When I try to use salt in watercolour painting it does not work. I have tried normal salt, sea salt, even dishwasher salt. I cannot make it work. Can anyone help.what am I doing wrong. I use plenty of water.

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In my experience the salt technique works best not just with lots of water but with lots of pigment as well and then you have to wait for it to completely dry before removing the salt.  If you've tried lots of pigment and waiting for it to completely dry then I'm at a loss. 

Good luck! 



Althea ArchMiller said:

In my experience the salt technique works best not just with lots of water but with lots of pigment as well and then you have to wait for it to completely dry before removing the salt.  If you've tried lots of pigment and waiting for it to completely dry then I'm at a loss. 

Good luck! 

I will try more pigment I think that will work. Thank you.

Have you tried waiting for a minute or two before applying the salt? In my experience, it makes a big difference how wet your paper is. Don't wait until it is dry but somewhere in between very wet and slightly wet seems to work well. You could try testing it out on a scrap paper to make sure you get the look you are going for.

Not too wet + more pigment + waiting till dry to remove salt should give you results.

It will work on most papers but a cold press is best and it is most effective if the wash to which you add salt is over an existing (totally dry) wash.  Most salt will work but Coarse Kosher is my favorite.  If the top wash to which you add the salt is a sedimentary color (more glandular - ultramarine blue, raw sienna, raw umber, sepia, cobalt violet, cobalt blue, viridian green, manganese blue, sap green, etc.) it will be more effective.  Many purist don't like the use of salt but it's an effect you can't paint - I've used and enjoyed it for 40 years.  

I can't get on with salt at all. I live in Ireland and it is quite humid and so it never seems to dry out properly. I've pretty much given up although I do like the effects that other can get with it.

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