This post is a direct result of a question from a YouTube Subscriber. She asked, “Can you make watercolor paints from Perfect Pearls?” And while I pretty much knew the answer would be “why not?” I decided to dig a little deeper and see how different methods might turn out.
NOTE: I’m only referring to Perfect Pearls in this situation, as Perfect Pearls by Ranger have a resin built-in that acts as a binder. If you are using a mica powder WITHOUT a binder, such as Pearl-Ex, you will need to add Gum Arabic to the mixture so that the pigment will bind to the surface of the paper. Otherwise the mica powders just dry up and flake off after the water has evaporated.
First, I checked to see what the Perfect Pearls would look like just blended with water.
As you can see, the color is pretty and shimmery, but very pastel. That could be just the look you are going for- but as for me, I like my watercolors a bit more saturated and deep. Adding more powder won’t make the color deeper, it’ll only make the watercolors more like a paste and less fun to paint with. SO… you may want to add some additional color.
If you DO want to add some color to make custom blends or more saturated colors you can try:
- dye pad reinkers
- Distress Stains or ReInkers
- cheap watercolor pans (like for kids)
- High-quality watercolors (Koi, etc.)
- liquid watercolors
I DON’T recommend opaque media such as pigment reinkers, acrylics, or even Gouache. (Or Ganzi Tambis, for example.) These products are all opaque, which means that the light cannot bounce around and through it to show off the mica shimmer. It’s nice, mind you, but it doesn’t have the look of watercolors, which is what we are going for here.
So… let’s take a look at a few swatches.
You can see what a difference even some cheap watercolor paint can add to the depth of color when added to the Perfect Pearls. And I have to admit, I really prefer the deeper colors.
Now are you ready for your world to be rocked?
Look at what happens to Distress Stains when they are mixed with Pearls- a PERFECT MATCH, if you ask me! You can’t see well in this photo, but in the video below you will see the shimmer much better.
Speaking of which… in the video I show you the swatches, as well as demo just how I mixed it all up.
Now… I have to tell you, I used up the “leftover” paint I made for a quick card series using the Inlaid Diecutting technique… and I LOVELOVELOVE them. Definitely one of my favorite styles… clean, yet “painterly” and artistic.
Alright, crafty friends! Who’s making watercolors??? And remember, if you are using another brand of mica powder, add a dash of Gum Arabic so that your mica powders stay put. Happy Crafting!
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