Creating Textures in Watercolor

Developing interest in your watercolour paintings is simple with textures. Be it an old worn-out brush, your fingertip, or table salt, sometimes a painting’s effectiveness largely depends on the surfaces you have drawn and painted. In one of my watercolour articles, I described creating various textures in watercolour. Today, we explore it in detail.

Brick Wall

A brick wall is easily accomplished by altering each brick’s color as you apply paint and then applying a light grey wash for the mortar between the bricks. An essential step is putting a shadow under each block. I used a shadow on each brick’s bottom and left for the light coming from the upper right of the picture. I used blue for the shadow color. You can add details with a dry brush and smaller features with a small round brush.

Remember to keep old worn out brushes for bare brush effects; they create surprising results. Try twirling, scumbling, and altering the pressure on the paper with an old brush.

Metal Watering Can

The next texture is a metal watering can. The texture can be created with salt. While the paint is still wet, mix some table salt to the area that you want to texture. Spray a small amount of salt onto the wet paint and wait for the color to dry. As the paint dries, the salt senses the color around each grain, and it can create some great texture. Please don’t use a blow dryer, let it air dry, you don’t want to pipe all the salt away! Once the color is dry, remove all the salt off and proceed painting the bucket. You can coat over the texture area with more color and add shadows and detail.


Spatter is another recommended method for watercolour painting. I often use an old brush and run a blade across the bristles, so the paint splatters onto the paper. It is a great idea to mask areas that you do not want the texture because the colour can spatter far away. As always, prepare on scrap paper first to get the desired result. Try this method on dry and moist paper for a hard and soft texture.

Smudging Paint

Smudging paint with your finger works for designing textures on grasses and trees. Blades of grass can be rubbed out of color with your fingernail or the angled point of some paintbrushes. I like to use rough paper when I want texture. Try different papers, and you will get exciting results.

Practice these methods on your next water color, and your painting will be more exciting and compelling. Consider new ways of art, and your work will grow, and you will evolve as an artist.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.