Shell with wash

     Materials: 2 inch varnish brush, medium bamboo brush, 3 cups, ink, clean water.

     Once you have finished your shell study, introduce a light ink wash to it to help you find the flow of the shell's form. The wash allows you to model and define areas by gradually changing tones from light to dark. The flow of the wash and the tonal gradations give rise to a movement that makes the drawing come alive.

     Colors are up to you. A warm color ink might be best to start with, such as burnt sienna. You could also use coffee with a little bit of ink. Get your materials ready: you'll need three cups, one for clean water. You'll need a two inch varnish brush and a medium size bamboo brush. Mix a light wash and a darker wash.

     Start by defining what areas are closest to you and what areas are further away from you. Darkening an area with wash will push it back, relative to the area next to it that you leave light. So first take your varnish brush and loosely wet an area of the paper with it -- over and around the shell. You'll find that the water has a movement of its own, which you'll learn to work with as you practice more. Move around over the whole page, using the rotation of your arm from the shoulder to get the larger movement of the form. Slow down and zoom in with the bamboo brush to get the finer movements of the details. These different movements make up the feeling of the life of the form.