“Salty” watercolours

There is a lot of info in Internet about using salt in watercolour painting, but I just wanted to make a short post of my own stuff to show some examples of how much fun salt can be.

This was my first experience with salt, and actually one of my very first watercolour paintings. It seems, that I’ve read about salt even before I started painting with watercolour. I painted clouds on top of sky with salt marks on it, after removing salt. That’s why you can see that marks from salt are blurred and not so vivid.


Salt can create a good effect of snow, especially when used with blue colours.



I don’t exactly remember what was my original purpose for the painting below, probably sky with lots of stars, but it seems that I got too many of them 🙂 For the yellow-green background I used waterproof aerocolour paints, which are not affected by water after drying. After they dried, I applied layer of black paint and sprinkled salt on top while it was still wet. In that way I made sure, that salt wouldn’t affect background colour. Maybe the result would be same with normal watercolour, who knows?..


I tried using salt with ink (painting below). I didn’t really figure out yet, how exactly it works with ink. You can see here different effects: at the edges between this big colourful “cloud” and pink background there is effect of salt, when it pulls the pigment. But if you look into the center of this cloud, you’ll see how salt didn’t work in the same way. It pulled pigment, but it didn’t leave these lighter textured areas. At the end salt got stuck to the paper as very dark grains and couldn’t be really rubbed off the painting 🙂 giving it another effect. I’m happy with both actually. Reason might be that I sprinkled salt too late though…


This is my last painting with salt. I wanted to create effect of snow storm. I applied as much sick layer of paint as I could, and immediately – salt. Then I was keeping paper vertically with upper left colour down – in that way i could get effect of snow flying down to the right.


And a few more examples of playing with salt. By the way, different salt may give different effect, but I usually have normal fine grain salt at home, so this is what I use.



I liked how unpredictable it is, it creates most beautiful picture and texture, and always surprises you, or at least it does surprise me!


Salt it all!


3 thoughts on ““Salty” watercolours

  1. Pingback: Watercolour inspirations | alittletypical

  2. Pingback: Painting with ink – Part 2 | Liliya Datsyuk

  3. Pingback: Narratives: Research – 17th Nov’ onwards | charlottewetherhill

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