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Watercolor: Trying out different textures

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Parchment paper, plastic wrap and aluminum foil… bring some of your kitchen essentials into your studio and create backgrounds with incredible textures!

What you need to know

For a novel way to add life to your backgrounds there's nothing like the printing technique. Applying various materials to very wet washes allows you to create a multitude of texture effects.

1. Preliminary steps

Step 1: To keep the paint inside its area and avoid undesirable events, mask the areas of the paper you won't be working on.

  • Apply masking tape to surfaces you need to protect.
  • Put drawing gum on the contours to define them clearly.


Step 2: apply a very wet wash to the exposed area.

Once the wash has been applied, start working right away (watercolors dry very fast)!

2. Three materials for original textures

With plastic wrap


  • Cut a piece of plastic wrap, then roll it into a ball.
  • Set it down on the wash without pressing, because it adheres by itself.
  • Remove it when the paint is dry. 

With parchment paper and aluminum foil: follow the same steps as for the plastic wrap. Set a weight (telephone directory, old dictionary) on the ball of paper to keep it in contact with the wash. 


That little extra: for less clearly defined contours, remove the material before the paint is totally dry!