Arts & Crafts / Be Creative!

The Odd “Brush”: More Painting

After last week’s posts, y’all know I spent a good deal of time during my recent winter beach break to play with paints and more. I’ve already shown my favorite results… so I suppose it’s time to share a lesser effort. I  ended up with a piece that doesn’t wow me, but I’m gonna g’head and cling to that fine, fine cliché: it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. 

Don’t worry — this is a short trip.


A task for this badge requires scouts to paint with something other than brushes — sponges, fingers, string, toothbrushes — any way other than a brush to get color on the canvas. 

I used native grasses growing by the beach as the inspiration.

The inspiration…

I used an AquaStic to create a simple sand-colored wash on a sheet of canvas using a fine sponge. Before it had time to dry, I started applying color from an ink pad using (what else?) seashells. The ridged edges provided a natural fan pattern  that I would never have been able to create freehand. I used three different-sized shells to create some depth and just began applying color.

Seashells as paintbrushes…

First rounds of ink bled on the damp canvas

The water-based ink just bled right away which felt a little disappointing — until I kind of liked it. As the hours passed, and the canvas continued to dry from its original wash, I added more layers, each of which bled a little less and began to create some depth.

The next day, with a dry canvas, I turned to a gold ink pad to add a final layer that pops just a bit.

Sea Grass

Again, not my favorite project for the week. But without having been prompted to use something out of the ordinary to apply pigment, I don’t think it’d have even occurred to me to use a seashell. Outside the paint-box thinking: there’s the value in this task. 


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