The following techniques will be some of the lessons I will be demonstrating in my upcoming watercolor class at The Artisans Harbor in Old Saybrook starting on September 26, 2010. The classes are on Sunday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm.  So if you are not into watching football on Sundays come and learn watercolor painting!

Watercolor Textures

Below are some techniques for creating textures in your next watercolor painting. Some things to try are using an old worn out brush, table salt or your fingertip is an easy and fun way to create interesting areas in your painting.

Brick Wall Texture

A brick wall is easily achieved by varying the color of each brick as you apply paint and then using a light grey wash for the mortar between the bricks. An important step is putting a shadow under each brick. I used a shadow on the left and bottom of each brick for the light coming from the upper right of the picture. I used cobalt blue for the shadow color.   Add detail with dry brush and smaller detail with a small round brush. Remember to save old worn out brushes for dry brush effects, they create unexpected results. Try scumbling, twirling and adjusting the pressure on the paper with an old brush. One of the members of the class stated ” this is fun!” while painting her wall. I have always enjoyed painting brick too.

Metal Texture

The next texture was a metal watering can. The texture was created with salt. While the paint is still wet add some table salt to the area that you want texture. Sprinkle a small amount of salt onto the wet paint and wait for the paint to dry. As the paint dries the salt absorbs the color around each grain and it can create some great texture. Do not use a blow dryer, let it air dry, you don’t want to blow all the salt away! Once the paint is dry, brush all the salt off and continue painting the bucket. You can glaze over the texture area with more paint and add shadows and detail.

Clay Pot Texture

The next texture that I demonstrated using salt was for clay pots. It is not necessary to use salt everywhere, for variety put only on select areas of the pots.  After the paint is dry continue modeling the clay pots with different colors and values. Remember to let the paint dry thoroughly before brushing off the salt.

More Textures

Sponging is another popular technique for creating texture in painting. I often use a sea sponge , they are irregular shaped sponges and the size of the holes varies.  As always practice on scrap paper first to get the desired result.
Smudging paint with your finger works for creating textures on trees and grasses. Blades of grass can be scraped out of paint with your fingernail or the angled point of some paint brushes. I like to use rough paper when I want texture. I used a Arches watercolor paper that was 140 lb. in a rough texture. Try different paper and you will get interesting results.
Come to my class to learn these watercolor techniques and your next painting will be more interesting and effective.  Consider new ways of painting and your work will improve and you will grow as an artist – guaranteed!