Experimenting with a Terrific Trio: W&N Masking Fluid, Texture Medium and Granulation Medium

I love learning. Not so much those standard type of subjects like math or history, but when it comes to art techniques, I don’t think I could ever get bored. I think the exciting thing about art is that the learning never stops – and as long as you are willing to experiment, and sometimes step out of your comfort zone, the possibilities are endless.  

Sketch before

Watercolour is one of those challenging mediums that can be as frustrating as it is fun, as you try new tips and techniques along the way. Once you start feeling more comfortable with the basics of watercolour and start to build a better understanding of how they respond and behave, a whole new world is uncovered. 

I have to say, I love the effect that is created with a granulating watercolour paint. It is something that will be suitable for some areas or paintings – of course not all. I have also tried all sorts of ways to create interesting textures in areas using things like sponges, salt, crumpled paper or anything else I may have come across. 

I was quite excited to learn that some watercolour mediums can be used to enhance and create effects, so I grabbed the opportunity to try them out. Winsor and Newton have a few different watercolour mediums – I chose the Texture Medium and the Granulation Medium. These two teamed up with the Art Masking fluid, and I had my trio to experiment with. The subject matter I chose was a hippy type girl with a funky afro hairstyle – I wanted to play with the textures in the afro to see what could be achieved. 

W&N Masking fluid
Sketch with masking fluid

Art Masking Fluid

Step number one was of course to protect my whites. I used the W&N Art Masking Fluid and carefully filled in the areas I wanted to retain the white. 

This was one of the first times I had used the Winsor and Newton brand of masking fluid and I have to say I loved it – so much so that it has become my chosen brand. It seems to be more liquid than some of the other brands and goes on effortlessly without making ugly, blobby bits. 

Side Note: If you want a few tips and tricks on using masking fluid click on this link and have a read at the post I did a while back. https://new.staging.artsavingsclub.co.za/masking-fluid-friend-or-foe/

I then painted a few layers of colour using Gold Ochre and English Red to create my base colour layers. 

Texture Medium

W&N Texture Medium
Sketch with texture medium

Here is where the real experimenting began. I started by testing the Texture Medium out on a few scrap pieces of paper, to understand a bit more about what effects it created, before applying it to my actual artwork. Texture Medium is a liquid that contains small particles and acts almost like a modelling paste which remains on the paper once dry. 

Texture Medium can be used in various ways – it can be applied before painting or it can be mixed with the paint. I preferred the effect created by applying it and allowing it to dry before applying paint, so that’s what I went with, in this case…  

Granulation Medium

W&N Granulation Medium
Sketch with granulation medium

Granulation is a slightly mottled type of effect as opposed to a smooth colour wash. Various pigments and paints granulate quite substantially and some hardly granulate at all. Granulation Medium can be used either to create granulation with paints that don’t granulate or increase the effect of an already granulating paint. Instead of diluting your paint with water, you use the granulation medium and paint as per usual. I used neutral tint combined with the granulation medium to add in my darks on this artwork. At first, you are not sure if it is effective or not but as the paint dries the effect becomes more visible.

W&N Granulation Medium closeup
Close up

I loved the effects I got from using these mediums for this artwork and here you can see a close-up view. The result that was achieved on the afro was even better than I had imagined. The combination of the Granulation and Texture Mediums worked perfectly, as the granulation effect was further enhanced by the Texture Medium. There is certainly nothing mediocre about these mediums. This trio of products has cemented their place in my watercolour arsenal. 

Here is the final completed artwork created using the terrific trio of W&N Masking Fluid, Texture Medium and Granulation Medium. 

W&N Mediums final
Final artwork

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