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Using Pearl Ex Metallic Pigments to Enhance Linocuts

Using Pearl Ex Metallic Pigments to Enhance Linocuts
Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments are metallic pigments that can be mixed into printing inks, acrylics, oils, encaustics and loads more. As printmakers we were keen to see how they could be used in various printmaking applications, starting with linocut. 

We began by mixing Apple Green Pearl Ex into Caligo Extender (which is colourless).

We found we needed to use quite a lot of Pearl Ex to build up a colour strong enough for a print (twice the quantity in the above photo to achieve the ink in the below photo). However, the colour was lovely and it gave a subtle sheen.

The print had a soft pearlescent sheen (that is almost impossible to photograph!) This would be lovely as a subtle addition to a relief print, perhaps as one layer in a multi-block or reduction linocut to add interest. 

For a more intense shine, we sprinkled a little Citrine Pearl Ex on top of a tacky print and waited over night for it to dry. The next day, we gently brushed away the excess powder. This was very successful!

We experimented with mixing Pearl Ex into a coloured ink but the metallic pigment disappeared into the ink and the results were extremely subtle unless a lot of Pearl Ex was added.

Finally, we tested using the Pearl Ex as an ink to hand tint a linocut. Mixing Citrine Pearl Ex with Gum Arabic worked extremely well and created a beautiful golden ink to paint onto our linocut. Mixing the Pearl Ex with water was paler and seemed to smudge a little when dry. 

Pearl Ex is available in 54 colours and worked beautifully to enhance our linocuts, particularly when dusting onto a tacky print or painting on with Gum Arabic.


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