Monday, March 28, 2011


Started another peeps painting.  This one is smaller and I'm working on the texture by putting down the pigment and then sprinkling on popcorn salt.  I don't usually like salt for texture but it seems the only way to get the look of these peeps = that crystalized sugar look.  So I'm playing with it.

Here is a close-up of the texture you get when the salt is on.  Of course, you have to let it dry completely and then scrape or rub the salt off the paper so there's no residue left.  Then do it again, each time getting darker and darker in values and closer to the final effect.

This one is on Arches 140# cold press paper.

Then I got the idea that maybe I could use this as my entry into the Magnitude Seven show at Manifest Gallery (  So I tore a piece of Twinrocker paper (yes, I still have my order of 5 sheets that I didn't want to use because it's "too good" to waste!) down to a 7.25" x 7.25" size and put the same two peeps on there.  And here's a close-up of that, showing the texture.  The color is more saturated because I intentionally got it darker on the first pass so I don't have to keep getting the salt off and putting it on with each layer.

There is something so nice about this Twinrocker paper - the feel of it in your hand, the way it takes the pigment and water.  Maybe it's just that it's so precious that you feel like a real artist when you're working on it?

In both paintings, I prewet each peep and then dropped in the color and moved in around, lifting a bit as it dried.  Then put the salt on.

Have you used salt to get texture in your paintings?  Did you like the effect?


Carol Blackburn said...

Interesting effect, Rhonda, I've never used salt.

Jane said...

Hi Rhonda, wonderful effect with salt, I have used it in water,on the beach , to create special effects on stones etc. I really like the effect, but I don't like the fact that you have to be patient and wait till it dries!

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

I have used salt, but not often. When I have used it, I always used Kosher salt. Is popcorn salt finer? This is going to be an adorable painting, so imaginative.

RH Carpenter said...

Carol, put the pigment down and while the paint is still wet, sprinkle salt on it - it absorbs a bit of the pigment but not all, creating the textured look.

I've never heard of using it the way you do, Jane - we are learning all the time!

Susan, popcorn salt is very fine, much better than table salt and kosher salt (which is the largest grain, I think).

Jane said...

My english is too poor Rhonda, i can understand why you never heard about salt being used "my" way. What I meant was .. when painting water (the sea) , you can sprinkle some salt on it, and it will give you an effect of blinking light, when painting the beach, you can sprinkle salt, and it will give you the texture like sand, when painting a pavement ( for example), it will give you the sensation of stone and so on...I am sure you already tried this.

RH Carpenter said...

Jane, your English is fine! I just read it quickly and saw you going to the beach, putting salt on rocks! ha ha My misunderstanding, not a problem with your English :) I have used salt for many things but like to use spritzes of water better - as the paint is drying, you spray with water the area (making sure you have a sprayer that sprays little dabs of water, not a fine mist).

jane minter said...

popcorn salt must be really fine rhonda .... love these peeps

RH Carpenter said...

Jane, it is very fine but still gives a little textured look - good when working small and the larger grains of salt in table salt and kosher salt would overwpoer the painting.