Create Glossy Metal Effects in Watercolour and Gouache with Schmincke Aqua Bronze

Have you seen our new range of Schmincke Aqua Bronze?  They are perfect for creating glossy metal effects in watercolour and gouache paintings.  These dry metallic powders come in a range of five colours; Copper, Rich Pale Gold, Rich Gold, Pale Gold and Silver. 

Image of the five different colours of Aqua Bronze in their jars.

What are Aqua Bronze Powders?

Aqua Bronze is formulated on real metal pigments and contain bronze or aluminium pigments. This means that they are very lightfast, more opaque and more brilliant than other metallic effect colours made of pearl lustre pigments. 

Two swatches on Aqua Bronze applied over black fine line pen.  One swatch is the Aqua Bronze on it's own, in the second swatch the Aqua Bronze has been mixed into yellow watercolour paint.
The above image shows Aqua Bronze painted over black fineline pen.

How do I use Aqua Bronze Powders?

There are three main ways to use these powders. Firstly, you can simply mix the required quantity of Aqua Bronze powder with a little water shortly before application.  Dilute the mix further with water to achieve the desired consistency.  The amount of added water influences the opacity and gloss of the colour. 

An image of the Aqua Bronze jar, alongside a pile of Aqua Bronze powder and a swatch of the powder mixed with water.

Secondly, sprinkle Aqua Bronze into wet washes and when dry brush away he remaining stray powder. Aqua Bronze dries to a wipe but not water resistant finish, so it is re-wettable after it has dried. 

Swatch of Aqua Bronze mixed with watercolour and a line shown where it has been rewetted.

Thirdly, as these powders contain a water soluble binder you can mix it into your watercolours and gouache.

Aqua Bronze powder sits on top of a watercolour wash.
You can see from this image that the metallic pigment sits on top of the watercolour.

Moreover, Aqua Bronze also makes a great ink for brush calligraphy!

How will these powders enhance my watercolour painting?

Paint Aqua Bronze over a dry watercolour wash. Applied quickly in a single movement will ensure it doesn’t disturb the wash underneath too much. Use the powders to highlight areas of your painting to reflect the effect of light or movement of water.

Aqua Bronze can be painted over a dried watercolour wash.

Aqua Bronze acts like a resist too. You can simply apply a wash of Aqua Bronze, leave it to dry and then quickly paint a watercolour wash over the top. The watercolour does not adhere where the Aqua Bronze is thicker. This allows you to pick up the glimmer of the sea by using silver Aqua Bronze underneath watercolour washes of blues, greens and turquoises. Or create some fantastic metallic effects for a piece of abstract work.

Aqua Bronze swatch showing how thicker Aqua Bronze acts as a resist when a watercolour wash is applied over the top.

Use Aqua Bronze in conjunction with other products.

Aqua Bronze works really well with the ArtGraf range of products too. This quick sketch was made using watercolour paint, ArtGraf Tailor Shape Water Soluble Block and ArtGraf Graphite Powder.

A quick sketch alongside ArtGraf products.

In conclusion, these Aqua Bronze powders make a versatile addition to a watercolourists’ toolbox. Adding a touch of glimmer to your work has never been easier!

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