Common Watercolor Painting Techniques Part II

In the previous article, we mentioned some of the most common watercolor painting techniques pointed out by the painter Chayim Shvarzblat. In this article we will continue with the list of techniques, and also will explain each of them. But, before continuing, we will lock back on the common tools needed for these techniques. The basic tools are paint set, paper, and wet media brushes in various sizes. In addition to these, we will need:
  • Table salt
  • Masking tape or rubber cement.
  • Sewing needle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Plastic wrap
Dry Brush As its name indicates, this technique is about dipping a dry (or mostly dry) brush into the paint. Then the brush is spread over a dry piece of paper. The result would be a highly textured mark. This is great for implying fur or hair. Masking Tape or Rubber Cement Rubber cement (or masking tape) is used as a resist for watercolor. This material is applied to the places where you don’t want the pigment to go. Once the watercolor dries, the rubber cement (masking tape) should be pealed from the page. The paper underneath will show up. This serves as a great solution for preserving white paper among the rest of the painting. Salt The skilled painter Shvarzblat explains that salt soaks up some of the colors and creates a sandy-looking effect on the page. The painter suggests laying down an extra wash on the paper. Then spread the salt on top of it. Wait until the painting dries completely. Shavarzblat recommends waiting overnight. Then, scrape the salt from the page. Lifting Off Paint There are a few ways to lift paint from the page. All of them involve plastic. The most popular is a saran wrap. The salt method began with an extra pigmented wash. Then, place the sheet of plastic wrap on top of the painting and wait for the pigment to dry. When the pigment pools down under the plastic, it will create an interesting texture. Rubbing Alcohol Watercolor paint and rubbing alcohol are similar to oil and water. Once a wash is painted, a utensil (like a q-tip) should be taken and alcohol should be dapped onto the wet surface. It will create an alluring effect. This effect is reminiscent of tie-dye. Scratch-Off This technique involves scratching the paper to create small indentations. It is also known as sgraffito. According to Shvarzblat, you should start by painting a wash where you’d like the scratch texture to go. Then, take a sharp object like a sewing needle and start dragging it across the paper, while it is still wet. The punctured surface will be filled with paint, so it will appear darker and more defined than the rest of your wash. Shvarzblat has used this technique in some of his artworks.

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