Interference vs. Iridescent Paints ft. Golden Acrylics
Posted by Sam C. on Feb 8th 2023
What are Interference and Iridescent Acrylic Paints?
If you've taken a stroll through any of our stores, you may have seen the various brands, viscosities, and textures of acrylic paints available on our shelves, and some of you may even have a few on your wish list! No matter your experience with acrylics, we're here to give you some helpful information about what gives Golden Interference and Iridescent Acrylics such unique qualities!
Have you ever seen a butterfly with shimmering blue wings or pearlescent green feathers on a duck? Maybe you've admired a shining chunk of labradorite or opal-or even fish scales-and wondered about the science behind this natural phenomenon. These beautiful effects are known as interference and iridescence, and Golden offers acrylic paints that allow you to recreate these effects in your art!
Golden Interference and Iridescent Acrylics are created using formulas that imitate the pearlescent qualities found in the reflection and refraction of light in our natural world. These reflective (iridescent) or refractive (interference) pigments are synthetically reproduced and suspended in a transparent acrylic binder to create these high-quality and inherently lightfast acrylic paints.
Paint pictured: Golden Heavy Body Iridescent Bright Gold (Fine)
Golden Interference Acrylics
Golden Interference Acrylics are great for artists who want to create shining, vibrant works of art with a unique aesthetic. Adding interference paint to your practice can give your work a three-dimensional effect that influences feelings of depth. The color in interference acrylics will change depending on how you view them, which can help your artwork come alive in ways you never imagined!
This color shift you see comes from light refracting off the tiny particles that make up the pigment. Refraction happens when light is bent as it passes through one transparent material into another, like air into water, or in this case, air into the transparent binder in Golden Interference Acrylics.The light is scattered within the paint and, when viewed from an angle, produces a striking visual effect. This optical illusion happens on the microscopic level and is called a "structured surface."
Paint pictured: Golden Heavy Body Interference Gold (Fine & Coarse), Blue (Fine & Coarse), Violet (Fine), Red (Fine & Coarse), Orange (Fine), and Green (Fine & Coarse)
Golden Iridescent Acrylics
Golden Iridescent Acrylics are a brilliant way to recreate the look of shiny jewelry and other metallic-like subjects in your paintings. Whether you want to create a subtle sheen or outright glitz, these paints are an excellent choice for producing a wide range of dynamic, eye-catching effects.
When light hits a smooth surface, the rays bounce back, which is called the reflection of light. When light hits a rough surface, part of it reflects, and part of it is absorbed. The more light that is reflected, the brighter the effect. So, if you want a shinier finish on your piece, we recommend using Golden Iridescent Acrylics on primed surfaces that have been sanded smooth.
Golden Heavy Body Iridescent Bright Gold (Fine), Gold (Fine), Gold Deep (Fine), Bronze (Fine), CopperLt (Fine), Copper (Fine), Pearl (Fine), Silver (Fine), Stainless Steel (Fine), Gold (Coarse), CopperLt (Coarse), Copper (Coarse), Pearl (Coarse), and Stainless Steel (Coarse)
Tips for Adding Golden Interference & Iridescent Acrylics to your tool kit
- Applying interference colors on top of a dark surface, like black, will intensify its flashy effects! Adding the tiniest bit of black to these paints will also do the trick, and you can mix in more black to achieve darker colors. (Golden recommends a 1:100 ratio or less.)
- The shine will dull when these colors are mixed with opaque paint. Try applying Golden Iridescent Acrylics on top of a lighter base color, like white, to brighten the results.
- Thin applications of interference acrylics will increase their refractive qualities. Finishing with a gloss varnish will kick it up a notch too!
- Thinning these heavy body paints will reduce the shining effects to various degrees; if you'd like a thinner version of some of these colors, we suggest trying Golden Fluid Acrylics. Interference and Iridescent Acrylics are available across Golden's product lines in several viscosities.
Happy painting, #ACScommunity!
If you're looking to experiment with some unique effects, either of these paint lines would be a great addition to your ARTsenal! We hope the information we've shared in this post helps light the way on your painting journey.
Shop Golden Interference & Iridescent Acrylics online, or find your local Artist & Craftsman Supply to check out these paints and more in person! Offering and availability may vary.