Saturday, June 21, 2008

Using and loving powdered mica pigments

In my web travels I have found a number of web sites that discuss techniques and attributes of the various powdered mica pigments on the market. All of them are wonderful coloring tools, some are better alone, some are better when mixed with other mediums, and some are fantastic when layered over your colored image.

Cloud 9 does a great comparison and explanation of most of the popular powdered mica on the market, take a look at her in depth discussion of these products. I have the Pearl Ex, Perfect Pearls and Moon Glow, all great, but I use them differently. Make sure you take a few minutes to cruise her entire list of product reviews, they are all well done and very informative.

As many of you know the Pearl Ex is a powder only, no binding agent, which means if you don't seal your image after applying the powder falls off. I like to add the Pear Ex to my water colors, and then seal with clear embossing powder (I go over everything with embossing ink, then add the powder, then heat it all up). A technique I haven't tried yet, but will soon, is to mix some clear embossing powder with the Pearl Ex, it seems like it should give you a really neat shimmery effect, we shall see.

The Jacquard website (maker of Pearl Ex) has a neat list of projects that use Pearl Ex, not many card or stamping ideas, but you might be able to take some of these techniques and use them for rubber stamping. There is also a water color paint version of the Pearl Ex, haven't tried that but am tempted.

Moon Glow is a great product, if you haven't tried it you are in for a treat. Their mica powders are extremely shimmery and have a very deep and rich color to them. You can get them in sets of six or thirteen (I have three sets of the thirteen, all with different colors). You use these powders the same way as the Pearl Ex, and like the Pearl Ex you have to either add a binder or fixative when using Moon Glow.

I like the Perfect Pearls too, and found out that you can make your own Shimmer Mist with them as well! SCS had a recipe the other day, I tried it and can tell you it worked like magic. Perfect Pearls have a binder agent in them, which means you don't have to do anything but apply them to your surface. Here are some examples using Perfect Pearls, mostly on dark paper, however I find that you can use them on light paper if you add the Perfect Pearls to your image color.

I found a website that sells mica powder, not sure if it would be useful or not, but am thinking of purchasing the silver in a small quantity to see how it works with water colors and inks. I also found another site, Coastal Scents, that also sells the powders, one ounce for $3.00, which isn't bad and I may get a few from them to see how they perform.

And of course being the technique junkie that I am, tonight I made my own mica water color paints with the Pearl Ex and Moon Glow, right now they are drying, so I will let you know tomorrow how they turned out. I used this recipe and then also added a few drops of SU ink to some of the colors I made. All together I did six (that was the size of the paint palet I had on hand), three with the recipe I linked to, and three where I added the ink.

Hope you found this information helpful! If you have any of these products, take them out and play with them. Experiment to see what types of effects you can achieve and most of all, have fun.

Ok, off to bed, as I am working tomorrow at 7 am uggggggggggg.......

Have a restful Sunday :)


Anonymous said...

J - you can buy gum arabic and add it to pearl ex as a binder which is, I think, what the watercolor palettes of pearl ex have in them. Tyra talks about the recipe for this in the pearl ex discussion, too. I have always used Versamark to put pearl ex onto my (black) paper (and being overly cautious, sprayed with Krylon afterwards), but have never tried the gum arabic. The pearl ex looks gorgeous on black paper no matter how it's put on!

Jheffner said...

Hi there Zanne,

I bought some gum arabic and used it last night to make my "paints."

And yes, the pearl ex has amazing qualities : )

Can't wait to try the paints later today.

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