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7 Tools to Make Your Art Shine With Metallics

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Posted by Aubrey Santana
Having traveled to practically every corner of the world, I draw inspiration for my art from the people, foods, and traditions of many different cultures.
7 Tools to Make Your Art Shine With Metallics

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Dazzle & Delight with Metallics

If you’ve been looking for a way to create more glittering art, then metallic paints, pens, and markers are the way to go. Now, you can get just about any art medium in metallic colors. To help you get started, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Arteza products that are sure to dazzle and delight you whether you use them at home, in the classroom, the studio, or the office. 

Learn More About Metallic Colors

By adding powdered metal to formulas for paints and inks, the gleaming appearance of metal is achieved. Metallic media can be used and cleaned just like their traditional counterparts, it’s just that when the light hits those areas painted with them, they are more reflective and radiant. This can create realistic renderings of actual metal surfaces as well as add mystical qualities to non-realistic or abstract subjects. As you include metallic media to your drawing, lettering, or writing tools, you’ll grow more and more accustomed to how they react to different surfaces. 

Metallic Fabric Paint

For me, making art doesn’t stop at painting on canvas or paper; it goes on my clothes, too! One of my favorite pastimes is creating designs on my jeans and t-shirts, then painting them with fabric paint. When I found out that fabric paint also comes in metallics, I was quick to get a set. Now I can bedazzle my own clothes and those of others by adding pops of sheen to jeans, shirts, tote bags, or sneakers. Best of all, they’re fast-drying and permanent. After I complete my design, I use an iron to heat set it and then it’s able to be thrown in the washer and dryer and won’t peel off, crack, or fade away. 

With this set of 14 fabric paints, I get so many shades to use alone or to mix together for custom colors. Since they can be used on synthetic and natural fabrics—denim, cotton, linen, canvas, and wood—they’re also great for all sorts of home decor items that I can add a special shining touch to like throw pillows, curtains, and quilts. 

Metallic Acrylic Paint

When I discovered metallic paint, it literally changed the way I thought about my art. There is so much you can do with it. I love to use these shimmering acrylic paints to add gleaming highlights to my portraits or for giving an extra glow to landscape paintings. They are also pretty cool when added to a pouring medium for fluid art projects. Simply pour onto a canvas, tilt and turn it and you’ll get some pretty interesting designs. Since acrylic paints have a high viscosity and rich consistency, I can build texture with a palette knife or add the small details and finishing touches to a piece. I’ve used them on a variety of surfaces including canvas, wood, rocks, glass, and ceramics. Best part—once I’m finished, clean up is easy with just soap and water. 

If you’ve never used acrylic metallic paint before, I recommend starting with this set of 36 so you’ll have more than enough colors to play with. They come in squeezable tubes in classic tones like gold, copper, bronze, and silver, plus unique shades like pearl royal purple and pearl electric blue. You can use them alone or mix them together to create your own custom shades. 

The only thing better than having a lot of different colors is having them in large-sized tubes! I don’t know about you, but once I find a new art tool or medium, I go full-on with it, so having bigger tubes of paint means I don’t run out of paint as fast. That’s why I like the Arteza set of eight 120 ml tubes. The shades in this set are stunning with two shades of gold along with silver, bronze, deep brown, pearl space gray, pearl marmalade, and pearl white. I use these to add luster to everything from my favorite craft projects to upcycled home decor items, as well as creating one-of-a-kind artwork. It’s easy to squeeze out the right amount of paint and another nice touch is that they are labeled with the color name/number, pigment information, transparency level, and lightfastness rating, so I know just what to expect from each one. 

Metallic Chalk Markers

I have veered away from using regular chalk in favor of chalk markers, as they don’t have the messy dust of chalk and they last a lot longer. You can guess how excited I was to get these metallic chalk markers. I have so much fun practicing fanciful hand-lettering on my chalkboard with these. The letters really stand out and I think they would be great for a restaurant’s menu board or for making stand-out signs.

A bonus with this set is that it comes with 8 replaceable chisel tips, 50 labels, 2 sticky stencils, and tweezers to get perfect results with every design.

Metallic Watercolors

I never would have thought that a medium such as watercolor could come in metallics, but they do! These metal-infused paints offer a boost of radiance, unlike regular watercolor paint. By adding a drop of water, they come alive with shine and I can make really brilliant washes and glazes or cover large areas for a glitzy look. The beauty of watercolors is that once the paint is dry it can still be reactivated and I can continue to achieve brilliant results. 

I particularly like this set because it comes in a strong metal tin and includes a refillable water brush, making it easy and less messy to take with me to paint anywhere! It also comes with black and white swatch sheets, so I can test out the colors before adding them to my work. I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me from making a disastrous mistake! 

Metallic Glass Markers

I know you’ve probably seen or used regular glass markers to personalize wine glasses or other DIY projects. But, these are no ordinary markers. Glass markers with metal in them can take those projects to new heights, not to mention adding zing to my message boards at home. I use them all the time for all sorts of things including decorating glasses and mugs, writing or drawing on windows, or livening up storage bins and jars that are sure to get my attention so I’ll always put things back where they belong.  

I prefer to use the Arteza metallic glass markers because these markers are low-odor and certified safe to use by all ages. 

Metallic Gouache

Gouache gives me the opacity of acrylics with the versatility of watercolors, making them one of my most favorite mediums that I use in my painting and mixed-media work. That’s why I was delighted to find gouache metallic paint. They give everything a reflective quality and because they are so versatile, I can get a glimmering opaque paint and then turn around in the same piece and have the transparency of watercolor with a touch of sparkle. 

I recommend using this set of metallic gouache paint on high-quality watercolor paper to get the best results. Experiment with these in your art journals, illustrations, or mixed media designs and watch your pieces really sparkle!

Metallic Gel Pens

Gel pens offer smooth lines without blotching or spotting like regular ballpoint pens. And when metallic ink is added, I can really turn up the notch on everything I write and draw. These gel pens have become my go-to writing instrument for entries in my bullet journal, making grocery lists, and writing letters and cards to friends. They also add some sheen to my quick coffee-house sketches. This set comes in so many vibrant colors, with shades that encompass the entire spectrum.  

One of the great things about these gel pens is that they are quick-drying, so they don’t smudge or smear.  I really enjoy using them because they have a comfortable ergonomic grip with a grooved barrel that doesn’t slip, so my mark making is more controllable. 

Now that you’ve seen all the tools you can use to give your arts and crafts extra luster, I know you won’t be able to resist trying them out. I encourage you to use these mediums and try some techniques you’ve never tried or use materials you’ve never used. You might be surprised to find yourself falling in love with a new medium or style, or in re-energizing the way you’ve created in the past. So have fun and really let yourself shine by adding metallics!

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