Adding Textures to Your Watercolor Paintings
Many people think of watercolor as strictly a two-dimensional medium. While this is technically true, we try to make watercolor look three-dimensional by how we paint it. Textures are one of the tricks for doing this, and watercolor has many, many texture options. In fact, as a painting medium it is much more versatile than oil and acrylics.
Putting texture in our paintings is nothing new
Back in 1884 John Singer Sargent was using a white waxed candle to add texture to his watercolors. Today, as watercolor artists, we can add texture using salt, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, candle wax, scraping, spattering, sponges, palette knifes and more.
Why are textures so important?
Textures are another tool in your “watercolor artist toolbox” for taking a two-dimensional surface and making it appear to be three-dimensional. This, of course, can make your paintings appear less flat, more real and more exciting.
How should you use textures?
How and when to use texture depends on the subject matter that you are painting. While textures certainly cannot guarantee the success of your painting (
can guarantee the success of your painting!), when used properly and sparingly they can be very effective. “Sparingly” is a key word here, as textures can easily be overused in your painting. Please remember that less is usually best.
You can also combine different textures in your paintings to get nice special effects.