A gold palette is something that every artist needs. Gold watercolor paints have become quite popular in the past decade, and many artists continue to find new ways to use metallic and gold watercolors in their works.
So, what are the best gold watercolor paints? The best gold watercolor paints are highly pigmented, stay shiny even after drying, and stay true to color. For long lasting and high quality results, choose professional lightfast watercolor paints.
Whether you’re a novice or a more advanced artist, when it comes to buying gold watercolor paints, there are some things you need to know beforehand. Let’s discuss what to look for when you want to buy gold watercolor and what are the best options on the market.
Gold Watercolor Paints – Buyer’s Guide
Watercolor paint is made of two parts: color pigments and a binder that allows it to cling to a surface when dry. Synthetic glycol or natural gum arabic are common binders used in commercial watercolor paints.
The binder itself is water-soluble, but the pigment isn’t. This mechanism allows the watercolor paint to function well when mixed with water, and when the water evaporates, the pigment remains on the page.
If you are looking for a gold or metallic option for your watercolor collection, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider.
Tubes Vs Pans
Watercolor usually comes in a tube of a single color or a pan that houses several colors of varying shades.
Students love buying pans because they come with a whole palette with colors already matching one another. For those who love taking their colors on the go, this makes your colors really easy to pack up and carry around.
Watercolor pans often come with interchangeable color pans, so if a color runs out, you can easily replenish it. When you need to travel with your watercolor, you can also mix and match the pan to create your own color palette to get it ready for the go.
However, keep in mind that the pans don’t actually give you a lot of colors, and so for professional artists who really go through their stash, it may be more efficient to get tubes of watercolor instead.
The pans are quite small, so there’s a higher risk of cross-contamination, especially if you travel with your palette a lot.
In comparison, the tube comes with a single color, but in a larger quantity, so you have the opportunity to mix and match the different colors. You can also buy watercolor sets that come with multiple tubes of colors as well.
Watercolor tubes are only worth it if you use them up very quickly since tubes can get quite expensive, especially if you need to get several tubes to get a full-color range.
However, if you are a professional artist, they are quite a wise investment.
Watercolor paints come in student grade or professional grade quality.
Student-grade paints are designed to be more affordable for students, so as you can imagine, student-grade paints often have less pigment (and sometimes not even real pigment) in the paint. Student grade paints are more prone to fading over time.
In comparison, professional-grade paints are often more expensive, but you really get what you are paying for. Professional grade paints often have a higher concentration of pigment in the paint with better lightfastness, so the paint can resist wear and tear without fading after some time.
The pigment is what decides how the watercolor looks on the page. The higher the pigment concentration, the better the color will show up on your page.
There are several types of pigment: natural inorganic (such as metal or earth pigments), synthetic inorganic (manufactured metal or earth pigments), natural organic (plant-based or animal-based pigments), and synthetic organic (pigments that are carbon-based).
Most paints that you can find in stores today have synthetic pigments.
Gold watercolor is often used on darker backgrounds for a festive pop of color. If this is the effect you are going for, you will need the paint to be a little bit more pigmented, which will help you produce a better result when you paint on a dark background.
However, even student-grade gold watercolor shows up well on paper, thanks to its shimmery metallic finish, so it really depends on your preference how pigmented you want the colors to be.
Now that you know what to look for, let’s look at the best gold watercolor paints that can produce beautiful results.
Lightfastness refers to the ability of a paint to resist light and humidity without fading or shifting color. For artists, this quality is extremely important, as it will preserve the look of the paint after a long time.
You can usually tell the lightfastness of the paint by looking at the ASTM rating on the package, with “Excellent” being the best rating that you can get for good lightfastness.
Watercolor is known for being more transparent than other types of paint, which allows for the background material to shine through the layer of paint.
Depending on how richly packed the pigment is in the paint, you can get a level of transparency when applying the paint. Transparent watercolors can be built up in several layers to become more opaque.
Alternatively, you can also buy very opaque watercolors (or gouache) to get an opaque result. You can also thin opaque paint to dilute it to get the classic transparent watercolor look.
Staining Vs Non-Staining
Some staining pigments penetrate the fibers of the paper, while other non-staining pigments just rest on top of the paper and can be easily scraped off of the paper.
If you are just starting out, the staining and non-staining distinction may not be that important. However, if you want to layer the paint, it is best to use a staining pigment since a non-staining pigment can contaminate the top layer, which can affect how the result will look.
This is especially important if you are buying gold or metallic watercolor to use as a glaze on top of an existing color. You definitely don’t want the colors to bleed together!
Most watercolor brands will tell you whether their formula is staining or non-staining. If you want to test how the colors layer, you can also lay down the first layer, wait for it to dry completely, and go over it with a different color. If the colors can still bleed together, then you probably have a non-staining formula.
Watercolor Vs Gouache
If you want to go for a more opaque result, especially when working with dark backgrounds, we recommend going with a gouache rather than watercolor.
Gouache and watercolor are very similar in their composition: both are water-soluble paints. You can employ the same tools and techniques when working with gouache and watercolor.
The main difference between the two is that gouache can produce very opaque results. When you use watercolor, the colors are almost transparent, and you often have to go over the same area several times to build up the pigment.
Gouache is much denser, so you won’t be able to see the layer underneath the color after applying just a layer of gouache. If this is the result you are looking for, then opting for gouache rather than watercolor would be a wise choice.
Best Gold Watercolor Paints
What are the best gold watercolor paints to use in your artwork? Depending on your budget and your preference, you can find a good professional grade or student-grade paint that has the right pigment concentration for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the best options below.
|1.||Daniel Smith 15ml Watercolor||Highly pigmented, mixable|
|2.||Daniel Smith Watercolor All That Shimmers Set||Pack of 6 shimmer colors, layerable|
|3.||Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache Tube||Cadmium-free, highly pigmented|
|4.||Lukas 1862 Aquarell Watercolor Paint||Streak/crack/fade resistant, lightfast|
|5.||Arteza Metallic Watercolor Paint||Liquid metal finish, high shine, non-toxic|
|6.||Finetec Artist Pearlescent Watercolor||Set of 6 colors, metallic, high-pigment|
|7.||Coliro Artist Mica Watercolor Paint Set||Set of 6 metallic gold shades|
1. Daniel Smith 15ml Watercolor
This watercolor from Daniel Smith is a vivid and intense gold that can build up beautifully on the page.
This professional-grade paint is highly pigmented with mineral pigment and can be mixed and matched with 240+ other colors in the Daniel Smith collection.
These colors blend well with each other and produce excellent, intense colors on their own. This is a non-staining formula, so you will need to be careful when layering the colors, even when the paint is dry because it can still be picked up after drying.
The color has amazing lightfastness thanks to being packed with pigment, so you can use it on a light or dark background, and it will still show up well.
The brand also conforms to ASTM D4236 to let you know whether any harmful material is included in the paint.
This paint is highly beloved by the artist community because of how beautiful the colors are, and it comes in such a beautiful range of colors, so you can find almost any color that you need.
2. Daniel Smith Watercolor All That Shimmers Set
If you love the watercolor formula of Daniel Smith but want a bit more range, then this set of six luminescent colors will definitely get the job done.
Brought to you by award-winning artist Jean Haines, these six watercolors have a special reflective quality and a luminescent shimmer that can add an extra dimension to every painting.
This set comes with six 5ml tubes, each with different shimmery colors. You can use the colors on their own or use them as a glaze over another layer of watercolor to add a shimmer to any shade.
This is a truly versatile formula that you can explore and experiment with. This collection is perfect for artists who already love working with watercolor or those looking to discover a new way to use the medium.
3. Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache Tube
Winsor & Newton have been providing artists with high-quality, reliable watercolors for generations, and the introduction of this cadmium-free color range is a new and exciting addition to their impressive portfolio.
This Winsor & Newton Designers’ Gouache Paint is an opaque watercolor that has exceptional levels of pigmentation in the formulation that can produce lovely matte results with just a few brush strokes.
It has a flowy consistency for excellent covering power and superior washability that retains soft touch. The cadmium-free colors are highly pigmented, with an exceptionally high concentration of colorants to ensure broad, even strokes and clean color mixing.
If you want to dilute the colors, you can also add in more water to produce the classic watercolor wash look. Thanks to the high pigment concentration, you can adjust the transparency and opaqueness as much as you would like.
The paint is ideal for a range of techniques and applications, including fine art, illustration, and lettering.
4. Lukas 1862 Aquarell Watercolor Paint
Professional artists know that quality color consistency, brilliant transparency, and luminous intensity make all the difference when you’re looking for optimal performance from your paint. That’s why this watercolor paint from Lukas is amazing to work with.
This watercolor is made with high-quality pigments and carefully milled to ensure uniform particle size and consistency. The paint creates smooth washes, bold strokes, and intense impasto textures without streaking, cracking, or fading.
The incredible concentration of pigment allows the paint to work well on its own or as a glaze without compromising results. Thanks to its excellent lightfastness, you can expect the colors to last for years after painting.
5. Arteza Metallic Watercolor Paint
Arteza is a line of artist-quality metallic watercolors infused with lustrous pigment to provide a unique liquid metal finish that dries to a brilliant shine.
You can experiment with this metallic color as much as you’d like, and it can be built up to become more opaque if you wish.
This formula is available in multiple dazzling shades that you can mix and match, and this lovely metallic gold color is just the right pop of color that you need to make your artwork stand out.
Non-toxic and water-based, the paint is not just safe for kids but also easy to clean up with water. This watercolor paint comes in a portable container that makes for convenient on-the-go art projects.
6. Finetec Artist Pearlescent Watercolor
The Finetec Artist Pearlescent Watercolor Set is one that artists really swear by. This set comes with a wide variety of metallic shades from gold and silver to iridescent, pearl shining colors.
This set is ideal for creating special effects, highlighting, and even glazing over other colors for a shimmering effect. You can even mix metallic or pearlescent shades together to create unique, vibrant color combinations.
The colors are lightfast and pigment-rich, so no matter what techniques you choose, your finished piece is sure to be gorgeous.
These watercolors come in a metal box with an interchangeable color pan, making it easy for you to replace the colors when needed or mix and match your palette when you need to curate your colors for the go.
You can also use the lid as a mixing area for your watercolor, so this set is quite convenient to travel with.
7. Coliro Artist Mica Watercolor Paint Set
Color Watercolor Paint Set contains six distinct metallic watercolor paints, including golds and silvers, to help you highlight or create beautiful effects with your watercolors.
This formula is made with vegan ingredients. The creamy texture and high pigmentation create bright and intense colors when applied to porous surfaces, even wood. For an even more intense look, we recommend using these vibrant paints over gouache paint.
Similar to other watercolor sets, this one also comes in a pan that is interchangeable, making it simple to replenish when a color runs out or when you need to mix and match the set to create the ultimate set that is perfectly catered to your needs!
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