How to Create a Metallic Version of Any Watercolour Paint

Did you know there is actually a way that you can turn any one of your current watercolour paints into a sparkly metallic version quite easily?

It’s done by adding a medium.

No, not the kind who will put you in touch with the other side, but a little bottle of something special that you just use like water.

If you are a watercolour painter, one of the things that might have attracted you to watercolour in the first place is that it doesn’t require any medium except water to activate it. 

But in truth a medium is a product you add to your paint to alter its properties. Acrylic and oil painters are quite familiar with this idea, adding poppy seed oil, turpentine and other chemicals to change the speed of drying, viscosity etc. of their oil or acrylic paints. And the same things do exist for watercolour painters, although many of us don’t use them, and indeed it is not essential.

However, one medium that you might want to consider, and which will save you a ton of money, is Winsor and Newton Irridescent Medium.

All you do is add a little of this magic dust to your chosen colour, and Bingo! it’s transformed into a sparkly colour!

You can either add a little to the paint as you are applying it initially, OR you can brush it on top of your colour once it’s in place and dry on your paper.

This is like a little bottle of fairy dust. Add it to some yellow ochre paint and you have a lovely gold metallic. Dot it over the crest of the waves in your finished seascape and you have the glint of summery sunlight catching the sea foam.

So to sum up, when it comes to buying metallic watercolours… you just need one bottle of medium.

Need it – you do not… 

Want it – you probably will!


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