15 of 120 Paintings – Feeling Crabby

Our neighbor down the street has a live tank with crabs in it.  There are about a hundred  crabs, and the group of men who own this apparatus watch the crabs, day and night, waiting for them to molt.  They “harvest” them at that point, when the crab’s shell is soft.  It is a great delicacy, one of the local specialties.

One of the crabs molted while I was there this morning.  The back end of the shell splits and the crab carefully works its way out backwards, leaving its old shell behind.

Maryland Blue Crab, watercolor, 7.25″ x 9.25″

I have lived in Maryland for a year now, and it is difficult to be an artist in this area without painting at least one crab.  I’m not displeased with my first attempt here, but will go back and try again, now that I have started to learn the crab’s anatomy and coloring.


120 Paintings

“It takes 120 bad paintings to know something about painting.”  –  Larry Seiler as quoted by Jeff Mahorney in his blog

Each painting is small in format and should be completed in about an hour or less.

My goals are to improve my technique, to paint faster, and to gain experience with a variety of subjects.

5 thoughts on “15 of 120 Paintings – Feeling Crabby

    • I think the pincers are too small, even though this whole crab was only about 3 1/2 inches wide. My neighbor found this crab, which had died in the tank, and pulled it out for me to look at. That did help, although the color had started to fade. I appreciated having the subject stay still instead of swimming around the tank, especially as I haven’t studied crabs before.

  1. It is very interesting, what you are telling us about the crabs, Ruth. I find that the legs in the painting, give me a strong feeling of the crab… but somehow, I’m missing something in the shell.

    • Thank you so much for this feedback. I was standing in the sun without sunscreen and my hour was up, so I called a stop to the painting. There is a lot more to paint and I will try again another day.

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