Fun Things

As I’m learning and exploring, I’m discovering a lot of “fun things” in art. I’ll be adding new tricks to this page as I find them, so keep watching FUN THINGS.


  1. Salt:

Salt and Watercolor

To create this background effect, I did a light wash mixing pinks and blues, then while the watercolor was still wet, I sprinkled table salt on the paper. Once the salt dried, I was able to brush it off, leaving behind this intriguing pattern.

2. Alcohol

For this “splotchy” effect, I used drops of rubbing alcohol on a still-slightly-wet watercolor wash. Although the instructions I had suggested using a medicine dropper, I took a clean paint brush — #5 — dipped it into the alcohol, then shook it out over the page. It’s an old brush and I’m going to keep it just for this special effect. You can also get a look at this technique on the background of my April Fool’s Day post.

3. Sponges

Sea Sponge Dabs

A handy technique, I’ve been told, for trees and bushes, or simply for interesting background effects, is the old trick of dabbing a wet watercolor wash with a sponge. I used a sea sponge to create these feathery little dabs of color. After applying a wash to the paper, I mixed a little paint with water, dipped the edge of the sponge into the color, then pressed it to the sheet. Obviously I still need a little practice with this method to get precisely the right effect. I’ve purchased several more little sponges to try.