The coast must be one of the favourite destinations Brits head for when brighter days arrive. A similar atmosphere can be created in any room, indoors or in garden rooms with the addition of coastal artwork.
An easy way to create a coastal vibe within a frame is by keeping the colours coastal blues and golden yellows (for the sand), then for the finishing touches, affixing seashells, which also gives the art a 3D effect with added texture.
How to frame seashells
Seashells, like any object that gets framed, have to be affixed in place to secure it to the artwork. How you do that would be with a hot glue gun. There are other methods, such as any type of glue, or sticky dots. For a securer fix though, a hot glue gun is an artist’s go-to tool of choice for these types of projects.
Preparation is crucial before affixing objects
Prior to glueing objects to any artwork that is going to be framed, you’ll need to know that the frame has sufficient depth for the objects to fit. For that reason, the best shells to work with are small and shallow. Not seashells with large arches that may prevent the glazing from covering the art. If they do, you could always create it for displaying unglazed.
If you do have large seashells, it may be best to start the project with a painting on canvas, or directly on an art panel, or art board.
The advantage that canvas prints and panel paintings have are that you can get frames for them to hang on the wall without using any glazing. Art board frames are ideal for art paintings on board and canvas floating frames are used to frame canvases that do not have a gallery wrap. They can have, but being in the frame, the sides of the canvas would be hidden.
Working with a standard picture frame without the glazing
A standard picture frame without the glazing is ideal for short-term art projects that aren’t intended to be kept for sentimental reasons. For décor in a bathroom, summer house, or garden studio, any frame can become home to any type of art, be it made with acrylic, or watercolour, or created with artist’s pastels. The glazing acts as a preservative, keeping environmental dangers away from your art. Without it, prints on paper lack protection. In those instances, they are only used for aesthetic purposes.
The key to keeping the material in place and protected somewhat is to apply a fixative. Not for glueing, but to hold the pastels or paint in place on the board, canvas, or the paper. Whichever medium you choose to use, once dry, then objects can be affixed using a hot glue gun, or miniscule sticky dots.
When working with different mediums that you intend to frame for display, plan the project. Once objects are stuck to the painting, they are nearly impossible to remove without damaging the underlying materials be it paint, pastel, or ink.
Seashells can be the art without a painting.
Seashells can be part of a larger painting, or they can be the art themselves. Shapes can be made, using them, such as creating a seahorse out of seashells just as one example. For those types of projects, all you need is a backing board to stick the shells to, and then use the shells as your primary medium to work with. Create a seahorse or mythical dragon, or if you’re really handy, you could construct a 3D structure made entirely of seashells. What you use as backing board will determine the type of frame that’s suitable. Paper for a standard picture frame, canvas for a floating frame, or a flat board to fit within an art board frame.