Creating a watercolor background using salt | Tutorial

Creating a watercolor background using salt. Art technique that will help you make fun and interesting backgrounds.

Today I want to share one of my favorite techniques to create a simple, but more interesting looking background with watercolor paints. Since drawing abstractions and galaxy inspired paintings are one of my favorite things to do - this tutorial is going to be kinda like that - splashing paints around with no regrets!


You will need:

  • Watercolor paints (This time I used simple ones from the supermarket. It is possible to create stunning things with these too!)
  • Brushes
  • Watercolor paper + paper towel (to keep things clean)
  • A cup for water
  • Salt


Wet your brush and start painting! Don't be afraid to work slow, if you see that paints are drying up just add more water. Then take a pinch of salt and apply it on the parts of the paper that are wet.

Tutorial on making a background with salt

I've chosen the colors that are my favorite, because I'm planning to use this paper later for galaxy drawing. You can make the whole paper as a background for some kind of artwork or use it for other projects, for example making:

  • gift cards
  • bookmarks
  • paper crafts
  • backgrounds for journaling & collage projects

and so on...


I kept going and adding salt, this drawing process was so relaxing and interesting. The hardest part was to wait until the paint was dry and I could remove the salt!

Tutorial on making a background with salt

Splashing paints at the end was the most exciting part and also the most messy one!

Tutorial on making a background with salt


Once the paint is dry remove the salt from the painting using paper towel. Gently rub it on the paper and wipe of any salt that is on it. The relief of the paper might be still a little rough after this, but everything is good with that! Having some texture is kinda interesting and funny.

Tutorial on making a background with salt

After removing the salt you will be left with this amazing background and lots of options for using it! 

If you struggle to find inspiration you can take a look at my Art Inspiration board on pinterest where I've pinned a lot of interesting projects to try in the future!

Let me know what you think about this little tutorial and maybe there are some more techniques you would like to see related to watercolors?

I also would love to see your projects!