Monday, 5 March 2012

Snails

Last week I collected lots of snail shells from the hedgerows.  They are empty shells and have faded colours of blues and grey and brown.   This is the common garden snail and you  usually see them as brown patterned shells, but over the winter this brown skin peels off  and reveals the paler blue colours. The shells are quite fragile and easily break.  I washed the empty shells in soapy water and put them in a large glass jar.
I chose them one at a time to draw and hoped to capture some of the colours and patterns on my page.  It is getting more and more of a strain to draw all the fine lines.  So as my eyes became tired I decided to make some  larger than life size at the bottom of the page.  I was working in my acrylic inks and using a paint brush.  Then for the last shell I decided to try one with my  pencil crayons and also  recorded my progress.

I first sketched it in pencil and chose to work in Derwent coloured  pencils.
I carefully recorded the patterns and colours.  I actually used seven different coloured crayons.
Then I had a little visitor....who walked right across my page.

So tiny . I think the sunshine pouring through my window had woken her up.
Then along the edge of my book.
Perhaps like me, she liked the smell of the pale yellow Hyacinths flowers I grew from bulbs I planted before Christmas. . My husband placed her safely back into the garden.  He found her walking around on his shoe.
 So seven snail shells sitting serenely in my square sketch book......an  alliteration or a little tongue twister....trying saying that fast.   Snails... love them or hate them?   I hope you like my drawings.
 As always,  thank you to all of you who visit my blog and those who kindly leave a comment,  I always enjoy reading them.         Millyx


17 comments:

Gill said...

I love your snail shells milly but I hate them in my garden! Luckily I have lots of thrushes!
Beautiful drawings as always!

Diana said...

Milly these are exquisite. So beautiful. and love the lady bug. I think she enjoyed visiting your lovely work.please keep going. If your eyes are strained keep going bigger. Gorgeous little and gorgeous large!! love,Diana

Debbie Nolan said...

Milly enjoyed your lovely drawings - they are beautiful.

Vicki Lee Johnston said...

Hi Milly! I adore shells in general - sea shells are nature's jewellery ... but I never thought of snail shells and now I have seen your beautiful drawings I will think of you every time I see a snail :))) How beautiful they are and what a magic moment for your little guest ... love those moments. Thank you for a beautiful post xx

Pondside said...

Well, I like them. There's something homey about a snail in the garden. They don't do as much damage as the enormous slugs that we have out here.
A Ladybug on your page? That's got to be good luck!

Lynn said...

Beautiful, Milly.
I've always found snail shells enchanting.

Carol Creech said...

What gorgeous shells, Milly! I just love the colors and patterns. So beautiful.
Carol

c. Joy said...

Beautiful. Never thought of snails as art before, you've opened my eyes. Love the LadyBug.

suz said...

Love the snails - the detail is wonderful. Living in the city, snails are not a problem. I hope your little visitor is a good sign of spring! Thank you for sharing.

Bella said...

One of the joys of your blog is your obvious love for all things natural; not just the obvious.

Sometimes it is easy to lose oneself in a drawing and forget to rest the eyes.

Kay said...

Gosh Milly these are beautiful....I too have a pale yellow hyacinth on my windowsill....just about to bloom.

Melody said...

The shells are like little mini works of art; beautiful! I LOVE the pale blue shades...
I picture them all containing happy little snails that are slime-ing along slowly, delivering mail... :))))

JP said...

fantastic colours especially since the snails are no longer there!

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

What a lovely selection of shells. Your gorgeous colours and detail will cetainly make me look at snails in a different light!

Kathleen Marie Pequignot said...

I loved seeing these delicate drawings. So very sweet, and the captions told a story as well. :)

Michelle Palmer said...

So wonderful! So big compared to ours!
Love your art~
Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

Kim Henkel said...

THese are so very beautiful Milly. I love the colours in them. What beauty. Snails are definitely not a problem in my part of the world, and as we are still quite frozen in layers and layers of snow, I really enjoyed seeing the real shells and your beautiful drawings (and the tiny visitor). I enlarged each image to enjoy it even more.