The challenge for this painting was to get the texture of the old paint on the door but not on the cats' shadow. Taking the advise from a friend in the painting group, I used Windsor Newton's texture medium directly on the paper, letting it dry before I began to paint. With the thicker coated surface the watercolor seemed to float as I brushed it on which made it seem to have a grain effect. The surface didn't have the crackling effect I was after but did help it stand out from the rest of the paper. I am not sure it is as evident in this image as it is in the original (as with most photos, I think the original always looks better in person). The way I apply the watercolor with so many colors next to each other, I think it almost has the same look without the texture medium.
Me and my shadow, watercolor 15 x 22 on Arches 140# paper.