Watercolour and ink drawing of fossils

Fossil Inspiration

A long time ago my dad took me fossil-hunting and this became the inspiration for a series of images about fossils.

And suddenly the marbles are teeming with creatures, the dead come to life again, the world turns!”

Georges Cuvier, the father of paleontology. 


fossil hunting with dad in the OkanoganNot a great composition but I was intrigued by the fossil markings on the bottom rock.fossil hunting with dad in the Okanogan In places the rocks were layers of shale that you could pull pieces from, and often they had fossils on them. Another thing I liked was the contrast between the dark charcoal rocks and the pale gold ones with black markings. fossil hunting with dad in the OkanoganPieces of shale from this bed with fossil imprints of cedar-like leaves. A piece of shale with a fossil.fossil hunting with dad in the Okanogan

Sketches and Paintings.

Pencil and acrylic sketch of fossils. Fossil in Pencil & Watercolour & AcrylicAcrylic painting of two pebbles with fossils, both the cedar-like imprints, a maple-like leaf imprint and the intriguing linear imprints which look like stems.Painting of two pebbles, one a fossilWatercolour and ink drawing of fossils. Watercolour and ink drawing of fossils

Photo collage.

The sketch above layered with an ammonite fossil.Watercolour Combined with Fossil


Black and white sketch of fossils for printmaking.Sketch of Fossils for PrintmakingEtching, black ink on grey paper.Etching of Fossils, Black print on GreyEtching with a graduated colour mix.Etching Fossils in Red & YellowAnother etching with a graduated colour mix.Etching Fossils in Red & Yellow

Fossils from Handmade Paper.

Sketches from my paper-making class where I was trying to figure out how to put the piece together. fossil rock sketch

Ink and watercolour sketch inspired by the fossils. I particularly liked the three triangular shapes with bits of cedar embedded in them. ink and watercolour sketch of fossilThe handmade paper I put together for my fossil piece (which I have since dismantled) contains the triangles with bits of cedar embedded in it.attempt to turn fossil hunting into art with hand-made paperFossil sketches with notes and paper wrapping for cut-out ‘fossil’ backing. Since I wasn’t crazy about my first attempt I am now trying to figure out how I will rework the piece.Fossil sketch in ink and watercolour with notes for cut-out 'fossil' backingMore on this week’s  Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Inspiration. This group of women that hold this challenge are another big inspiration – thank you all so much for helping me get through this pandemic in better shape than I otherwise would have!

15 thoughts on “Fossil Inspiration

  1. And now you’ve inspired me! At first, I was taken in by your lovely photography, but when I realized that was just the start of the creative process, I was truly involved. Thanks for sharing your thought process and artistic endeavors. This is one of my favorite posts for this week’s challenge.

  2. Thank you so much Elizabeth for calling us out for our inspiration!! That makes me feel wonderful. And as for your creative process, it’s amazing how you are constructing this piece step by step and even creating the paper! Fabulously inspiring! I love the shapes and colors in your etchings.

    1. Your challenges have been a life-line for me during this pandemic – and I can’t even begin to imagine how much time it takes to put together the challenges and then respond to all posts. So thank you again – you certainly deserve all the kudos you can get.

      1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth. I’m going to share your wonderful words with Amy, Tina, and Ann-Christine. Your thanks really let us know that our efforts are appreciated!!❤️

    1. Hi back at you! I’m still pondering on your ‘the shapes and the duality’ comment from my last week’s Negative Spaces post. I expect some time in the future there will a post where I am moving forward with those thoughts…

      1. How exciting – I don’t think we can plan for comments to resonate like that – so when it does happen we need to let it unfold – and wishing you a wonderful week ahead

  3. First Elizabeth, thanks for the closing Kudos – it’s been keeping us a bit more sane too 😊. As for your post, your artistic talents simply don’t end! I love the paper work and hope you’ll post an update with your finished product, I love the sketches as they stand. Very inspirational!

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