Who doesn’t like beach? And if you are like me, then I think, as a child, while on a trip to the beach, you would have, at least once, collected shells and conches. I collect them every time – till date. Only one thing has changed (and I’m glad it happened).
As a child, I would bring back some of that mermaid money home with me. But once I read about (thanks to a friend who had shared this article with me) how hermit crabs use the discarded shells as home, and to keep away from danger.
And that’s probably just one example. But I now understand why it isn’t a good idea to displace those shells and conches from its natural environment and so now I simply look at them, pick them up or bend over to get a closer look, click a picture if I find it to be unique and put it back. Most importantly I now never bring them back with me. I try and practice this around different ecosystems too, only sometimes I do pick up dried and fallen leaves or flowers to be used in my art work.
Read here about the time I stumbled upon a fishermen’s village and found the treasures: Pondicherry, and the Treasures of the Seas
And here about Havelock Island: The blue paradise
Coming back to art. This post is about a simple pencil sketch of a conch I attempted a while ago. And here’s a bit more about it.
- PAPER: A good quality sketching paper – you can use any, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Just ensure it is not too thin to work with your pencil(s) and eraser (yes sometimes thin papers tear/wear out with even erasers) The GSM of the paper indicates the thickness. Usually, a paper up to 100 GSM is good for pencil sketching. I usually pick up drawing books (that I used in school), those have smooth pages and are cheap. I also sketch sometimes on textured papers.
- PENCIL: Start with light pencils, and as you gradually progress, switch over to darker pencils. I usually sketch with HB & 2B pencils. I use the Apsara Platinum Extra Dark HB pencil and Nataraj HB pencils. The number and the letter ‘B’ indicate the softness and darkness of the pencil. A set usually goes up to 10B.
That’s all you need!
You can take reference of this sketch, if you wish. Best way to practice though is, if you have any shell/conch with you, take it out, clean it and observe it carefully. Look at the lines, curves, colours and any details you can. Place it in front of you, observe the highlights and shadows created by the light source. And taking its reference plus your observation – just go ahead and draw! The only important thing here is to – enjoy and create your own ‘art’.