Injecting a vivid dose of colour into any space instantly provides the lift you are after. And creating a series of artworks with watercolour is a great option as it’s a fun and inexpensive way to get gallery-worthy results. To achieve the wonderful abstract effect shown here, mix Epsom and table salts with your paint mixture and watch the detail develop on the surface of the paper as crystals grow – just like magic!
Gather your supplies
• Good-quality watercolour paper, size to suit your chosen frame
• Epsom salts
• Table salt
• Liquid watercolour paint or food colouring in colours of your choice
You’ll also need
Paint tray with deep compartments or plastic cups; measuring spoons; paintbrush; picture frame with mount board and hanger
Step 1 In paint tray or in cup, add ½ Tbsp of Epsom salts, ½ Tbsp of water and a pinch (about ¹⁄8 tsp) of table salt. Add several drops of liquid watercolour or food colouring in 1 colour of choice.
Step 2 Gently stir mixture with end of paintbrush or swirl in a cup for 2 minutes. Nearly all Epsom salts should be dissolved. It is OK if a small amount remains. If a lot remains, stir or swirl for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 3 Repeat Steps 1-2 to mix up a second batch in a complementary colour.
Step 4 Using paintbrush, paint an abstract shape on watercolour paper using both colours, keeping in mind the size of mount board in your chosen frame. The thinner layers of paint will crystallise in about
2 hours and create a shimmery finish. If you wish to achieve larger crystals, layer up lots of paint to thoroughly wet paper. Larger crystals will form over 24 hours. Let dry.
Step 5 Place finished artwork on backing board of chosen frame. Tape artwork to backing board if necessary. Insert backing board into frame and secure with fasteners at back of frame. Your artwork is ready to hang!