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How To Use Metallic Accents

How To Use Metallic Accents – Want to take your acrylic paintings to the next level? Add a pop of metallic shine to make your paintings and canvas art stand out. In this post, I will share my top tips for using metallic gold accents to make your acrylic paintings stand out from the crowd.

I have been incorporating gilding techniques into my artwork for the past decade. Not only did the extra level of shine make my design-loving heart happy, but it’s also great for my art career! Metallic accents have become a signature of my brand. Many of my original paintings with gilded accents have been turned into shiny products and sold at stores like Target, Kirkland and Pottery Barn Kids.

How To Use Metallic Accents

How To Use Metallic Accents

Well, let’s dive into some examples of how you can incorporate gold into your own artwork. I will also share my favorite gilding techniques and supplies to use.

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(This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase any of the supplies listed, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you!)

Maybe you know you want to add gold to your acrylic painting, but aren’t sure where to start. I’ve got you covered, love. Here are some ideas of ways to use metallic accents in your pictures.

Have you already finished a painting and thought it needed a little “extra”? Try adding some small gold accents to complete the painting! I often add gold leaf, dots and lines to complete my abstract paintings. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make!

If there is a part of your piece that you want to emphasize, using gold can easily help draw the viewer’s eye to that area. In this example, I painted a radiant sun and used gold leaf to accent the sun itself. I also used gold leaf on some of the beams to give the piece a sense of movement and excitement.

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Because of the way metallics catch light differently at different angles, using gold can be a great way to show depth and texture in your artwork. I like to add gold to textured areas in my paintings so that the light reflects and you can clearly see the beautiful textured areas.

One of my greatest passions as an artist is to evoke a sense of empowerment through my work. I like to make bold statements with my art and encourage my collectors and students to do the same in their lives. Bold, colorful artwork encourages the viewer to be bold in their own way, and I think we could all use a little extra bold boost! I use gold to make bold statements in my artwork by using it over large parts of my paintings. It’s hard not to be happy when you see so much dazzling glory!

Are you ready to add some metallic accents to your own artwork? Here are some of my favorite gilding techniques to add shimmer and shine to any piece!

How To Use Metallic Accents

One of my favorite ways to add metallic shine to your images is through gold leaf! Also known as composition leaf or metal leaf, you can find this art offer at a wide range of price points. If you are just starting to learn how to use gold leaf, I recommend starting with the Speedball brand Mona Lisa composition metal sheet. You can find this at your local art store or online here!

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Gold Leaf is what I use in the majority of my original paintings, and I recommend giving it a try. It can be a bit difficult to work with when you’re just starting out, so I’ve put together a whole class that will walk you through the process step by step. In my Skillshare class, Mesmerizing Metallics, you’ll learn to work with gold leaf through three fun hands-on projects.

And if you’re new to Skillshare, you can try the class for free with a one-month free trial—my gift to you!

Another way to add gold to your paintings is with gilded wax. This is basically like a super thick gold paint that you can brush onto your images for an intense shine. But be careful, it is quite flammable! This is my favorite gilding wax to use for acrylic painting.

Gold acrylic paint is also an option for adding gold to your pieces. This is a great place to start, but I find that it doesn’t give me as much shine as gold leaf or gilded wax. Although it all comes down to personal preference! Try a gold acrylic paint like this one and see how you like it!

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Last but not least, gold colored pens! I like to use paint pens to add metallic accents to my final piece. They are perfect for small marks like dots and lines as the pen gives you great control. I love Posca pens and DecoColor pens!

I hope this post has inspired you to get out there and create some shiny works of art of your own! If you want additional guidelines on how to incorporate gold into your artwork, join me in my class, Mesmerizing Metallics, where you’ll learn how to work with gold leaf in three metallic masterpieces! All that glitters may not be gold, but it may be metallic! This time we will take a closer look at the shiny side of watercolor paint, and talk about its use.

To be honest, no one really “needs” metallic paint for their painting. It’s definitely one of those extra purchases you reserve for special use! But there is definitely a time and place to add some sparkle to your image, so let’s explore a little.

How To Use Metallic Accents

First, a good tool to combine with metallic colors is black watercolor paper. Even if it is plain black paper, metallic paint shows better on black, and can vary from different shades of gold and silver (the most common) to other shiny colors where silver paint is mixed with other colors.

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Next, I would suggest using a synthetic brush with your metallic paints, as these paints actually contain tiny particles of aluminum, mica, or pearls to create that shiny effect.

These particles can get stuck in or damage natural brushes, so it’s better to use a cheaper synthetic brush! Having a spray bottle full of water is also a good idea, as the metallic particles make it harder for the paint to pick up unless you wet it before use.

Finally, make sure you add metallic colors at the end because you don’t want to cover up the shine!

Bonus tip: I know some metallic paint enthusiasts make their own metallic paints with mica powder pigment, which is a powder you can mix with a binder (like gum arabic) or watercolor paint. This way you can control how much shine you want!

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Although tempting to do, especially on black paper, there is such a thing as “too much metallic paint”! In general, I prefer to use metallic paints more sparingly, as the shine can overpower the overall painting.

I would recommend using just enough to catch the eye in the highlights or focal point of your image, just for that little sparkle. In the image above, I used my opaque watercolor paint as a base (left) before adding the metallic paint on top (right).

Metallic paint is also great for painting shiny things at night, like glowing magic or eyes that follow you everywhere. In the end, it’s really up to you how much sparkle you want in your image – you can even try to create an entire image using only metallic colors!

How To Use Metallic Accents

But again, I would suggest a balance, because too much metallic can make your image a bit too flashy (pun intended).

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As you can see in the pictures above, metallic paint doesn’t show up as clearly on white paper as it does on black, especially colors like silver or pearl white. To compensate for this, you can contrast it by adding the metallic accents to the darker areas of your paint.

Either way, as long as you catch the metallic paint in the right light, it will pop off the paper and shine for all to see. But it’s up to you how clear you want the shiny parts to be, so remember to look back at the overall painting and get a good feel for what the painting needs. And sometimes that means you don’t need metallic accents at all!

Ultimately, I think there is always a time and place for shiny things. Plus, one really unique thing about metallic paint is that it can’t be digitally replicated unless you create a 3D rendering where the light reflects off the surface like the metallic paint does on an image. It’s also difficult to capture its full effect with a camera, which means that any painting with metallic paint often looks better with the naked eye.

A little goes a long way for watercolors, and even more so for metallics! But if you use them sparingly or not, try them – it will surely bring a fresh one

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