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Close-up view of granulation effect in watercolor pigments: Letter Sparrow’s Kelly Green, Sunflower, Italian Orange, and Violet Ochre.

Exploring Watercolor Granulation

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Art Toolkit Team

Technique | November 03, 2022

Recently, we’ve been experimenting with the properties of paints, and this week we are focusing on granulation with the very special Grow Untamed Palette and a selection of Daniel Smith watercolors!

The Grow Untamed Palette, open, shown next to tubes of Daniel Smith watercolors, and two granulating paint swatches.

Granulation is the effect of pigment particles settling together on the paper. Handmade watercolors, natural earth pigments, and ultramarines tend to granulate the most. Embrace the unpredictability of watercolor and leave yourself open to surprises: the resulting textures can be lovely!

Close-up view of granulation effect in watercolor pigments: Letter Sparrow’s Kelly Green, Sunflower, Italian Orange, and Violet Ochre.
Letter Sparrow’s Kelly Green, Sunflower, Italian Orange, and Violet Ochre

Granulation increases when working on a rougher paper, such as cold press. We especially love using the effect of granulation to create textures in landscape elements, such as mountain rocks or trees.

If you’re looking to explore granulating pigments, The Grow Untamed Palette is an excellent place to start. A selection of Daniel Smith paints are also available through our shop, including granulating superstars: French Ultramarine, Lunar Earth, and Lunar Black. Grab a big brush, like Rosemary & Co’s R19 Pointed Round, and start splashing paint on paper!