I am a huge fan of metallic paints, I use them all the time in my art. And while there are a few brands which sell metallic paints, I think there is one which stands out above the rest. So today I’m going to show you why Finetec makes some of the best metallic and pearlescent inks and why they should be your first choice for metallic paint.
About the Finetec Watercolours
It can be slightly confusing when discussing Finetec metallic inks because they are sold under two names. Finetec and Coliro began as one company but recently split into two brands, distributing in different areas. Both carry some overlapping colours, and indeed products from their original lineup. Both have then gone on to add more unique colours in recent years.
The Finetec brand is now owned by Royal Talens (who incidentally make my favourite sketchbook). As these brands are sold separately based on location, it can be hard to say exactly what brand you should look for. However, the general design of the palettes and range of colours remain quite similar across the two brands. No matter, if you’re looking for metallic watercolours, the Finetec or Coliro brands are what you should be looking for.
How to use the Finetec Watercolours
Both Finetec and Coliro sell their metallic inks in solid pans. These come in sets of 6 or 12. However, it is possible to buy pans and the plastic case separately. This can come in handy if you want to replace specific colours from your set. Or indeed, build your own set of metallic inks if the pre-made sets don’t come in the colours you want.
The metallic paints might seem intimidating at first as they come in solid form. But are very easy to use, though they can take some practice at first. You need to add enough water to begin breaking down the pigment, making sure that the mica powder which creates the metallic effect is mixed in well with the water. If you leave the wet ink after a while you will start to see the metallic colour separate from the water.
It’s best to use a paintbrush to mix the ink to the right consistency, then you can apply it to your artwork. If you’re using the ink for calligraphy I recommend not dipping your nib directly into the ink. Rather you should use a paintbrush to coat your nib with the ink. Over time you will learn the best consistency when doing calligraphy with the Finetech watercolours. You want something thicker than water but thinner than cream. Of course, this may also change depending on the nib and paper you’re working with.
The Finetec watercolour paints work on almost all types of paper I’ve tried. From MD notebooks to artist-quality papers and handmade paper. It’s good practice to test your inks if you’re working on a new type of paper. Just to make sure they’re going to work as expected. But I doubt you’ll have many issues working with the metallic inks. The one thing you do want to ensure is that your ink is thick enough for the metallic pigments to show. If you don’t do this your inks won’t be as opaque as they should be.
Finetec produces high-quality metallic inks. There are some other brands which sell similar types of ink. But quality-wise, Finetec is one of the best making them a good choice if you’re looking for artist-quality materials.
It would be too much of a generalisation to say all the Finetec paints are lightfast, as it depends on the pigments in the paint. However, mica is used to create the metallic sheen and this is lightfast. This means that the golds and silvers will not fade in sunlight as these colours are made using stable elements.
Finetec makes a huge range of gold colours, these pigments are particularly reflective. In addition to the lightfast qualities, it makes these watercolours are a viable alternative for artists wanting to use gold leaf in their work. Most other colours in the Finetec range will be stable, however, it is good practice to test colours. Especially when creating pieces of artwork which are expected to last for many years.
Where to buy
The best places to buy the Finetec range will depend on location. Amazon tends to sell sets of 6 paints. However, it is possible to buy pans of watercolour individually. If you live in the UK one of the shops I’d recommend is Scribblers. This shop specialises in equipment for calligraphers, but also sells a good range of paints and other media.
The sets of 6 paints tend to be on the more expensive side, partly due to the quality of the pigments in them. You can expect to pay anywhere from £20 to £30 for a set of 6 paints. Or around £4-5 for an individual pan. However, you also have to remember that these are artist-quality paints and a single pan will last you a long time. Depending on how much you use it.
My thoughts on the Finetec Metallic Watercolours
I don’t want to come across as too much of a fangirl, because I love these paints. If you’re looking for metallic ink these truly are some of the best you can buy. Yes, the paints are expensive, however, they look very good.
A good amount of my calligraphy work is for weddings and these are my go-to inks if I need a metallic colour. Finetec has a huge range of gold colours to choose from (6 or 7 last time I checked), so I can guarantee you will find the perfect gold for whatever project you’re working on. But these paints are also opaque, which means they look very good on dark paper as well as light paper.
The only downside I can think of about the Finetec inks is that they’re so shiny it can be hard to take a good photo which shows how nice they look. I don’t think there are many art materials where I can say they are such good quality it is an issue, but this is one.