary until you look at them more closely. Then you see the different colours, textures, shapes, and each one is unique.


I’m visiting from the Sketching Now course hence my questions: what paper did you use? And are these limpet shells painted in watercolour paint, while in the previous post they are painted using watercolour pencils? I love the loose look of the colour on these limpet shells and the exaggeration of colour is certainly a pleasure to see. Sandi


Sandi, the paper is Arches watercolour paper. I think it is 300 gsm, but it may be 185. I put on a lot of water for the wash, and I found that it buckled quite a lot. You are right — these were watercolour while the previous ones were watercolour pencil. I am glad you like the colours, as I wasn’t really sure. Thanks for your support.
Are you enjoying the Sketching Now course? I am learning a great deal — it’s a god grounding.


Hi Anne, Thankyou for the info about the paper. I just like to know what people are using. As a beginner I am buying sheets of different papers and tearing to A4 size so I can secure all my practices into a loose leaf folder. This size is recommended in several books for beginners, including a book by Charles Reid. Reid also suggests doing the same still-life as many as ten times, each to the same time limit. Now I know what ‘practice, practice, practice’ means. I also realise that, at this rate of usage, cartridge paper is essential. Reid does state that students tend to do their best work on cheap paper. Ordinary paper is less intimidating compared to being faced with a blank sheet of expensive artist quality paper.
Yes, I’m enjoying the course thanks. It is good instruction on a particular way of drawing, and helping me to interpret other styles in my art instruction books. Bi for now. Sandi


Trying different papers is a great idea. Have you found that, even though different papers are great for different media, there is one that you just love? Interesting thought from Reid (I must read his books, as his name keeps coming up lately.) A fresh piece of expensive paper is intimidating, and cartridge paper is great for that process, practise, practise! But cheap paper can limit some work, like watercolour washes. I have just started using a Strathmore watercolour journal with lovely think pages. However I have to adjust to the size because it is 21 x 14 cm, much narrower than the other one I was using. I am only a couple of pages into it, so I hope I will get more comfortable with the size. A4 would be an easier size! Happy painting!


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