Watercolor painting is a thoroughly absorbing pastime. But it does take time to get to grips with the way in which watercolor paint works. As more time is given to the hobby then one will want to practise some of the varied and more interesting and unusual watercolor techniques. Often an unusual and interesting watercolor technique will appear when a loaded paintbrush accidentally drips onto a painting that is already work in progress. Watercolor paint is not the easiest of mediums to work with and only practise can make the process easier.
Before one tries to create any unusual watercolor painting techniques it is recommended that these are practised on a scrap piece of watercolor paper. It is essential to use a good watercolor paper to achieve the right effect. A good watercolor paper will absorb the paint yet let it flow to create many wonderful paint techniques.
Take a piece of scrap watercolor paper that is large enough to coat over with a watercolor wash. Mix a fairly dark watercolor wash in a palette. Take a thick paintbrush and apply a layer of cold water to the surface of the paper. Load the paintbrush with colored paint and begin to add a wash coat to the wet surface. This wash coat of watercolor paint will not look perfect but it will make a good practise background for unusual watercolor painting techniques. Take a sheet of cling film and rub it until the plastic film is awash with deep creases. Leave the wash coat of watercolor paint to dry off slightly before pressing the crumpled plastic film into the surface of the damp paint. Leave the crinkled film in place for a few hours before removing it. The crumpled plastic film will dry into the surface of the damp paint and make an incredible and unusual rippled paint effect.
Coarse salt sprinkled onto a watercolor wash is another unusual watercolor painting technique that is well worth experimenting with. Again take a scrap piece of watercolor paper and mix a brightly colored paint wash. Take a paintbrush and coat the surface of the paper with cold water. Paint the brightly colored paint wash over the wet surface and sprinkle some grains of coarse salt on top. The coarse salt grains cause the paint to marble. Leave the salt in place until the watercolor paint is dry. Shake the sheet of paper so that the remaining grains of salt fall away. The finished effect is quite spectacular.
Unusual watercolor techniques are fun to experiment with. Take another piece of scrap watercolor paper and mix a few different colored paint washes. Using a larger paintbrush coat the surface of the paper with cold water. Take a clean brush, load it with one of the watercolor washes and spatter the surface of the paper. Then wash the brush and dip it into another colored wash and keep spattering. Spatter lots of different colored paints until the work looks interesting. Then take the edge of the piece of artwork and tilt it until the different colored paints begin to run into one another. By adding more color and lifting and tilting the paper it will be possible to create a highly unusual paint effect.