Seashells to Draw or Paint

horse conch seashells

The internet is a wonderful place to find photos and pictures of subjects to paint or draw. I have taken many photos of seashells and always thought that one day I would make the effort to draw them. Recently a blogger linked to my site because she had used a seashell image to make a drawing. It started me thinking that I need to get going and give it a try.

Some Favorite Seashell Photos

The shells I find while out boating and beach-combing deserted islands are not very pretty. But maybe a more natural, uncleaned look could make for an interesting subject to draw. I don’t paint, but a painter may be interested.

The Horse Conch seashells below are probably among the best shells in my collection. First, because they were too large to contain hermit crabs, so I could bring them home! That doesn’t happen too often when I find a conch or whelk. I’ve seen live horse conchs, which are quite amazing.

Two horse conch seashells
Horse conch seashells: the large one is 17 inches long.

The Knobbed Whelk shell below was one of my favorite shell finds. All I could do was take photos and leave it where I found it, but it was a stunner. Look at that coloring! A very large hermit crab had chosen it as it’s home. This beautiful shell would be fun to do in colored pencil. Getting those shades of gray and tan right would be a challenge. See more photos of this shell at the link provided above.

Pretty, big knobbed whelk seashell in shades of tan and gray
Knobbed whelk shell

The crown conch below was found in shallow water in Mosquito Lagoon and he was attached to a piece of wood. I like the green coloring on his shell. Once seashells are cleaned up and polished, they rarely look the same as they do in the wild.

Live crown conch shell with mollusk inside, holding onto a piece of wood
Living crown conch on a piece of wood

The beautifully colored fighting conch below was another gorgeous shell I would have loved to keep. A painter could create a lovely piece of art using these maroon and orange colors. Unfortunately the photo is not so great, and I apologize. It’s so sunny out on the water that I usually can’t see what I am doing. I take pictures and hope for the best.

Fighting conch found in the wild with live mollusk inside.
Fighting Conch

The long pointed sections of the crown conch below were so amazing to me. Crown conchs are easily identified because of this feature, but it was very pronounced here. This would be fun to draw.

Large crown conch seashell with lots of pointed ridges
Crown conch

You can probably find better photos of all the shells on this page. I don’t clean my shells to the point where they look like museum specimens. And many of my favorite shells are in photographs only because they were either living, or contained living creatures.

The scallop shell below is turning black, which means it was buried for a while. (Read about black seashells here.) Where I live, on the East, central coast of Florida, I rarely see scallop shells on the beach. The few I’ve collected were found on the shores of Ponce Inlet.

Scallop shell with maroon and gray coloring
Scallop shell

For more seashell images, check out sites like Pixabay, where all images are free to download and use for almost any purpose.

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Author: Pam

Spending time on the water is the best, and blogging about the sea life found along the saltwater river and ocean is what I do. I’m also a designer at Zazzle and sell my work, with a lot of ocean themes, on the site.

4 thoughts on “Seashells to Draw or Paint”

  1. They are fascinating. I went through a shell phase on a childhood holiday in the Mediterranean, sadly I have not really been back since so my interest has waned. I especially like the crown conch.

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