Tuesday, 27 November 2018

salt painting blues

the finished painting - or is it?
© Teresa Newham

I'm not sure why this one was such a a struggle, but the signs were ominous from the beginning: trying my chosen four colours on a piece of scrap, I found the French Ultramarine and Winsor Blue (green shade) indistinguishable, and the Cobalt Turquoise far too green. As I was almost out of Cobalt Blue, I dashed to Artscape and picked up some Cobalt Turquoise Light at the same time.  It wasn't a good start . .

I took a while to choose the colours
© Teresa Newham

I wetted a piece of 300gsm Daler Rowney watercolour paper and taped it to a board.  It dried thoroughly, and I laid down an initial wash of Cerulean and Cobalt Turquoise. But somehow everything became too wet - when I added the rock salt, it started to dissolve.

initial washes . . .
© Teresa Newham

So I did something I almost never do - chucked the painting in the bin and began again. I used Arches 600 gsm (no stretching required), laid down the initial wash for a second time, and sprinkled on the salt.  I can't recall now what I didn't like about that attempt, but it ended up in the bin with the first one . . .

. . . with salt added
© Teresa Newham

Number three ran into trouble almost immediately - but Arches is expensive and I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.  Besides, the bin was full.  So I wiped off the paint and let the paper dry - which gave me a chance to calm down and remember that salt painting requires patience.  I turned the paper over, determined to let things flow.

salt on the second layer of washes
© Teresa Newham

Finally I managed to get the colours down and the salt on without any drama.  When the paint dried, I removed the salt and added washes of Cobalt Blue and French Ultramarine. I sprinkled on more salt, and took that off when the whole thing was dry. I assume the painting is finished - I don't want to touch it again.  And I'd welcome any suggestions for a title - so over to you!

once everything dried, I removed the salt
© Teresa Newham

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