Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A tutorial - Colourwash with Salt

I have produced a (apologies for the very poor & yellowy photographs!) tutorial for the November Monthly Art Technique on the Arttechniques Yahoo Group which I thought I would post on the blog as well. Maybe it will useful information for someone!

Colour Wash with Salt


Water colour paper
1, 2 or 3 Water colour paints – depending on the look you want to achieve
Large (for water) and smaller (for paint) flat brushes
Rock salt / granular salt
Gesso (optional)

Using the larger brush, liberally brush the paper with clean water and then, using the smaller brush, lay on the lightest of your coloured paints.

Whilst still wet randomly lay on the other colour/s of paint

Brush over more water to blend the colours together, but don’t overdo it, you need to have some definition between the colours.

Sprinkle with the salt and leave to dry

The salt working:

Once fully dry brush the salt off of the paper and it’s ready to use.

If using bright colours as I have here (mainly for demo purposes) you can mute the brightness by brushing with some watered down gesso (about 50/50). Work gently and quickly so that you don’t disturb the colours in the underneath layer.

Leave to dry, flatten under heavy books if necessary.

ATC made using this background effect – over-stamped with light grey and green inks.

I followed this by using a light liquid blue water colour paint and salt from my salt grinder (don’t let on to DH – kitchen supplies are NOT meant to go into my craft room – LOL!), which gave a random effect with small and teeny weeny grains of salt. The colour is actually a lot better than it looks here; a pretty pale blue without the yellow tinge!

I made the card below using this background:

If you’ve got this far, thanks for looking! I do hope that you have enjoyed this technique and will give it a go.


  1. I love using this technique! Since I'm in a painting-for-backgrounds mood lately, I think I will try this again. My own DH would be surprised how I use his kitchen supplies... LOL

  2. Great technique. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing. I love the effect.