Here are some ideas to add sparkle to artwork.
1. Metallic Watercolors
Did you know that there actually are metallic and shimmer watercolor paints? They are fun to use and can add interest to paintings. We have used the brand Finetec/Coliro, with the color Arabic Gold being Rita’s favorite. These paints come in pans in a rainbow of colors and can be purchased individually if you don’t want to invest in an entire set. In the photos on the left, you can see an individual paint, along with a collection that Rita uses of various colors that we have purchased individually to make our palette on the lid of a yogurt container.
Metallic watercolor paint can be challenging on your brushes if you use natural hair brushes—so you may want to reserve a synthetic brush with metallic paints. Usually, Rita applies the metallic after the painting has dried. She often splatters the metallic paint using a very wet brush. Sometimes, she paints the metallic paint with regular brush strokes. Depending on which colors you purchase, you can experiment to see how they best show up—some show better on a dark background rather than a light one.
Be sure to spray your paint cakes with water to activate them before painting. Also, be careful after using these paints to thoroughly clean out your water jars so as not to transfer sparkle onto your regular colors.
Many other brands also have metallic and shimmer paints. Some come in tubes rather than pans. We have yet to try many different brands, but experimentation can be interesting.
2. Metallic Paint Markers
Another way to add sparkle to paintings is to use metallic paint markers such as Posca brand markers. In addition, Sakura Pen-touch is a product line of metallic markers. Markers offer more control and precision than paint and can create exciting effects. I have to remind Rita not to press down hard on the markers as you can release excessive paint that way, or you risk disturbing the underlying layer of watercolor by being too vigorous with markers, resulting in muddy colors. The painting must be dry before you attempt to use markers on it.
3. Metallic Acrylic Paint
A third way to add some sparkle is to use acrylic metallic paint, thus creating a mixed media artwork. These paints can easily be found in craft stores or dollar stores. Be sure to allow the watercolor to fully dry before using acrylic paint over it.
4. Enjoy Some Examples
The crown painting used Posca markers to create the metallic decorations. The bouquet below, used splatter of Finetec/Coliro gold watercolor paint along with some painted on gold watercolor on the vase.