Q. How do you make snow?
A. I use different types of salt. When sprinkled on wet watercolor, salt resists the paint, leaving all kinds of wonderful, crystal-looking marks. But you should use the salt sparingly or it can ruin your painting.
Since rock salt crystalizes more than other kinds of salt, I use it to leave chunky pieces of snow, creating a wintry looking scene. To do this, I load my brush up with a pretty dark pigment and, while wet, sprinkle it sparingly over the painting. For a more “snowy” effect, Kosher salt works best, while table salt leaves a sparkly look to your painting.
After applying your salt, wait until the paint dries and then sweep off gently with a tissue–don’t scrub.
Zora Pinney is an artist, conservator and consultant based in Los Angeles.