Salting In Watercolor Painting

Jill teaches art in Highland Park. Stay tuned for Leora’s attempt at a “salty” painting.

Salting is a fun technique for adding texture to your watercolor painting. It works by absorbing water and pushing away the pigment around each grain of salt. You just use regular table salt, but the larger grain Kosher salt can offer you further texture possibilities.

Salting works best on darker and fully saturated color. You lay down paint on the area, then throw salt where you want the effect while it’s still wet. Working quickly is of the essence, so have all your paints and tools ready to go. The secret is too not over do it with the amount of salt. If you put on too much you won’t see where the individual grains have absorbed the water and pushed away the color around it.

It looks particularly nice for representing snow or ocean spray in a seascape, but also just a good general textural device. You can experiment with larger amounts of salt just to built various textures. Fun stuff.

Salty Night

Enjoy, and I’ll post more techniques soon.

Art Teacher Jill

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