To illustrate the northern lights for my book Aurora, A Tale of the Northern Lights I tried chalk pastel on deep blue paper. I was trying to mimic the dark blue night sky and the soft blended motions of the northern lights.
The dark paper would not reproduce well in a printed book, so the publisher asked me to go back to “the drawing board.” I experimented with salt painting. You can try both of these techniques!
- With a clean brush, paint your paper with water
- Mix enough water into your paints to make strong color but not too watery
- Paint an area of the paper.
- If you have big puddles, dip a corner of a paper towel into puddle to take out some of the excess
- Before the paint is dry but still shiny wet, sprinkle small amounts of salt over the wet area (not too much salt or it will clump together)
- Let the paint and salt dry completely
- Shake or brush the salt off to see the magical crystal shapes left behind
- For northern lights, I painted the stripes of light colors first; pink, light blue and light green. When it was dry, I shook the salt away and painted the dark blue background and sprinkled more salt.