Introducing luminescent pigments to your watercolor palette brings more to your painting than shimmer and shine. What many artists have discovered is that while these pigments do possess refl ective qualities, they also add dimension, brightness, tone and texture to your paintings when mixed with standard watercolors.
Changing Hue with Iridescent Watercolor
Each of the luminescent pigments shines with reflected light, adding instant brightness to mixtures. When mixing with iridescent pigments it is important to account for this added light as well as the hue of your mixing color.
For example, a mixture of gold or ochre and red in standard watercolor results in orange. When Iridescent Gold is mixed with Quinacridone Red the result is a shimmering coral shade.
Two transformations are at play in this mixture—the red is warmed by the gold creating red-orange and, at the same time, we’re seeing reflected gold light that brightens the entire mixture.
Color Shifting Mixtures with Duochrome Pigments
Mixing with Duochrome pigments is equally challenging and rewarding. These mysterious pigments shift hue as you view them from different angels.
For example, Duochrome Oceanic is a vibrant blue-green from one angle and a reflective gold from the other. Mixed with a standard pigment, like Cerulean Blue, it produces an entirely new blue hue. When you tilt your paper, the gold color shift is still visible but only about half as intense. Imagine painting sunlit ocean waves with this color combo.
The Iridescent & Douchrome Southwaest Set includes 7 - 15ml tubes of:
- Duochrome Adobe - Shifts between saturated copper and a brilliant red metallic.
- Duochrome Saguaro Green - Shifts between rich copper and brilliant metallic green-gold.
- Duochrome Desert Bronze - Shifts between an earthy terra cotta and a brilliant metallic jade.
- Duochrome Cactus Flower - Shifts between an earthy sienna and a sparkling metallic violet.
- Iridescent Moonstone - A silvery-gray on white, but when applied over black becomes a glowing silver-white - like the reflection of the moon on a night-darkened sea.
- Iridescent Sapphire - A subtle, silvery blue-gray on white, pops and sparkles when applied over black paper or dark colors. It has a cool elegance and mixes beautifully with other colors.
- Iridescent Ruby - A sweet and soft metallic pink—try this color on bird's wings or flower petals for subtle shine.
See our tutorial, "The Magic of Daniel Smith Interference Watercolors", for great ways to add shimmer, sparkle, and luster to your next painting.