In my first image, you can see that I began with a line drawing. My surface is heavy weight, rag illustration board. Next I worked a grisaille underpainting with Indigo and Pale Blue Prismacolor pencils to establish values and contours.
My second image, and next step, was to give each shell a delicate watercolor wash using Caran d'Arche Supracolor Soft Pencils and a little water. To this, I added lots of color with my wax based colored pencils but keeping colors and tones consistent to create harmony. My goal was also to make the shells very colorful.
I have added background to the third image with several blue and violet colored pencils and solvent. I like using the solvent to dissolve the pencil to create a uniform background.
At this point, I am not sure the piece is finished. I have put it aside to look at every day and ponder over while I work on something else. I like the color and the composition but I'm not sure the shells stand out enough from the background and I'd also like to establish a distinct focal point.