A couple weeks ago we had a fun time in class creating our own watercolor samples of different ways to make textures in our watercolors. I am posting a few of the things we explored but it is better if you do this for yourself so you can see what the real texture looks like, sometimes a photo only says a few words and leave you guessing.
The plastic wrap needs to first be wrinkled up the placed on wet paint. Don't try to smooth it you want all the wrinkles and creases. This will take at least 45 minutes to an hour to dry depending on the weather, setting it near a heat source or outside in the sun will help a bit but it has to dry through the paper and that takes a while so be patient.
Masking Fluid into wet paper, this one is tricky but very useful when doing something like sea foam or clouds. Wet the paper first with clear water then paint the masking into the areas you want to protect and let it dry before painting over it or it could get into your good brush.
Masking fluid on dry paper is the traditional way of using masking fluid. Paint out the areas you want to keep white and let it dry before starting to paint. In both cases let your painting dry completely before removing the masking or you run the risk of tearing your paper.
The baking soda didn't do much but this was the first time I had used it. May have to try again.
I used regular coffee (decafe, but the doesn't make a difference) and sprinkled the grounds on very wet paper and let it dry. You can get the look of old stained paper.
The wax resist and the scraping are permanent so only do them if you are sure it is what you want to do.
Wax resist acts a lot like masking but it never comes off. Some artists will sign their name with the wax then let the name develop with each glaze or color. this can be good for breaking waves, highlights and can be put over painted areas if you want to keep that color. Use a white candle or paraffin.
The scraping can be done with a knife or Exacto blade or you can use an old credit card and cut angles and points into. Scraping damages the paper surface so it is permanent.
Alcohol can be put in a spray bottle or just use a toothbrush and flick it on. Like the salt, wait until the shine leave the paint before hitting it with the alcohol for best results.
The green one is water spritzed on with a toothbrush. A bit different than the alcohol because it has more time to work to create blooms. Wait for the paper to lose its shine for best results.
I just used some India ink and brush to make lines, you can use paint then spritzed it with my squirt bottle in places. Ink needs to be wet/
Lifting with a paper towel can make great soft clouds. Find a towel like Viva or a tissue without a pattern to use for this technique or it make leave that pattern in the paint.
Sponges can also be used to create texture. Natural sea sponges have a lot of different textures all on one sponge if you look for the right one at the store. Just dip it into your paint
and tap it on the paper. The harder you tap the more paint comes off so start gently.
You can do a similar thing with a scrunched up paper towel.
Wetting the paper first then dropping or lightly adding color can create some soft diffused patterns that are great for out of focus backgrounds.
Here are 2 examples of how to use scraping and lifting to create veins in a leaf.
This is just a small sample of what kinds of things you can do with watercolor and a bit of experimenting, look through your cupboards and see what else you can find.
Until next time keep painting and I will see you in class.