Shell Colours and Pigments

Shell pigments are small, ¼ pan blocks of artists watercolour paint made from pure precious gold & silver metal leaf or from lapis lazuli and malachite. The pigments are finely ground and then bound with gum Arabic. To use shell pigments then a wetted brush is run over the block to pick up the pigment which is then painted onto the artwork. This can then be lightly burnished with an agate burnisher to bring up the shine.