I’m pretty old-school, so I hadn’t really paid any attention to metallic, pearlescent or luminescent paints that crept up under my radar.
The fact is, there’s been a quiet explosion of these shimmering hues, and so I figured it’s about time to shed a little light on them.
Using gold leaf to add highlights has been used for over a thousand years. Unlike the painstaking and technical methods used by scribes to decorate illuminated manuscripts, today’s artist can add luster and shine to their paintings by simply wetting a brush and dipping it into beautiful metallic and pearlescent watercolor pigments!
Metallic Watercolor Paint
If you’re looking for lustrous metallics to highlight your next masterpiece, there are loads of these gleaming watercolors in a wide range of prices and colors.
To get quality products that are lightfast and have good coverage, you’ll probably spend as much on a metallic color as any other professional quality paint. Translation – they ain’t cheap! However, just like most other pigments, you’re not using a lot of it on a piece, so that little container is going to last a long time.
Conversely, if you merely want to play around with new colors, you’ll find a lot of paints that are student grade or crafter quality. The paints probably aren’t as lightfast, may not have as much sheen or be as convincing a hue as the professional grade, but they’re fun to try out. You can see if metallic paints are something you want to add to your taboret without investing a lot.
You can find both full sets of metallic colors, as well as individual hues in pots, tubes and pans. You’ll find silver, gold, copper and bronze. Different manufacturers produce a wide array of hues. Every company has a different idea and formulation, so you’ll see a number of gold and silver hues; you’re sure to find tones that suit your taste.
Metallic inks can also be used for watercolors. There are several manufacturers producing metallic hued inks. Although they are formulated for calligraphy or stamping, you can use them with your watercolor projects.
Inks are water-based, so they can be thinned if they’re too thick. However they tend to be opaque, so you may need to do some practicing to get the effect you’re after.
Pearlescent Watercolor Paint
If extra shimmer and shine whet your artistic taste buds, you’ll also find loads of iridescent colors and pearlized hues. Pretty much every color of the rainbow is now available in a pearlized version so you can add a bit of subtle drama to any painting.
Manufacturers of both professional and student or crafter grades of paint are adding shimmery versions to their rosters. Not only will you find individual containers of colors, but a number of producers have pre-packaged sets of colors.