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Salt Painting

We are currently working our way through Usborne's Complete Book of Art Ideas.  Last week, our weekly art lesson introduced us to water color salt painting.  We have done salt works before but never with such intentional themes.  This lesson just happened to fall on THE perfect day.  Although the suggested subject matter was an under water scene, I opted for something a little more closer to home.  

We had just gotten a fresh dumping of snow the evening before and when we were considering what we wanted to paint, all we had to do was look outside and see this magnificently powdered crab apple tree and knew that it would make for a perfect salt "muse."

Our first step was to lightly draw a rough sketch while looking out the window at the tree.

Then, we painted a water wash over the entire sheet of paper.  (We did not use traditional water color paper...but just a heavy weight, all-purpose art paper.)

Next, we used a light wash of blue for the sky.

We sprinkled a handful of course salt over the entire "sky."  Our goal was to break up some of the color to make a "falling snow" look.

We decided to paint a pale brush of grey across the sky/snow line to make it more of an obvious division.

Next came the tree.  We followed the basic sketch lines that we had previously drawn to make our crab apple trees.

Another modest sprinkling of salt over the tree and our work was complete.  All that was left to do was wait as the salt did its work.

You can see from the finished products that the salt worked really well to create a winter scape of falling snow.

Don't live in "snow country?"  No worries.  Water color salt paintings are great for ANY nature scene. If your spring has "sprung," try your hand at painting some flowers or a budding tree.  The salt gives every painting a natural textured look.

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