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Designing the Ammonoidea Print

Ammonites have always been a source of fascination for me, so it was probably only a matter of time before they worked their way into my art. They're so wonderfully round and spiralled, it's hard to believe that they were real critters swimming around in the ocean thousands of years ago. 

This is my ammonite collection. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of Summers spent on the Dorset Coast, searching for fossils on the beach, or in museums with my nose pressed up against cabinets full of dinosaur bones. 

Some designs just make sense to me in pencil rather than watercolour. I can get more detail in, and focus on depth and tone rather than on the interplay of colours. There is something hard about a pencil line compared to watercolour, and I think this emphasises the ancient, stone-like texture of these once living things. 

 

 

I started off by just focussing on ammonites and orthaceros fossils, which are also common along the British coastline, but it became increasingly clear to me that the design was going to lack movement and dynamic if all the shapes were going to be rounded and circular, so I decided to introduce some other fossils into the mix. 

I started drawling trilobites and they were the perfect addition, they are another group of underwater prehistoric creatures and they are wonderfully weird looking. 
The final print contains over 12 different ammonite species and 13 trilobites! I chose a rich, brown backdrop for these to represent the time they have spent hiding underground before they are discovered again. 
I have also split the trilobites and the ammonites into two separate art prints - which is your favourite? 
       
What do you think? Do you have any fossils? I'd love to see your collection! 

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