View Full Version : Is a salt effect even possible?

Peanut Butter
05-17-2010, 04:51 PM
I am trying to get the same effect you get when you sprinkle salt on wet watercolor washes, only with acrylic washes instead. I've tried it once and it didn't work, but I think it's because it dried too quickly. Would adding a retarder help? Or do I just need to make my wash wetter? Has anyone had any success doing this with acrylic paint? Thanks!:)

Charlie's Mum
05-17-2010, 06:25 PM
I've done it with acrylic inks, so as long as the wash is wet, it should work.

Sea salt is good:)

05-17-2010, 06:26 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-May-2010/36241-Bindu17web.jpg There was a thread on this recently.

I used salt on a new work (see above) and it appears to work but it is a bit tricky and I am not sure exactly what made it work but it seems to have the desired results. Wonder if you used an acrylic based ink if that might make a difference.

05-18-2010, 03:59 AM
It is possible to replicate the salt effect with Acrylic paints as Howard has shown. A couple of things you might want to do to ensure it works is to keep the canvas wet all the time(so the paint doesn't have any room to dry)by spraying water on the canvas often and sprinkle salt on the painting as soon as possible. Have everything ready on hand so you don't lose any time....

05-18-2010, 09:45 AM
Or do I just need to make my wash wetter?

Out of curiosity are you working on paper?


Peanut Butter
05-18-2010, 01:10 PM
Thanks to everyone for the replies!

Yep, I was trying this on dry paper. I will certainly try it on wet canvas and on wet paper and also with a wetter wash. Veena - I am horrible about having everything right near by, so I'll have to be sure to start prepared!

I have acrylic ink, never thought of salting it, I will try that, too! I have gotten a really cool effect with plastic wrap and acrylic ink, though!

Howard - stunning work! I seem to have missed the thread you are referring to. I will look for it. Thanks!!!

It looks like I have a lot of experimenting to do, but I am very pleased that it is possible!!

Valri Ary
05-18-2010, 08:30 PM
I only paint on canvas with acrylics so I guess I can't be alot of help BUT if you choose to use salt with your acrylics on canvas it works GREAT!!!!
Nice and wet...lots of paint and you're good to go. I used just regular table salt and got amazing results time after time. I should try sea salt.
Good luck!!

Peanut Butter
05-19-2010, 11:33 AM
Valri - Very happy to hear another success story!:clap: I am going to have to try it on canvas!!:wave:

05-19-2010, 12:05 PM
Watercolorists sometimes use salt for special effects, but the salt is not covered up with a paint or varnish that seals it in. I wonder what the effect of using salt with acrylic would be? Salt can have some pretty potent chemical effects in certain circumstances. Does anyone have any info about this? I did a search and found only one mention of possible long-lasting effects, but no real info.

Valri Ary
05-19-2010, 07:47 PM

Here is a crop from a large acrylic painting I did back in 2004. I remember using lots of water, paint and salt. It was very effective.
As far as the long term effects of salt and acrylic paint...ahhhhh, I don't think there is anything different from the day I did the painting till today.
After it was all dry and done I just rubbed off the salt and put a varnish on it. Probably a semi-gloss. 6 years ago makes it hard to remember. I am sure it would have been liquitex.
Hope this helps....