Composing a Beach Portrait

My dog ran right past this half buried shell, but I saw an eye staring back at me.

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It is rather large, so the head will have to be in a comparable scale.

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A  20′ piece of stranded kelp, complete with some “hair” and even a goatee, becomes the head and chest.

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Despite the confusing goatee, this is a female figure.  She gets some extra hair in a kelp strand bonnet and kelp pod breasts belong in this expansive chest.

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Now I begin to add some facial features and ear ornaments.

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Remember the 1st shell? It looked a little dead so I’m adding this stranded jelly.

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It fits perfectly.

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The future’s so bright she has to wear shades!

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Her nose and mouth needed attention. A gleaming mussel shell became an important nose, and a delicate crab’s claw, tiny shell and folded seaweed pinked up her mouth.

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Normally I incorporate a lot of beach trash in my portraits, and cart it away when I’m done, but this beach was squeaky clean. I found just two tiny shards of plastic to create the bridge and top bar of her sunglasses.

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I searched the beach for a few more embellishments to add.

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I add a single feather to her hairdo and I think she is now complete.

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Next time you find yourself on a beach, try one!

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