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.
Adding Light with Interference and Pearlescent Pigments
Normally painters use the white of their paper in a wash to lighten colors. By mixing a standard pigment with an interference color you’ll lighten your color, add brightness and add an additional reflective hue.
For example, mixing Hooker’s Green (a saturated green color) with Interference Gold transforms the green in three ways. The most distinctive change is a lighter value of green. Additional brightness is a result of the reflected light coming from the mixture.
Finally, Interference Gold changes the overall hue in this mixture, adding gold tones and shifting the color to a slightly warmer green shade. The effect is subtle but unforgettable.
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.
The Luminescent DELUXE Set includes our three Luminescent Watercolor sets:
The 7-color Interference Set:
- Interference Blue - A transparent and glimmering cool blue.
- Interference Copper - A transparent and sparkling soft copper.
- Interference Green - A glimmering and transparent emerald.
- Interference Gold - A twinkling and transparent warm gold.
- Interference Lilac - Glows with a transparent shine of violet.
- Interference Red - Sparkles with a light red shimmer.
- Interference Silver - Shines with an icy veil of transparent silver.
The 7-color Pearlescent & Iridescent Set:
- Pearlescent Shimmer - Use as a glaze for a snow-like glimmer or mix with other colors to add sparkle and shine.
- Pearlescent White - Use as a slightly opaque glimmering glaze or combine with other colors to create sparkling pastel tones.
- Iridescent Bronze - Highly reflective with a warm bronze sheen.
- Iridescent Copper - The bright and reflective color of a newly minted penny.
- Iridescent Gold - A twinkling and transparent warm gold.
- Iridescent Russet - A highly saturated burnt bronze with remarkable granulating qualities.
- Iridescent Scarab Red - A complex burgundy with a delicate surface sparkle of blue-green pigment.
The 4-color Iridescent Antique Set:
- Iridescent Antique Bronze - Among the darkest luminescent colors with its warm metallic bronze sheen.
- Iridescent Antique Copper - A burnished cinnamon tone with a dark, saturated quality.
- Iridescent Antique Gold - A deep shine without the bright, brassy quality found in some metallic gold watercolors.
- Iridescent Antique Silver - A pewter shade that is deeper in tone than other metallic silver watercolors.
See our tutorial, "The Magic of Daniel Smith Interference Watercolors", for great ways to add shimmer, sparkle, and luster to your next painting.