View Full Version : Sea Opal and pearls - Still life

09-19-2013, 09:56 AM
Just finished a commission I got from my mother; it's going to be a birthday gift for a friend of hers who has quite a lot of personal and health issues. She took up making beadwork jewelry some time ago to relax, so my Mom wanted her to have a still life with pearls in it - and the paua shell my sister had brought her from New Zealand. I tried quite a lot of different arrangements with scarfs of different colours but decided in the end to stick with the cherrywood shelf from our living room which fits into my shadowbox. I think it adds a lot of interest because of the combination of shadows and the reflection of the pearls in the polished surface.

'Sea opal and pearls'
Pastels on black Canson Mi-Teintes Touch 22x29 cm


water girl
09-19-2013, 11:23 AM
Dorothea, this seem like the perfect subject to fit your mother's request. The pearls lead us through your composition and the two single pearls add a delicate touch of balance. The reflections and shadows on the table are wonderful. Is it possible to add some of the beautiful shell colors to the pearls? I just crave some of that color, particularly reflecting on the pearls in the shell. Just a thought. Beautiful as it.:thumbsup:

09-19-2013, 11:36 AM
Hi Karen, thank you! A good suggestion, I'll add a bit of colour to the pearls in the shell to unify the composition.

09-19-2013, 02:07 PM
Love the reflection of the pearls. They are spot on. Also the abalone shell is spectacular!!!!!!!

09-19-2013, 03:12 PM
Thank you, Yevgeniy!

09-19-2013, 08:01 PM
Beautiful work - LOVE those reflections!


09-19-2013, 08:14 PM
Beautiful. Pam:wave:

09-19-2013, 09:07 PM
Beautiful work Dorothea. I like Karen's suggestion, I think it could work well. This is a lovely gift that has wonderful meaning, I am sure your Mom's friend will love it.

09-20-2013, 02:14 AM
A difficult subject and very well done! :clap:

09-20-2013, 02:25 AM
Nicole, Pam, Chris and Rich, thank you all!

09-21-2013, 10:56 AM
Hi Dorthea!:wave:

Love the reflections and comp! I think leaving the bg simple/no scarf was a good decision. Your Mom's friend will absolutely love it!

09-21-2013, 03:58 PM
Hi Judy, thank you! Setting up the composition took nearly as long as painting it, but it usually pays to take your time over this!

09-22-2013, 02:16 AM
well painted , and heartfelt .

the shell is not what i would expect because the marks/texture are so much like the board .

... it does leave me thinking about it ... :)


09-22-2013, 10:16 AM
Hi Ed, glad you like it! It was fun painting all those little specks of colour!

09-23-2013, 03:46 AM
This is not easy to get, and you've got it ! Lovely. What are those small red dots ?

09-23-2013, 04:06 AM
Shireesh, thank you! Those little red dots are holes in the shell through which the red of the table is visible. All abalone (sea opal/paua) shells have them, they use them to breathe. http://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/06future/abintro.htm

09-24-2013, 04:02 AM
I know the red dots are the same colour as the table.....but often when you have tiny weeny holes like this, somehow it concentrates the colour and darkens it a smidgen, bit like sky holes in trees. Might be worth trying with one of the holes, see if it helps.

Sometimes, keeping the tone the same, because it is surrounded by so much of the blue of the shell, the red kinda "sits on top" and comes forward, which is why it might help to darken it fractionally.

i am sure this will be most appreciated.

09-24-2013, 07:32 AM
just wonderful!

09-24-2013, 08:16 AM
Irma, thank you! Jackie - great minds think alike :wink2: - my mother and allydoodle said the same! So here's an update, a detail photo to show those little tweaks, the darkened holes and a few specks of shell colour reflected in the pearls, as water girl suggested. Now its under glass and ready for its new owner who hopefully will love it!


09-24-2013, 10:05 AM
Dorothea: I remember picking up these shells in New Zealand, you have captured this beautifully.

09-24-2013, 10:19 AM
Thank you, Derek! Lucky you, just picking up these beauties - I envy you!