Humpback Whale Watching....Beachcombed Art

2 Materials
6 Hours

A mammoth migration ends up just off our shorelines here in Newfoundland every Summer, Humpback whales and other species migrate here to feast. Although this may not ocurr where you live I still thought to share my artwork that was inspired by this with the Hometalk audience.

Twitter Cover Photo for NL.

Whale watching in fact is a big focus for our tourism industry, to invite folks here to see the whales feeding, jumping and splashing and even frollicking in the ocean. * Note there are laws in place to follow as guidelines when watching these majestic animals. Tour boats must stay away at a certain distance so as to not impede or infringe upon the whales activities.

Breaking up the Mussel Shells

For this project I again chose to use mussel shell shards to create my artwork. In a previous post I used the white shell interior to create Belugas, however for the whale I'll be using the blue shaded shell exterior.

Tracing Paper

The first step is to get a suitable outline of a Humpback, I traced it onto tracing paper but you may easily print an outline that's fine too. I'm using an 11x 14 frame here so take that into account when you choose your outline, you'll want it to be size appropriate to the size of frame you are going to use.

Gluing the Shells to the Glass

I positioned my outline underneath the glass where I wanted the whale to be for the scene I was trying to recreate. I used E6000 for the glue, it's excellent for sticking things onto glass and it dries clear. This is much like doing a puzzle, piece by piece you choose what "best" fits your outline shape and work your way through.

Mussel Shell Humpback Whale

Here it is completed, doesn't it look much like denim?

Preparing Paint Mixture

Again, as with my previous projects, I found a way to paint the backgrounds onto the back side of the glass. I simply mix up my craft paints with Mod Podge. I wanted to have a deep blue for the ocean floor and graduate into a medium blue thus one mixture has black added to create the darker shade.

Navy Paint Mixed

A little pour, a little stir and I have the batter ready...I mean paint! Lol, it's all the same tweak it with a little of this or a little of that until it looks tasting here though! 😂

Glass Flipped and Taped

The whale is going to be diving deep and as it does sometimes you'll get to see their tail above the sea surface. Because I wanted this look I taped off a line to distinguish the ocean from the sky before I applied any paint. Clean your glass with rubbibg alcohol first to remove any grease or dirt. I used just a small piece of household sponge to blot color onto the glass, less is better! I simply did a light even coat remembering to graduate into my medium blue mixture as I moved up towards the surface.

Front View of Painted Background

I even thought to add a splash of the ocean along his tail outline, it adds to the scene I think. The sky was a mixture of white pearl and a tiny hint of blue with the Mod Podge, simply create the shade of sky that you'd like to have.

Sand Old Finish Off

I was recycling a frame that had a cherry finish but I wanted it to be distressed and lighter so I sanded away the old finish, using a low grit sandpaper moving to a higher, 60 up towards 120 and last 180. I chose a Min wax stain that I had here called Classic Gray to refinish the frame, it gave it a driftwood tone that I was looking for.

Preparing for Assembly

I used brown paper as a frame insert, I intended to use white backing but when I saw how stark it made the background colors I opted to use the brown paper instead. Since the background paint is semi-transparent your background liner will make or break the overall finished look.

Sea Pottery Sailboat

Of course to go whale watching you'll need a boat, voila here you go! These are pieces I've collected from the beach, you'll even notice her name is a pottery shard! It says Gland...from the original bottom that would have said...Made in England. Pretty cool huh?

Painting Sand Dollar

It would be nice to go whale watching out in boat on a sunny day wouldn't you agree!? Okay, I had that covered too I painted a sand dollar shell yellow to replicate the sun! I always improvise and use what I have to recreate these scenes.

Sunny Skies

I even thought to add a few blots of yellow with a sponge onto the back side of the glass atop the other paint mix. I thought it would add the yellow glow in the sky that you'd see on a sunny day.

Total Scene

The bottom left side looked bare to me at this point but I was running out of seashells sooooo...I caught a whale by the tail! 😂 I made it appear as if another whale had just swam off to the side by creating just a tail with my remaining shell shards.

Frame Assembled

I am so pleased with how it all turned out once it was completed! It's definitely one of my favourite projects to date because I love whales and it brings back memories of a whale watching tour with family that I remember fondly.

Whale Projects Completed

I've made one Blue Whale and now two Humpbacks, all three with items reclaimed from the beach. Thanks so much for viewing, I hope you were inspired to create with whatever you gave access to from your home! Have fun!

The other projects are shared in previous posts on my profile, feel free to check them out here

Resources for this project:

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4 of 36 comments
  • Dpbeee2
    on Mar 3, 2020

    So lovely! You are talented with ‘the vision’ to come up with a great idea like this. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Sea Trace Creations
      on Mar 3, 2020

      That is so very kind of you to say,thanks so much. I made it as I recalled it, a lot of times artwork whether it be paintings, sculptures or otherwise are influenced by nature and our surroundings.

  • Dpbeee2
    on Mar 3, 2020

    Bless your humbleness. I still believe it is a gift in most cases. You can develop skills and create (I have) but, I think you have a natural artists eye. In any case, thank you for responding so warmly and again for sharing. I probably won’t pass up many nice rocks or shells from now on. Im now inspired to use the one Ive collected. 💕

    • Sea Trace Creations
      on Mar 3, 2020

      That is everything I needed to hear that my little fire ignited a spark in others. Yes you are correct I inherited many talents and gifts from my momma. Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot!

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