Hello everyone and welcome to the third installment of my Watercolor Tools,Tips and Tricks post series. Today I’m going to show you how you can make create fabulous textural effects using salt with watercolors. I’ll be using one of my illustrations with step by step progress shots to explain how I did the technique. So scroll down and enjoy the read. For part 1 and part 2 of the series, please click on the links below
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Salt technique is a unique yet simple way to achieve texture in watercolor works. It uses the absorbing properties of salt to create fabulous textures on areas it is sprinkled on. You may use rock salt or fine salt depending on the kind of texture you require. Fine salt creates smaller,finer textures than rock salt.
STEP 1: As always, I start with a rough sketch of my idea on some printer paper. Once I’m happy with the result, I transfer the drawing to a good quality watercolor paper. Here I’ve used Daler Rowney cold pressed paper.
STEP 2:I first start doing the waves, where I lay down some watercolor. Before the water dries, I sprinkle some rock salt on top of the paint. Make sure the salt is sprinkled before the paint dries or else the salt effect will not be visible.
STEP 3:If you notice in the image below, a mild texture has been formed wherever the salt was sprinkled. I continue adding the waves, along with the salt to bring out the texture. What the salt does is, it absorbs color on the area it is sprinkles on, leaving a texture behind.
STEP 4:In the images below you can see that the salt has absorbed some of the color. I removed the salt from the paper only after the paint had fully dried or else the full effect of the texture will not be visible.
STEP 5:Finally, I added some vine pattern to finish off my illustration to give it my signature look. Also in the image below, you can clearly see the various textures that have been formed in the places I added the salt. You can add fine salt to create textures that are smaller and closer to each other. 
And last but not the least, for those of you who love to know what materials I’ve used for this particular illustration, here goes – 1.Tombow Mono pencil 2.White gel pen 3.Winsor Newton Cotman round brush 4.Tuff Stik eraser 5.Ikea frame in white 6.Daler Rowney cold pressed WC paper 7.Rock Salt 8.Sakura Koi watercolors
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Do you think you would enjoy using salt with watercolors to create this kind of effect? What kind of projects do you think you would try and incorporate this technique in? I have a feeling that this technique can be used to make super looking bookmarks with a bit of background texture and a bit of quote to go in the front. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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