Salt Techniques with Watercolour

In the last session of term (March 2017) at Menheniot we practiced Salt techniques.   (See Salt Techniques below)  This is always a fun session, as its always a surprise to see just how the salt works on different stages of the wet paint as its drying.   One very new learner to painting, shows it does work and its a joy to see a learner smile and go home pleased with their work.

It really is great to see how an absolute new beginner to watercolour, improve in just a short time.  ‘Pat’ has only been painting for 1 term (10 Weeks), and has had a steep ladder to climb as she paints alongside learners that have been coming to class for many years.


Winter Wonderland by ‘Pat Brunskill’

Salt Techniques:

  • Make sure your ‘salt’ is dry, if necessary warm it in an oven or stand next to a heater for a while, alternatively, store in an airing cupboard.  This will help to make the salt work at its best.
  • Salt absorbs the moisture but repels the pigment of the watercolour to create ‘blooms’
  • The watercolour wash has to be still wet but not too shiny.
  • The effect varies depending on the wetness of the wash and the size of the salt grains.  The wetter the watercolour surface the larger the reactions will be.
  • Add sprinkles of salt, but don’t mound the salt as this wont give you very good results.  Less is more.
  • When its dry, which can take a while, brush it off.
  • If it has not worked, it could because the was on the paper was too dry, the salt was damp, or the watercolour wash was overworked into the paper allowing little movement of the colour.
  • Practice beforehand to get the actual results you want.

Here are a few other paintings from learners at the Bodmin Watercolour Class.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Pat Brunskill
    Mar 28, 2017 @ 20:12:47

    Thank you Yvette – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the sessions and think I am just about beginning to climb that steep curve … x 🙂


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