Watercolor Painting Tricks - Sprinkling salt

in Salt

A little table salt sprinkled on damp paint creates a delicate flower-like spot. Each crystal of salt chases away the pigment to make a lighter area beneath it. You can use this texture to create a field of flowers, snow, or leaves on a tree. It also creates interest in a background or foreground where not much else is going on.

Using salt is an experimental technique. Salt doesn't always work like you hope it will. It involves a formula of the right pigment at the correct dampness, and the paper and air to dry at the proper moment. Sometimes you just can't predict what to expect, and that's half the fun. But if you use the following steps, you should get an interesting result from salt. Cross your fingers and practice.

Try salt for some texture:

1. Get a piece of 5-x-7-inch watercolor paper and wet it with clear water.

2. Place the painting on a flat surface, and paint the area where you want to use the salt.A variety of colors lets you see which colors work better with salt.

3. Wait for the magic time when the paint is damp and shiny. If the paint is dry, this technique won't work. If the paper has puddles, pour them off or absorb the excess water with a paper towel corner.

4. Add the salt. Less is more. Take a small pinch of salt in your fingers and sprinkle a few grains rather than dumping a whole shaker on your painting.

5. Let the painting dry without disturbing the salt.

6. Brush away the salt after the paint dries.

If you apply the salt too thickly or add it when the paint is too wet, it tends to stick and not brush off when dry. The salt won't hurt the painting, but it will give it some real texture and a little crystal sparkle.

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This author writes about Wooden Plant Box and Bench Dog Design. Visit the Plans For Wardrobe website for unique wardrobe cabinet design ideas.

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Watercolor Painting Tricks - Sprinkling salt

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This article was published on 2010/12/29