View Full Version : Question re salt technique

04-23-2003, 01:53 PM
I keep seeing the salt technique referred to. Is there someplace where I can get info on this. I love how it makes old buildings look old and battered. Thanks for the info.

04-23-2003, 02:09 PM

Have you done a search here?

04-23-2003, 02:10 PM
There was a great article about this in one of the watercolor magazines (Watercolor or Watercolor Magic) a while back, by Judy Morris. Judy is a master at using salt in her watercolors, which are mostly of buildings, and she explained exactly how and when to use it, how wet the paper should be, etc. I wish I could tell you more, but if you have access to back issues of these magazines, it would definitely be worth searching through the index for the article.


04-23-2003, 02:13 PM
here you go

Knew there was something here

WATERCOLOR TEXTURE TECHNIQUES (http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Watercolors/Textures/)

04-23-2003, 02:29 PM
Only used this technique once or twice, and figured it just had to do with sprinkling salt in the wet areas. Have also used Sanka instant coffee in wet to get great dirt or sand effects. I have also heard of placing Saran Wrap over a wet painting to get crinkly, wrinkly effects. There's an artist who does that. Let me ask my teacher again who it was and I'll get back to you.

04-23-2003, 02:31 PM
The Sanka instant coffee idea was one I hadn't heard. Thanks!

04-23-2003, 02:38 PM
As far as I know, Sanka's the best because it's so fine. Here's a painting I did using this technique. Look at the dirt, not the rooster's head! Or the trees! I messed it up!:rolleyes: I could've got the dirt more grainy if I'd used a bit of patience instead of throwing the coffeee on there.<P></P>http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Apr-2003/14705-rooster.jpg

Strawberry Wine
04-23-2003, 02:39 PM
Thanks Pam for the link and thanks to Walerian for the instant coffee technique


04-23-2003, 02:40 PM
Very nice effect. I'm definitely going to add this to my limited bag of tricks:)

04-23-2003, 03:28 PM
I find the salt that makes the best effect is Kosher or Margarita salt. We use it on leaves, backgrounds, and it works great with an Antwerp Blue sky to make it look snowy.

You can also sprinkle instant tea on things (while wet) like a an old barn (side or roof) or a tree trunk or a bucket. It will make them look aged.

Other things that you can use are wax, sand, lace, cheesecloth. There are several books that describe in detail how to achieve results with these things. Right now, I just can't remember the names.

04-23-2003, 03:40 PM
I have tried salt with very limited success. I think it takes practice to get the "feel" of when to drop the salt for the best effect.

I love the tips about using the coffee and tea.

04-23-2003, 04:20 PM
I think all these "tools" are nice...but used well in moderation.....some folks throw it on every painting.....seems less impact that way

I think salt is unmatched for old walls, bricks, concrete, etc

04-23-2003, 09:16 PM
Thanks all for your help. I realize Pampe that one can overdo a good thing. I so admired the work on the painting of the Italian alley and saw that the walls had been done with salt. This is what put it in my head for some old walls I plan to do, as well as older buildings that are cement.

I have looked at a few of the old mags on the Watercolor magazine site but didn't have much time today.

Again, I appreciate everyone's help to answer this question. Tea hmmm??? Interesting.

Thanks again.

It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us. (Epicurus) ba

04-23-2003, 11:09 PM
Very informative discussion, thanks to Pam for the web site information.

04-24-2003, 03:28 AM
Originally posted by CharM
I think it takes practice to get the "feel" of when to drop the salt for the best effect.

Absolutely true, and that only comes with practice. Another good product to get similar effects is Lawry's Lemon Pepper. It HAS to be Lawrys, though, not a copy. (No, I own no stock in the Lawry Company. ) :D