Winter Snow Flakes

Winter Snow flakesThis is a very light snow scene.   9 by 11 on watercolor paper $50.00 I used salt ( sea salt) for the flakes. You’ll find in the last year in a half that I ‘ve been painting and posting daily and I ‘ve seldom used salt. It isn’t that I have anything against salt, but I just seldom use it. I usually just use water if I want the look of salt. Today I was asked about salt and how it works with watercolor so I thought I would explain it. The salt technique is all about timing.  I lay down a light wash of blue gray color for the sky… then… I put in the green/brown trees wet into wet right into the blue sky so that it will give the appearance that the trees are off in the distance and that they are a little blurry. Before the paper as lost its shine I sprinkle in the salt. You have to just put a pinch of salt other wise you will end up with a blizzard. At first it looks like it isn’t working, be patient after the background dries you will see where the salt soaked up the color leaving the white of the paper and because it is a natural substance it has a natural sharp. It will look like falling snow. Paint the foreground after the background has dried and add a little warm color somewhere to help the painting be more inviting and not so cold. Dust off the salt and Your done!Oh yes… You can use various types of salt to get different sizes of flakes.Now:   you should know there are a whole bunch of archival fanatics that claim salt will cause the paper to fall apart over time and  they do not allow their students the use of salt.    I usually stay away from it for this reason but also because water sprayed onto the surface will also give you an effect very much like salt without the controversy.  Try using various spray bottles to find just the right size of droplet.  A chloresceptic bottle has a great sprayer also the old  windex pump bottle  that used to be popular in the 70’s has a nice fine mist.   


One thought on “Winter Snow Flakes

  1. Thanks for the tip on salt! I’ve just started playing with watercolors (I’m not an artist –I just like to make puddles of color and then watchi them run together) and I was wondering how that works.

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