I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am an incurable beachcomber. Recently, part of my shell collection has become a project for Halloween. I’ve seen oyster shells fashioned into Santa Claus ornaments with a bit of paint, and I imagined turning my shells into Jack O’ Lanterns. The shells are oblong and oval, much like a real pumpkin. They have a bumpy, lumpy, wavy surface, another commonality with a pumpkin.
I broke out my Folkart acrylic paints and a brush and began to paint my shells.
I needed two coats of the paint, front and back.
After the orange paints were completely dry, I mixed two greens together on the same brush and painted a stem and some twirly vines down the side. I followed the curves and indentations in the shell to give the oyster Jack O’ Lantern a more natural look.
Here’s a photograph showing several of the pumpkins with stems and vines painted on.
I painted black eyes on one, and realized they looked flat and had no depth. To give the illusion of carving, I painted a raw sienna paint in the face pattern first. This gave an illusion of the inner color of the pumpkins. I wanted to have happy faces, rather than scary or spooky.
I found some happy faced pumpkin patterns to use as inspiration at this site. Happy-faced Jack O’ Lanterns
I added the black paint, being very careful to leave a bit of the raw sienna showing for the depth I wanted. The last touch was a white highlight on each Jack or Jill’s eyes.
The next step was a coat of glossy mod podge. Part II will be tomorrow’s post. Check back for the finished Jack O’ Lantern Halloween tree.