AnneLawsonArt In My Studio My art work

In My Studio

If you would like to show us what has been happening in your creative space over the last little while, write a post about it and then link to it in the comments. That way we will be able to see what other creative people have been up to. It doesn’t have to be a finished product, it may be a new technique or a poem that has inspired a short story or something that you have been working on. It doesn’t have to be a post either. Give us a link to your Facebook or Instagram page. Let’s share!

In my studio I have been busy creating things for my Etsy shop… like shells.

This is a small part of my shell collection. There is always inspiration here. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

I haven’t done any for a while and I enjoyed using watercolour wash techniques that I have been learning in other parts of my art.

This sequence of photos shows how I painted the bottom shell.

Top left shows the initial drawing, with blobs of masking fluid to protect the white of the small holes. I have written more about masking fluid and why watercolour artists use it here.

The bottom left photo is of the first few washes. These lay down the base tonal areas and I have a depth of paint to work on.

The big one on the right was taken as I was adding in dry brush work. This is stroking small amounts of paint onto the image to build up the colour and tone.

And look, there is a secret lustre area on the painting that you can only see from certain angles ~ just like the lustre on the real shell!


I have also bought three frames. I want to give a little oomph to the listing photos on Etsy, and to show people how easy it is to use my paintings in their house. There are lots of inexpensive frames around that would work well. If you follow me in Instagram and Facebook, you will see these three frames pop up in different photos…..

My new frames (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2015)

….like here!

I am back to painting the Cullen cinereum, for the Beckler’s Botanical Bounty Project, and I am happy with the progress. It was hard to remember where I was up to after a 6 week lay-off!

Work in progress on the Cullen cinereum (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

To refresh your memory, the Beckler Project is the one that takes me up to Menindee each year. You can find out more here. This is the fourth species I have painted in the Cullen genus. This one was growing on the very dry Lake Pamamaroo.

So, what have you been up to in your space? I would love to see. Just leave a link in the comment section. Too easy!


anne4bags My art work

Why are limpet shells so frustrating?

You know that I have been enjoying painting shells lately. You watched me draw oyster shells and I have raved on about other paintings I have done. So I found some limpet shells on the beach at Apollo Bay and was fascinated by their texture. Their tops are worn smooth and pearlescent while their sides are ridged and lined and multi-coloured.


I played around with watercolour pencils and created some smaller studies. They worked well, and went into my Etsy shop. If I am not happy with one of my works, I won’t put it up for sale.

I wanted to play with painting larger, A4 works, and I thought that I knew how to create one with watercolour pencils. I found out that I didn’t know after all!


There is always a time in a painting where I feel that it is just not working; that time when I feel like throwing a little tantie on the floor, kicking and screaming. In most cases I work through and find that things suddenly come together, and the painting is how I thought it would be. This was not one of those cases. So I left it and started to work on a watercolour version. Can you guess what the result of that one was?


Yep, another one that I wasn’t happy with. 😉

Now I am pondering why. I think there are three issues, but I would love to know what you think. (And in answer to my question in the title — in all fairness, the limpet shell is blameless. The frustration is all my own!)

  1. In both cases I lost the highlights. I loved the smaller ones because they were fresh and light. It is the white of the paper that gives watercolour life. Enlarging the shell encouraged me to add more pencil or paint to the ridges, covering the paper with colour. Can you see the second browny ridge from the left in the photo above? That’s the part of the painting that I like, because the white of the paper shows through. That’s how the rest should be.
  2. The follow on from that is if there are fewer highlights, there are fewer deep darks too. I was working in the mid-tone range too much. Nothing was jumping out, zinging.
  3. I went onto the detail too early. My artisitc default position is to go straight to the detail. I am always reminding myself to go from broad to fine, but I guess I just wasn’t listening. 😉 Then I tried to fix things by adding in details.

What do you think? I would love constructive feedback in the comments.

As for the next….well, I can do this, and I want to succeed. So my next painting is going to be a different limpet shell, one with less colour variation, probably in watercolour. I will let you know how I go!

[Remember, if you like something in my Etsy shop, you can buy it directly through me. Just let me know via this blog or]