You’d be forgiven for thinking you need to use metallic watercolor paint to achieve iridescent effects in your artwork.
But it’s perfectly possible to achieve a metallic look without using metallic watercolor paint
You can create the illusion of a bright, shimmering metallic appearance using ordinary watercolor paint.
The secret? To replicate nature.
Often in nature, iridescence and metallic effects are the result of many thin layers of cells that each reflect a different colour from the light spectrum, creating an overall shimmering look.
With close observation of the various colour areas on our subject, we can identify what those component colours are. Then with thin layers of paint, we replicate nature, building up the layers until we achieve that elusive iridescent effect: without a spot of metallic watercolor paint in sight!
In this mini class, I show you exactly how to do this. The subject is a pretty beetle called Plagiosterna aenea. They have a very long hibernation period, from August right the way through until the following April!
How to paint an iridescent subject without metallic watercolor paint:
I hope this mini class has shown you what can be achieved with using ordinary watercolors, and that you don’t need to use metallic paints to achieve realistic looking metallic effects in your paintings.
And I hope that like me, you find it inspiring that we can replicate nature with our paintbrushes to create the beautiful illusion of iridescence.
Are you inspired to paint more iridescent subjects from nature?
If you paint the beautiful metallic beetle from this class and then want to paint a friend for him, check out the ladybug mini class.
I’d love to know if you’ve found this mini class helpful.
Did you paint this pretty bug too? Do you feel inspired to paint more metallic subjects without using metallic watercolor paint? Are there any iridescent subjects in nature you’d now like to try painting after watching this class?
Please leave a comment to let me know. I love hearing from you.