Art & Culture

Painting Seashells

By Carolina Figueroa

Volume 1 Issue 5

February 12, 2021

Painting Seashells

Original photo by Carolina Figueroa

Painting seashells is fun, unmasking my creativity and artistry on a medium other than canvas, paper, rocks, or wood. Each piece that I create is unique, detailed, one-of-a-kind, and an amazing work of art! Painting seashells reminds me of the warmth of summer: vibrant colors of the rainbow, the smells of the salty ocean, tranquil sunrises and sunsets, adventures at the beach, and quality time spent with family and friends!


Painting seashells is a visual art that allows people to express themselves. I paint my designs freehand with a variety of paint brushes and paint pens for detail. Each painted shell tells a story. Some imaginative works of art I have created include footprints in the sand for long walks on the beach, sunrises and sunsets, sea life images (fish, crabs, seahorses, turtles), sandcastles, mermaids/mermen, surfboards, beach volleyball, llama walks, foods (fruits, ice cream, donuts), camping, swimming with dolphins, and kayaks/canoes. Each image is a remembrance of whimsical and carefree days spent at sun-swept beaches on Long Island and in Florida. The painted seashells always remind me of the sights, sounds, smells, and memories of summertime fun!


I have a painted seashell collection of every place that I visited over past summers (dated with that year) to remind me of the fun times that I enjoyed. Fire Island, Long Beach, Florida beaches, and the Jersey Shore is what I envision when painting my shells. I also love to paint shells with inspirational quotes and words of kindness, hope, love, laughter, and encouragement to boost one’s spirits and foster positive morale. One of my favorites is a pineapple painted seashell with the words “Be a Pineapple - Stand Tall, Wear a Crown, and Be Sweet on the Inside”.


The types of seashells I like to paint and decorate include natural scallop seashells and round sand dollars, or sea biscuits (from Florida) and large surf clam shells (the most abundant shells found on our area beaches). I use acrylic paints and paint marker pens for my detailed and precise work. Each work of art represents something very special to me. Taking the ocean’s tiny treasures and creating symbolic masterpieces with a variety of designs makes me happy!