The request for this vintage tray (provided by the client) was for “lots and lots of scallop shells”. I tried to paint them as if they were randomly scattered on the tray to avoid making the piece look like a summer camp project of glued-down shells. I included a star fish as well as a variety of sizes and kinds of shells, all facing many directions. I had an actual shell or critter model for every item I painted. One of my models was an enormous orange shell. If you look at my Scallop Shell Lazy Susan you will see the inside of this same shell which is actually purple and white! The tray has a glass insert that protects all my painted shells. I did not change the nice mahogany finish of the rim or the background surface, I merely touched up a couple bad spots and sealed the entire piece. I also painted the handles metallic gold.
This was one of the most challenging subjects requested of me by a client. Scallop sea shells! I had no idea before doing research for this piece how varied Scallop shells were. A Special thank you to my seashell and starfish collecting friends for loaning me so many specimens as models! I especially enjoyed painting the insides of the shells. Particularly difficult were the grey toned shells from Cape Cod because the tops were dark while the deeper grooves were light colored. This made creating depth a real challenge. I am so pleased with the way the star fish came out, as well as some of the other kinds of sea shells! And the barnacles! They were great little details to paint. Since the underside of the lazy Susan (supplied by the client) was as finely finished as the top, it is just as easy to use upside down, therefore I painted it a faux pink marble as an alternative.