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13 Easy Watercolor Techniques, Tips, & Tricks

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Step 8: A Sprinkle Of Salt


Another “chemical” you can use to create texture is salt. Here, Isabella uses common table salt, but other variants like bath or sea salt will work too.

To experiment, use the round brush (size 12) and prep a bunch of green paints on your palette. Isabella mixes Viridian, Perylene Green, and Oxide of Chromium to get a dark green color. With this, paint another square just below the square you used for your alcohol technique. Gently sprinkle some salt throughout your green square. Again, this only works while your paint is still wet, as it’s easier to create a reaction with liquids than with solids.

Once you lay down the salt, don’t touch it, or you’ll lose the texture. You can, however, drop in extra paint colors in this stage. Just be careful not to disturb the salt grains while you do so. The added salt also means it will take longer for the paint to dry, so don’t try to scrape the salt off until then! When it’s dry, the salt should fall off with a little gentle rubbing.

If you want, you can experiment with other types of salt that have different grain sizes. The larger grains will create a texture that can be seen more clearly, as they absorb more pigment before pushing the rest away. In general, using salt will create a frost or crystal-like texture, and Isabella shows some pre-made examples. You can see this in the picture below: