Watercolor – Techniques for Texture
I love to do things that have texture and character like old wood and rusty things watercolor makes them with little effort if you just trust the watercolor.
Rust and peeling paint – Paint the color of the object you are going to add rust to, don't worry about painting around the areas because it doesn't matter, the rust will cover it up and it will actually help the final look o the object.
When the area is dry you will be using the following colors in a fairly liquid form: Orange, sienna, red and sienna with purple. Your paint should run a little bit the drips help. Have the top of your paper elevated so that gravity works for you and your paint doesn't pool up, this is just SOP with watercolor. Start with the orange in the area where you want rust. You can let it dry just a bit but it should still be dame between each color. Next add sienna and touches of red into the same area starting at the top and letting the color mix with what it all ready there. Again, you can let it dry a bit. With the sienna and purple, make a dark color, this is a shadow color and goes next to the area that is suppose to be peeling paint. If you have an angle brush or a flat brush, load it on the tip or corner and put the brush with the paint next to the area that is suppose to be paint and with the all the bristles in contact with the paper, paint in the shadow. If you use a round brush this will take two steps: first paint in the shadow then rinse and remove excess water and run the brush on the side of the paint you just put down that will be in the rusted area. You may have to do this again to get it dark enough.
To create the effect of the paint peeling up, lift a bit of color at the edges of some of the paint areas next to the rust, you can also add cracks using that dark mix and a liner brush.
Polished wood – Wood comes in all colors and patterns so do some research if you want a specific kind and color. I use the edge of my angle brush and make long "s" shapes (direction depends on the angle of the wood) just keep your strokes following the natural growth of the grain. Use more than one color and use colors you may not think about such as if it is a light wood it may have pinks and yellows, dark woods may have reds or blues or even green running through them. Let it dry and with a liner brush you can add darker grains and knots, just be sure that you follow the grain of the wood.
Old wood – Old wood can come in a variety of colors as well please find examples and keep them for reference. They are going to have a rougher surface because of weathering and they may have been just rough cut to begin with, I used shades of gray but I also added green and orange and blues for the under painting, same as above suing long "s" strokes following the grain and let it dry. When it was dry I use a darker version of the colors I used in the under painting but this time I used my angle brush in a dry brush technique with little paint and spreading the bristles at the end then wiggling the brush as I followed the grain of the wood. With a liner I added knots and cracks.
Tree Bark – Again, all trees are different have your reference handy. I used my small angle brush on its edge and made small choppy strokes down the branch of the tree using lighter colors in the sunny area getting darker into the shadowed side. On the branch that sticks out, I used short "coma" strokes because the branch is foreshortened.
Salt for texture – Salt can be use for all sorts of texture these were just three examples: Stucco, distant trees and rocks. Timing is everything with salt so you will need to practice to get it just the way you want but basically you put the paint down then wait until the shine of the water just starts to fade. If it is too wet the salt dissolves too fast and spreads out too much; too dry and it may not spread at all. It is a fun thing to use and does a lot of the work for you.
Remember to sign up for classes and bring things in for critique.