Today, I want to address powdered pigments. Working with powdered pigments, or mica powders, can be a lot of fun and add so much to your work. But I am asked quite often to explain the difference between Pearl Ex and Perfect Pearls. Pearl-Ex, by Jacquard, is strictly mica powder. It contains no binder, therefore, needs some sort of binder added to it. Binders come in many forms. One such binder is gum arabic, which is usually in powder form. Mix your mica powder with 2 parts water to 1 part gum arabic. Mixing in a water bottle cap or jar lid is usually sufficient, unless, of course, your are going to paint a barn. Okay, all kidding aside, use small amounts of each because they will go a long way.
Perfect Pearls, by Ranger, contains the binder already mixed into the jar, along with the mica powder. Perfect Pearls can be applied simply by adding water to it. No gum arabic is necessary. Just dip a wet paint brush into the powder and paint away. When dry, it should be set and need no fixative (such as Krylon Workable Fixatif) to keep it from rubbing off. The binder takes care of that.
Besides gum arabic, white glue, Perfect Paper Adhesive, PVA (bookbinding) glue, Diamond Glaze, Crystal Lacquer, shellac, glue stick, Future brand floor wax, and any other adhesive will work with your mica powders. Stirring the mica powder into the adhesive first will give you a paint mixture that can be brushed on with a paint brush. Again, no fixative is necessary because the glue(s) are acting as the binder.
Next week, I will cover a few more things about powdered pigments, and give you a few fun techniques to try.
Until then, thanks again for stopping by, and have a wonderful week.