Conch Shell Watercolor Painting

Shellebrate the sea-son with a beachy watercolor painting! Use our shell template or sketch from observation, then learn how to layer Utrecht Artists’ Watercolors in a variety of colorful washes. Explore useful watercolor mixing and blending techniques as you create conch shell artwork that will tra...


1. Print reference image.

2. Make a light sketch or use provided drawing and transfer onto watercolor block.

3. Set up palette by placing colors in order from light to dark with additional spaces between colors for mixing various washes.

4. Add water using a pipette to thin watercolor to desired wash intensity. Test values on a separate sheet of watercolor paper as you work.

5. Use larger brushes to paint broad strokes. Use small round brushes for detail areas.

6. Start by painting the inside of the shell with transparent washes of Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, and Golden Earth.

7. Add small amounts of color to each wash to paint darker values of each color. Add shading by varying where the darker colors go, based on observation of your reference image or subject.

8. Lift color using a dry brush to remove where needed to indicate highlights.

9. Add texture using a dry brush technique with White gouache and the size 14 flat watercolor brush.

10. Add detail areas using small round brush.