Mixing Watercolors With Other Substances

Salt and Watercolor Painting 7

After having so much fun with exploring acids and bases with baking soda, Dora and I also decided to try some experimenting with watercolors. I had read about people putting salt on watercolors, but wondered about using some other substances. The above photo shows our end results. We used Stockmar watercolors for each color and did a wet-on-dry application. We found wet-on-wet to be…. well…. too wet. In general, we found it best to apply the substances while the paint was semi-wet. We mixed the colors as follows:

  • Red – table salt
  • Orange – kosher salt
  • Yellow – Epsom salts
  • Green – vegetable oil
  • Blue – rubbing alcohol
  • Purple – dish soap

It is not 100% obvious, as the yellow and orange kind of blended together, but Epsom salts produced the most interesting results of all the salts. The kosher salts did very little. The oil looks impressive in this picture, but would not actually be practical for paintings, as it is kind of messy, though I have heard of people rubbing oil onto watercolors for making luminaries. The rubbing alcohol produced a fun and subtle polka-dotted effect. The dish soap just made a mess.

Salt and Watercolor Painting 3

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Labels: Arts and Crafts
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff