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Explore the Versatility of Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors

Artist Jean Grastorf Explores the Versatility of Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors

While many artists use our powdered metallic watercolors opaquely to add small accents to their work, these paints have limitless possibilities. Here are just a few:

In the Spring of 1998, Florida artist Jean Grastorf painted a sequence of studies showing ways she uses our metallic watercolors.

completed artwork

This finished painting of koi in a pond shows how Jean sprinkles Richgold and Palegold powder into washes of watercolors or diluted acrylic ink, or applies it directly with a brush, then uses spattering, plastic wrap and bubble wrap to add texture. Grastorf also pours metallic watercolors into wet paint, creating veins in the base color, or adds coarse salt for a crystalline appearance. She notes that the metallics act as a resist when more color is layered over them.

metallic watercolors

Our Metallic Watercolors mixed with acrylic medium are more reflective and give a more truly metallic-looking appearance than prepared "metallic" acrylic paints which use mica pigments.

This acrylic painting uses Silver metallic watercolor mixed with Daniel Smith Acrylic Gloss Medium to give the Airstream trailer an authentic shine.

1 We sprinkled the powder into the medium and mixed it thoroughly, adding some distilled water to thin the paint.

2 We brushed this onto the trailer, leaving the door, window and beach ball shapes uncovered. Again, a soft brush was used to smooth out the bubbles and graininess.

3 Once the silver paint was dry, the reflections of sea and sky were overpainted with thinned acrylics.

metallic paints

Used opaquely, Daniel Smith Metallic Watercolors give a true metallic shine. We painted Richgold on a piece of dry Lanaquarelle Cold Press Watercolor Paper.

1 We mixed the powdered paint with distilled water to make a paint the consistency of cream, then brushed it evenly over the entire paper. The metallics may appear slightly granular when brushed on.

2 Brushing over the surface again with a soft dry brush will pop any air bubbles and dissolve the granules, yielding a smooth surface.

3 We let the Richgold dry thoroughly, then applied Patina Green to the bowl shape. Since the metallic powders are made of finely ground metal -- primarily brass and copper -- Patina Green causes them to oxidize quickly. (The Silver and German Silver, made with aluminum, won't oxidize this way.)

4 We painted the oranges with Winsor & Newton Designer's Gouache thinned with water. This gave them some opacity, yet allowed the shine of the paper to come through to add dimension.

Materials List

Powdered Metallic Colors