Experiments with… salt-water-colours

Earlier this month I tried my hand at a painting technique that I’ve been wanting to experiment with for a while using watercolours and salt. Yep, normal eating and cooking salt.

You start with a watercolour painting, then sprinkle the salt onto the wet paint and let it dry before brushing off the salt. The idea is that the salt dries the paint out and absorbs some of the colour in the process. And the result is some really interesting organic textures – think galaxies, water and marble.

Here’s a look at some of the different stages of the process

Because this is me we’re talking about, I ended up with a page full of starscapes, one of which I’ve used to create my latest greetings card design.

My new You’re a Star greetings card, now available to purchase from my Etsy shop.

Fancy having a go?

This was a lot of fun and would be a great activity to try with kids as it’s part science, part art. Here’s a quick step-by-step if you fancy having a go:

  • Start by painting a watercolour wash
  • While the paint is still wet, sprinkle on the salt
  • Once the paint is dry, brush the salt off
  • Vary the watercolour wash (wetter, drier, paler, darker) and the type and amount of salt (Maldon flakes, sea salt crystals, fine table salt) to get different results

This series of ‘Experiments with…’ blogs is based around one of my goals for 2020 – to experiment more and develop my creative practice. This means trying out new techniques, using new materials and making new products. The hope is that I’ll develop as an artist, learn new skills and have a lot of fun in the process. My aim is to try one new thing each month and blog about the process as well as the results.

You can keep up with my experiments in the creative process section of my blog. If you’ve got any suggestions for experiments that you think I should try, please get in touch.