I don’t know exactly when or how it happened, but I’m addicted to metallics. Seasons and tastes change, but I use to be all about simple, matte colors. Now, it seems like I incorporate metallics into everything I do!
I recently had the great pleasure of trying out the full lineup of Metallics by ARTiSTiC ViVATiONS, created by the founder of Unicorn SPiT and I have to say—I’m impressed. They are beautifully pigmented, dry exceedingly quickly and smell like teakwood, which is a real step up from how my studio usually smells!
If you haven’t heard of Unicorn SPiT, it’s a super pigmented product that acts like a paint, gel stain, and glaze. You can use it on wood, canvas, jeans, hair, tiles… the applications are pretty much endless. The product is non-toxic, and was created by founder Michelle Nicole to fill a need at the adult daycare center where she volunteered. After the center closed, Michelle continued to perfect her brand and create beautiful, unique furniture with her products until finally, Unicorn SPiT was officially born.
ARTiSTiC ViVATiONS is also owned by Michelle Nicole with similar products, including the Metallics that I tested.
This story is why I was so excited to experiment with Michelle Nicole’s products again—supporting small businesses is what the artist community is all about!
I’ve been experimenting with the Metallics in a wide range of projects. Here are the colors I’ve been using:
Mercury (Deep Silver): Mercury has an almost light gunmetal look, I really liked pairing it with purples, blues and greys.
Poseidon (Patina Bronze): easily one of my favorites in this series. I used this in an ocean-inspired pour and it has a very subtle deep teal and bronze color that went very well with the black I used in the piece.
Zeus (24k Gold): If you are looking for a bright, bold gold, Zeus is your man.
Athena (Copper): I love copper and bronze, and Athena was great with navy blue, or even with just white. A very clean, classy copper.
Aphrodite (Rose Gold): I don’t use much in terms of pink hues, but I did mix Aphrodite and Zeus and the result was a very deep, multi faceted gold. I ended up using this combination a lot.
My Honest Review
Over the course of the past few months, I’ve used these colors in pouring medium, resin, and on their own to create some truly beautiful pieces (or at least, I think they are). Here’s what I learned.
- As a straight-up paint. I’ve used the Metallics on a set of three dragons I’m working on, specifically in the Zeus/Aphrodite combination. They are much more pigmented than the paints I was using for the initial project, although I find that the product itself is a bit thin. Applying two coats is a must if you’re looking for opaque coverage with the Metallics when using them with a brush.
- In a pour. These are amazing to pour with, because they are already quite thin. I found that a little went a very long way, and I used about four parts Floetrol to one part Metallics and found that the mixture was smooth and handled a lot like Golden Fluid Acrylics in consistency. I was very pleased with the results.
- In resin. I only had a very small project to experiment with, but I found that I needed a very small amount of Metallics in the resin. It mixed well, and most importantly to me, was opaque.
I’ll be honest, the first piece I did turned into a bit of a disaster when I used the Metallics, but that’s because I forgot the most important rule of Unicorn SPiT… do NOT use Polycrylic to seal it! Because I had only used the Metallics on a small portion of the piece, it completely slipped my mind that I needed to skip my typical sealing step and head straight for resin. The piece became a brown, nasty mess and it was completely due to my forgetfulness. After another nine hours of fine-lining and painting (this is one of the dragon pieces I mentioned earlier), I sealed the piece with resin and the golden Metallics absolutely shine. Ironically, that piece was inspired by “patience.” Fitting, right?
The lesson here is, you need to seal with a sealant that is not water based. I chose resin because I wanted to enhance the dimension of my piece, but you could also use Polyurethane. My piece was a mix of acrylics and Metallics, so resin turned out to be the best way to seal everything without compromising the piece’s integrity… again.
Overall, I feel that this is a solid product to pour with. Although not our standard acrylic, Metallics have a lot of depth and a consistency that is very conducive to this technique. A little goes a long way with these colors, and that longevity makes the $18.50 price tag a lot easier to handle; I’ve been using these products heavily since December, and I am not yet ready to reorder.
Have you used the Unicorn SPiT or any products from ARTiSTiC ViVATiONS? Let us know!
Sara Wagner is an author and artist from Upstate New York. She is the owner of Studio Blackwater and can typically be found covered in paint, cats, or her two young daughters. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram as @studioblackwater.