Painting with Gold Watercolors

Gold: The Skin of the Gods and A Work In Progress

When we think of the color gold, what is it? On the color wheel, it doesn’t exist. That’s because it’s gold. The Egyptians called gold the skin of the gods. In my paintings, I like to use this exceptional color. So it’s essential to understand the chemical makeup of some of these gold paints.

gold face watercolor painting
A watercolor painting using paints.

These days, gold is available to many artists and hobbyists. But, of course, this isn’t real gold. Even the gold leaf found in most art stores, such as gold leaf, isn’t real gold. Unless it’s an icon done in the traditions of the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the gold watercolor paints and gold leaf are only made to resemble gold.

For artists, gold paints come in many different shades. There are green shades, brown shades, and red shades of gold. Some of the gold watercolors have mica powder added to them. This pigment powder can create texture and shimmer effects to the painting. The mica flakes will cause a reflection of light, giving the appearance of shiny gold.

various gold watercolor swatches
There are multiple shades of gold colored watercolors available to artists today.

Today, the artist can choose from quite a variation of gold watercolor paints. Artists can find these gold watercolors opaque, semi-transparent, transparent, and iridescent. Another important consideration is the permanence of the gold. How permanent the gold paints have to do more with if the color is pigment or dye-based. As an artist, it’s vital that I know if the color I’m working with can be blotted or washed out. Using paper towels and toilet paper is one of the techniques I use in my watercolor paintings.

These watercolor gold paints have micah powder, which cause the shimmer effect.

My watercolor paintings are always a work in progress. There are times I know when I’m finished. Other times, the painting directs me, telling me what it needs. And that’s how it goes sometimes.

Sometimes, I have no idea what I’m going to do with a painting. I’m just going to have to sit there and figure it out. Play with it, and eventually, the image tells me. It tells me that it’s not quite there yet.

And that’s what art is: Art is not quite there yet. You can sit all your life and never get there, but you got it. Your body tells you you got it. Your mind tells you you got it. And maybe a person walking into the room says, Oh, you got it. That’s wonderful. But, it may not be the next day what you like. Art is a work in progress. cropped-dick-crispo-favicon_.png

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