Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Take it with a grain of salt

or a handful. . .

In Open Studios, we were watching Judy Morris' DVD, "Tuscan Textures," and playing with her techniques using salt in our watercolors.   She had some good tips -- hold the salt 10" above the painting and only work with an area of wet watercolor the size of your palm.  Timing is also important, and paper for a variety of effects.  Once it is completely dry, use a credit card or palette knife to scrape off the salt.  I had always used my will get more texture and better results scraping rather than brushing/rubbing.

You definitely need to play around with your paints beforehand - the pigments will interact differently depending upon transparency.  I will post a picture of my India Ink stripe to demonstrate opaqueness later.  Even if it is the same color, some brands will have varying results.

The types of salt will give different results.  Table salt (she prefers non-iodized), Kosher salt, pretzel salt...I was playing with Pink Himalayan salt from the 99 Cent Store

and I really liked what it did here --

Before I removed the Himalayan pink salt - it has to be completely dry
I carried it home on a rimmed aluminum cookie sheet - Also found at the 99 cent store!

Is that not cool or what?!

This was French Ultramarine dropped into Winsor Green and Winsor Red
Look how the salt pulled and mixed the colors
It was almost black before adding the French Ultramarine and salt

"After" photo of Cerulean and Indian Red dropped into each other
Interesting color combination and reaction!
Table salt - I thought this was trickier to use
You have to time it just right with the dampness or else you will
get "stars"
And granted this was also watercolor sketchbook paper -
not the highest quality

The next time I was at the grocery store, I picked up Margarita salt.  I even saw Bacon Salt.

Isn't everything better with bacon, including watercoloring?  I bet those effects would be really cool on lighter colored washes!

This is definitely an exercise and reminder to experiment and have fun.  Different colors/pigments will react differently to different salts and at different times and different amounts of water on the paper.  The fun and unexpectedness of watercolor!

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