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I recently learned of Etegami, a Japanese folk art. It's a simple hand-painted drawing accompanied by a few words. It's usually done on postcards and they are meant to be sent to someone. What I love about this style of art is that is not meant to be perfect. The paint can go out of the lines or not cover everything and that is the desired look. I taught this technique to a few middle school classes and the kids loved the project. It's so easy and fun. The kids really enjoyed making their creations.
Total Time: Not very long to make a picture. But, we made lots!
Yield: to make!
Source: Japanese folk art
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I am an artist. I need to know how salt causes the paint pigments to separate and cause a starburst effect?
Reen from Cherokee, NC
I taught my art students to sprinkle salt on still wet water color painting to make a cool texture. None of us cared how it worked. It was fun, and safe even for kindergarten.
The salt absorbs the paint around its immediate area.
The star burst effect of using salt results in the moisture being soaked up by the salt. I have used this effect on silk painting and water colour. If you use rock salt you get one effect, if you use normal table salt you get a finer effect you can also use epsom salts to create another type of effect. I hope that helps.
I thank you for the responses. I am fully aware that this works - I have done it for many years - what I am looking for is the scientific explanation.
You can check out simple explanation here
Salt will mix into water. The fine particles spread evenly throughout the water. As the water evaporates, the mixture dries and becomes solid again. Salt forms into crystals as it dries. The crystals are shaped like cubes with flat sides that reflect light causing the sparkle.
Watercolor is pigment and optional binders suspended in water. The water is what moves the pigment around. When you sprinkle granules of salt onto the paper, it does two things: first the granule absorbs the water it touches, along with the pigment that is suspended in the water, which causes the light specks on the paper. Second, as it absorbs water, it pulls more water toward it from the rest of the page, along with pigment, which causes those rings or bubbles of color around the pale speck where the salt granule was touching the paper.
With lower grade paper, (lower weight per sheet), soaking (yes, sloppy wet soaking)of the paper works best. Soak the paper for a few minutes submerged in water, lay it out over a wooden board and stapled the paper every few inches around the sides, starting from the center edge of each page, then the corners, then in between those staples. Let the paper dry and wha-la! 'Stretched paper' that won't buckle on you and pool your paint where you don't want it. Practice makes perfect--let me know if this is helpful to you. :)
Use masking tape to create a "frame" around all four edges of your paper, taping it to your table, drawing board, or whatever you are painting on. If you are not using good watercolor paper (very expensive) just try using a little less water when you paint. Leave the painting taped down until it is dry.