Interference paints are really fun!  But, until I got the hang of how to use them, I was totally unimpressed.   Here are a few tips you can use to get the best results with them. Interference paints come in several colors: red, yellow, green, blue, and some hues in between, like purpleThey are actually mica flakes barely coated with a layer of titanium dioxide.  The microscopic layer causes it to reflect and transmit light according the color they are mixed with or applied over. Since interference colors aren’t strong, they don’t work well by themselves.  They perform best when they are mixed into another color.  It won’t take much color to make the interference colors glow.  They also become very luminous when you apply them over a darker background color. Here are some basic guidelines for using interference paints:

  • Choose between a warm or cool palette; don’t try to mix warm with cool
  • Keep it simple; don’t mix with too many colors at once.
  • A little goes a long way; it won’t take much to create that “special effect.”

You can find interference colors in other mediums than just acrylics; oil sticks and even water colors.  I use the Golden brand fluid acrylics most often, but don’t be afraid to try other brands. The biggest disadvantage of these cool, sparkly and luminous paints is that they don’t reproduce in print.  So, if you image your art for reproductions, you will need to hand embellish them to give them that same glow of the original. Let me know how it goes.  I’d love to see your interference paints artwork.  Feel free to post them in the comments below.

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