What do I need to bear in mind when painting a porous object that’s wet?
Eric Hands, Germany
Textiles and other porous materials tend to look more obviously different when they become wet compared to hard surfaces, whereas waterproof surfaces may either become dotted with water droplets. Fabrics and other absorbent surfaces often show their wetness by a change in tone. A lot of fabrics tend to look darker where they have been made wet, but like every rule there will be exceptions. Let’s take biscuits as an example (always a pleasure, especially if you’re a self-confessed dunker like me when you have a cup of coffee in the other hand). Ginger nuts are a great example. If you dip an edge into the drink long enough, you should see a darkening in tone (but don’t leave it too long or you lose portions into the drink). It may also glint where the light catches it if very wet.
When it comes to fabrics, the best advice I can give is to is always to look at real material to see what happens. That’s not an invitation to throw water over people without asking, of course! Thick fabrics become very heavy when soaked and their form shows that. Patterned fabrics may display different levels of reaction to the liquid dependent on an area’s particular qualities. This fabric may become translucent (partially see-through). The effects aren’t always glaringly obvious, so try not to overdo it.