We all know what salt sprinkled on semi-wet watercolor paint does create an interesting texture to your painting. Each crystal of salt drives away the pigment to make a lighter area beneath it.
I was wondering what would happen if I added salt to the water in my spray bottle. So I tried experimenting with proportions of salt and water. In my latest test, I am sharing with you today, I used coarse kosher salt with the proportions below. Note: I was afraid iodized salt may hurt the final painting later in the future.
I mixed up a quarter cup of kosher salt to 16 ounces of water in a spray bottle and left it overnight. Shake it several times to help dissolve the salt. Made sure the salt has dissolved before using. Also, mark the spray bottle SALT and with your formula proportions.
I did three tests with this:
I found that the semi-dry example works best. It created a very subtle effect compared to sprinkling salt directly onto the semi-wet pigment. When I sprayed it on the very wet pigment, it did not give me the desired effect. And the third one when the paint was almost dry it did not give me the desired effect I was looking for. So the second example, semi-wet I felt was best.
Note: In all three examples are used burnt sienna and ultramarine blue different combinations. In watercolor, I’ve stated many times to my students, timing in watercolor is everything. Waiting for the right moment. This is one of the aspects of watercolor there cannot be taught only anticipated through experience. So when I did the experiment, I was really watching how much moisture was on paper before I applied the salt.
I would like to see your test results. Please share on my Facebook page. Don't forget type of salt, proportions, clearly label each photo and if you did something different than my tests let me know.
Dale L Popovich IWS
is an award-winning watercolorist and teacher who is passionate about capturing the raw beauty of the American landscape with the fluid stroke of a brush. As you will see the works selected in his portfolio represent the breath of his holistic approach to painting. You can also learn along with this talented and experienced teacher through his workshops,