How To Create Effects in Watercolor Painting

If you like painting with watercolor, you may find that it is not only a chance to hone your artistic skills. It is also very effective at promoting relaxation. Look at a watercolor painting and you’ll be instantly captivated by its soothing and calming lines and the overall serene look that it gives.

If you, however, would like to experiment with watercolor painting and to give your finished piece a different look, here are some ways that you can create effects in watercolor painting:

1. Use alcohol. Drops of alcohol on watercolor painting create white spots that could prove to be an interesting detail to your painting. You should drop a few drops of alcohol onto a finished work, right before the watercolor gets dry. For an added twist, try this out: drop alcohol onto a color, and then let this dry. Once the alcohol is dry, apply a second color and then drop alcohol on it again.

Experiment with different ways on how you sprinkle on alcohol, for you to create different designs.

2. Use salt. Depending on when you sprinkle salt on your painting, that’s how fine/coarse its appearance will be. If you sprinkle on salt to a still-damp painting, the effect will be rough and widely “spread,” but if you sprinkle it on if the painting is almost dry, the effect will be more fine. Once the painting gets dry, you can rub off the salt with your hand.

3. Use plastic wrap. Lay down plastic wrap, either stretched out or crumpled, over your still-damp painting. Your painting will follow the forms that the plastic wrap took while it was laid over the painting, making for very interesting detail.

4. Use very thin colors over one another. To create a luminous effect with your painting, you could try putting very, very sparse colors on your brush, and then painting as usual. Then, using another color (also in a very sparse amount), layer over the previous color.

5. Use wet paper. This is also called the wet-in-wet technique. If you use a wet paper, the wet paint will freely expand, following the flow of water on the paper.

6. Use hard edges to make scratches on your painting. While the painting is still damp, use any hard object (such as a paper clip, nail, or the edge of your paintbrush) to make scratches or grooves over your painting. Pigments will settle in on the grooves, enabling the reader to see the textured scratches that you made.

7. Use wax paper. Lay down crumpled or torn wax paper over a damp wash. You could use a book to further press it down the painting. Once the wash dries, remove the wax paper, and you’d find a nice textured look to the spot where you placed it.

There you have it! These are just some of the easy ways to create effects in a watercolor painting. It definitely pays to take these additional steps so you can create something new out of a classic art style. Good luck! 


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: