Saturday, September 12, 2009

Art Time! Salty Watercolors

This is one of those art projects I’ve had in the back of my mind for ages – meaning to do it, forgetting about it, remembering it, getting too busy to do it, forgetting it again… you get the picture. :)
Finally, we did it.  And, boy, am I glad we did!
It is from one of our favorite art books - Scribble Art by MaryAnn Kohl.  Product Details
We used white cardstock, glue, table salt, pipettes, paintbrushes, and our fabulous homemade liquid watercolors left over from a previous project.  (I covered our art tray / muffin tin with foil and the paints kept pretty well.  I did have to add a few drops of water to each cup and mix them up, but they worked just great and were still nice and vivid.)
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M scooted up to the table and got busy with the glue bottle:blog pics 068 cropped
Then we tried sprinkling salt on with a spoon - blog pics 069 cropped
but it was not covering the glue as well as we needed it to.  If you do this, you need to put  a lot of salt on your glue pattern.  I finally just dumped it on right out of the box.  Then we tapped the extra salt off into the tray and we were left with this:blog pics 071
The idea at this point is to gently touch the salt pattern with watercolor paints and it will spread out – you can actually watch it soak through the salt along the lines you’ve made.  We started off with pipettes:blog pics 072It worked, but the paint was also forming puddles because M was squeezing too much paint out.  We (*I*) couldn’t clearly see the salt doing it’s thing because of the puddles.  So, I tried to get M to use a paintbrush and just barely touch it to the salt lines.  This is actually what the book directs you to do, and I should’ve listened to the book because M loves those pipettes dearly (they are fun) and we had a bit of a disagreement at this point.  ;)
Anyway, it did work better with the brush, as long as you just touch the salt.  Don’t brush the salt.  That point is very important!
blog pics 076 It was a very neat and fascinating project, watching the soft colors of the paint spread along the salt, sometimes mixing together and creating new colors.  There was something just very slow and relaxing about it. 
Here are the finished art pieces:
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This is definitely on our “do again!” list!
Have a beautiful day! :)


  1. I love it - it turned out so pretty. Thanks for all the gotchas - I think I will try something like this with Anna too!

  2. I want to try this. I am starting an art group for our playgroup and this looks like it would be so much fun to do with the kids. I love Maryanne Kohls books! I will have to check this one out. Thanks for sharing :0)

  3. I have that book too. I'll have to try this with the kids. They came out great!

  4. Ive never seen this before, very cool!

  5. very pretty we are doing something like that for Octobers Open Ended Art

    Open Ended Art and Learning Corners will be on the new blog and I have a Big giveaway annoucement for all who have participated in Open Ended Art!


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