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A misty mountain landscape by Sophia Trinh.

Saltwater Painting with Sophia Trinh

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Art Toolkit Staff

Inspiration | May 31, 2022

We are thrilled to announce that Sophia Trinh is joining our team of Ambassadors!⁠

Sophia Trinh holds a mountain watercolor painting.
Sophia holding mountain watercolor painting

Sophia is a Vietnamese American watercolor artist from Seattle, Washington. At the age of four, while attending Seattle Waldorf School, she started painting as one coping mechanism to deal with eczema.⁠⁠⁠

Sophia’s work is inspired by nature and synthesizes imagination, anatomy, and geometry. Many of her paintings use white space to draw the viewer’s focus toward the image.⁠⁠

A geometric painting by Sophia Trinh.
Geometric painting by Sophia

In the following video, Sophia shows us two ways she uses salt in her watercolor paintings.


As a salt solution: Add two teaspoons of salt to a 2 oz dropper bottle, then fill with warm water. You can experiment with the concentration of salt to water ratio; however, the more salt you add, the more likely crystals will form on the paper. Sophia recommends completely dissolving the salt before you use your solution. You can do this by shaking the dropper until the crystals are no longer visible. Once your solution is ready, use the dropper from the bottle to gently add drops onto your painting. To achieve a salt bloom effect, ensure that your painted surface is still wet before adding droplets of the salty solution.

As salt crystals: After wetting the page, dash a few salt crystals onto your piece to see the effect. Ensure that your work is still damp, or the magic won’t happen.

Thank you, Sophia, for sharing these techniques with us all; we’re so glad you’ve joined us!

See more of Sophia’s gorgeous work on her website and Instagram.