Thursday, December 9, 2010

Art Time – Salt Sprinkled Watercolors

I’ve been wanting to try out this watercolor technique for a long time, and finally got the chance when I had my crafty 6 year old niece over for a couple of days.  This girl is up for anything artsy or craftsy, any time of the day! :)  It must run in their genes.  These two could paint all day.cousins painting

To do this, use real watercolor paper if possible. 

You will also need paintbrushes, liquid watercolors (mix a little water into tempera), and salt in a shaker.

Paint as you normally would onto the paper.  If you want, you can brush the paper with clean water before painting.  This makes the colors blend and look softer.

Once you are happy with your painting, sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the top of it and set it aside to dry.  When it is dry you can shake off the excess.sprinkling on the salt

The salt creates interesting patterns on the watercolors.  It absorbs some water, leaving tiny dots of lighter color behind.  In some areas it feathers the color out in a pretty design.  And some of it sticks to the paper, making it sparkle in the light.tiny dots and feathering 

I brought out the oil pastels to add another dimension to the art and showed the kids how to draw “magic” pictures with the white pastel.watercolors and salt (1)  See how the tiny dots left behind by the salt gave this painting another layer of texture?      

cousins still painting   Working hard on their artwork!

Lots of beautiful things were made!  



Make sure you have your broom nearby after this project!  The salt does seem to go everywhere.  Better yet, have a child-size broom nearby and let the kids clean up!  :)

Have a beautiful day! :)


P.S. A portion of this art project was taken from Preschool Art: It's the Process, Not the Product by MaryAnn Kohl.  This is a wonderful book (as I’ve mentioned many times before)!


  1. That looks so cool. At some point I need to invest in good watercolors.

  2. my daughter would love that, she is very drawn to the salt shaker!


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