Sterling Edwards shares some quick and easy tips for adding texture to your painting with this free demo from his latest book, Creating Luminous Watercolor Landscapes.
Rubbing alcohol and plastic wrap are quick and easy ways to add instant texture to your painting. But as with any special texture or technique, a little goes a long way. Both products create interesting textures when applied to wet watercolors. The best subject matter I’ve discovered for these unusual textures is trees. Both of these common household items create a unique impression of individual leaves and foliage.
1. Paint the Foliage
Apply wet washes of Indian Yellow (top), Permanent Green Deep (middle) and Primary Blue-Cyan (bottom) using a1-inch (25mm) flat. Allow the wet colors to mix naturally on the paper.
2. Crumple and Press Plastic Wrap on the Wet Shapes
While the foliage shapes are wet, place a piece of crumpled plastic wrap on the paper and allow it to dry naturally.
3. Remove the Plastic and Paint the Trunk and Branches
When the paint has dried thoroughly, remove the plastic wrap and paint the trunk and branches of the tree using a dark combination of Orange Lake, Permanent Violet Blue-ish and Primary Blue-Cyan.
1. Paint the Colorful Shapes of the Foliage
Using a 1-inch (25mm) flat, paint the shape of a tree with Permanent Yellow Lemon, Indian Yellow and Orange Lake.
2. Spray Rubbing Alcohol Onto the Wet Shapes,
Then Add the Trunk and Branches
When the paint has lost its shine and is semidry, use a spray bottle to apply the rubbing alcohol to the shapes. The alcohol creates an immediate texture resembling individual leaves. When the tree is dry, paint the trunk and smaller branches with a combination of Orange Lake, Permanent Violet Blue-ish and Primary Blue-Cyan.