How to layer up one mix and paint a 3D shell in watercolour

Shells are a great symbol of summer on the beach. And, with their 3D form, painting shells is also a whole lot of fun.

I painted this scallop shell using just one mix, layering up slowly so I got the tonal balance just right.

This video shows you how, if you keep your watercolour mixes watery, you can gradually layer up without worrying about taking your painting too dark and losing subtlety.

Have you worried about taking your watercolour too dark before? And have you been inspired by beach discoveries? I’d love to hear your stories so please leave me a comment.

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  1. Carole on August 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    So inspiring! I love the shells with subtle touches of light light salmon and pink.

  2. Sonia Tuttle on August 2, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks, very informative.

  3. creatingincolors on August 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    I love how you simplify the process and show the way to successful painting, step by step. Great video.

  4. Jan Beasley on August 2, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    You’re Amazing Artist Anna, Thank you for all your wonderful videos

  5. Viviane on August 2, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Thank you for teaching us. You’re such a kind person for doing it.

  6. Peter Thompson on August 3, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Thanks Anna, glad to hear you and the family are heading for the beach to escape from your UK heatwave. (Back in Brisbane we are in the depths of our sub-tropical winter – Daytime a sunny 23 degrees Celsius! with a freezing 8-14 degrees at night)

    As I have recently had my 82nd birthday, I have chosen to add a little variety to life before I drop off the twig – a mix of landscape painting and writing my third novel (eBook), – a cyber crime series based on the exploits of an ex-commando computer geek in the dark worlds of drug and people trafficking and money laundering in the antipodes. Any spare time is consumed with attacking the list my dear wife has compiled.I intend to rejoin your excellent tutorials again later in the year. (if I get halfway through the list!).

    Cheers from Oz


    • Anna Mason on August 10, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Good for you Peter – your creative endeavours sound great.

    • Roy on March 13, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Peter The book sounds exciting its the sort of storeys i love to read and would be interested to read it when you finish it , Good luck with the wife’s list


  7. Raj Bharadia on August 3, 2018 at 3:35 am

    Very beautiful Anna, your videos always inspire me and I see magic in your watercolours.
    Thank you very much for such a wonderful experience!
    Best always!

  8. Yvette Robinson-Sarasola on August 3, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks Ann I will try this on the weekend. Great tutorial.

  9. Linda on September 17, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    This was very helpful! Thank you, Ann!

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