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What Gold is Gold?

What Gold is Gold?

The colour gold has captivated artists and audiences for millennia. Symbolically gold has been associated with many religious denominations, worn by deities and royalty, denoting authority and power. It was and still is used as currency, indicates prosperity, and some even believed it had sacred and magical properties. Widely used across the ancient world by civilisations such as the Incas, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and various Islamic empires, gold was used and found in many tombs in the form of jewellery, coins, statues and other artefacts to take to the afterlife. The allure of gold still remains today.

We see the first traces of gold being used in art by the Byzantines in the background of iconic paintings, mosaics, triptych panels and architectural settings. Gold was used to depict divine light and to symbolise the invisible spiritual world. In early Christian and Medieval art, gold was used in the creations of illuminated manuscripts.

In the modern world the colour gold is still used as a hue that is reserved for illuminating, and gilding, and to signify decadence whilst elevating a piece of art into a more revered status.

In this blog we look at the colour gold from an artist's perspective and discuss what gold is available to us as a fine art medium. Gold in any medium has always been an essential part of the toolkit for the art and craft community, but now thankfully not just assigned to Christmas decorations.

Gold products that look expensive, at very reasonable prices.

Gold can provide a richness to any painting, illustration or poster and can elevate the mundane to the extraordinary. But not all ‘Golds’ are the same. We have many different Gold shades in all variations of products from; liquid Gold Inks, pens, acrylic paints, pastes, pastels, pencils, sprays and  watercolour paints for all your creative project needs. We even have Manuscript Gold sealing Wax!

Starting with "What Gold paint do I need for my project?" Here are some of our Gold products we sampled to help you get started with your projects!

Manuscript Sealing Wax sets.

Manuscript Sealing Wax Gold, Silver & Bronze

A traditional method of adding a wax seal to your scrapbooks, letters, certificates etc. It is suitable for mailing. Light up the wick and allow the wax to drip onto your paper before applying the seal. Each stick measures approximately 198mm and will make about 12 seals using a standard 2cm seal

Pack contains one of each colour wax, bronze, silver & gold.

Manuscript Sealing Wax Set - 3 Designs

Manuscript 3 designs

A professional wax sealing kit is a way to seal and decorate your personal correspondences or add a touch of class to hand made cards, certificates or letters. Designs include - Quill pen & ink logo, a Christmas tree design and a love heart and garland design.

Contains: 1 x red wax stick, 1 x gold wax stick, 1 x silver wax stick, 1 x long handle wooden sealer stamp

3 x detachable wax seals (described above)

Metallic Watercolours

Derwent Metallic Watercolour Paint Pan Set

Striking on bothblack andwhite surfaces, the Derwent Metallic Paint Pan Set includes 12 unique shades that mix beautifully to create a full spectrum of metallic colour.

Apply in creamy opaque strokes, to layer and blend on the page. Suitable for a range of fine art or craft projects.

Contains 12 Metallic paint pans, a miniwater brush, asponge and five mixing palettes.

Colour Palette - Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pale Gold, Sunset, Red, Pink, Purple, Blue, Ice Blue, Lime Gold, Green

Van Gogh Pocket Watercolour Box - Metallic & Interference Colours

This practical set contains 12 pans, a travel brush and a built-in mixing area, made of easy to clean white plastic and small enough to fit comfortably in the hand or pocket ideal for travelling.

Van Gogh Watercolour Paints have a brilliant, intense and highly transparent quality and all the colours have the highest degree of lightfastness. The 12 half pan metallic & interference watercolour paints will be a great addition for all artists to use the set contains: silver, light gold, deep gold, bronze, copper, graphite, interference white, interference yellow, interference red, interference blue, interference violet and interference green.

Pocket size selection is ideal for travelling 12 half pans, brush and palette set Metallic and Interference colours Removable mixing tray Small and compact to fit in your hand or pocket. These paints work extremely well with Van Gogh Black Water Colour Paper.

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Metallic paint Collection 6 x 8ml Tubes Set

Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour Metallic Collection 6 x 8ml Tubes Set

Metallic Watercolours can be used interchangeably with all our current Watercolour ranges, to add highlights and unique shimmering effects. Layer these beautiful metallic paint shades over any existing watercolours to enhance their colours.

The set includes 6 x 8ml tubes of metallic paint in selection of metallic shades:
Yellow Gold, Iridescent Blue, Bronze, Red Copper, Silver, Pewter.

Cotman metallic watercolours are made with quality, fine art pigments.

Winsor & Newton Watercolour 8 Half Pan Metallic Pocket Set

Winsor & Newton Watercolour 8 Half Pan Metallic Pocket Set

Cotman metallic Watercolours are made with quality, fine art pigments in a pocket-sized set.
Includes a travel brush and space for 4 more colours.

Set contains:

  • 1 x Travel brush
  • 8 x Cotman half pans: Iridescent Blue, Yellow Gold, Bronze, Red Copper, Silver, Pewter, Iridescent Black, Iridescent White. 

PearlEx Powdered Pigment sets

Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment sets

Versatile metallic and pearlescent powdered pigments that can be used to create a wide range of effects.  Pearl Ex can be mixed into acrylics, oils, resins, clay etc. Pearl Ex pigments are colourfast and never tarnish or fade. 

Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments may be used any time a metallic or pearlescent effect is desired: mix them into acrylics, oils, printing inks, encaustics, alcohol inks, epoxy, glues, casting resins, clay, varnishes…the list goes on!

Pearl Ex is a safe, inert pigment that exhibits extreme colour fastness and stability. The different particle sizes produce different effects, from a smooth pearly lustre, to a highly metallic sheen. Pearl Ex creates a metallic effect without being a real metal—it will never tarnish or fade!

Surfaces: polymer clay, encaustics, paper, shrink plastic, leather, glass, canvas, wood. Mix with binder to use on natural and synthetic fibres.


Acrylic Metallic paints

Acrylic paint is an incredibly versatile medium for use on a range of surfaces such as; paper, fabric, plaster, wood, canvas, board, plastic. Acrylic paints have a quick drying time and dries waterproof. Below are some great Gold paints for you to try.

What gold is gold


STUDIO Heavy Body Acrylic Paints - 200mls Tubes

Acrylic paints made from high quality eco-friendly water based pigments and finest acrylic emulsions.

  • Ideal for Established Artists and Students of Art.
  • Thicker consistency, use with a palette knife or brushes
  • Impasto applications retains knife or brush marks
  • Excellent blending and mixing characteristics
  • High pigment loading - rich, brilliant colours
  • 31 Lightfast & durable colours
  • Waterproof when dry
  • Highly versatile, dries to a low gloss surface on high impasto areas and a soft satin finish on thinner applications.
  • Metallic paint comes in Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Our own range of Heavy body acrylic GOLD paint provides a rich and creamy, opaque, warm gold finish.  Totally intermixable with all 31 heavy body Studio colours, add a small amount to alter colours depending on the shade you require. Highly pigmented. Can be applied to surfaces with brushes or palette knife, because of its heavy body consistency it is ideal for creating texture and sculptural peaks of paint. Very quick drying time. Lightfast and durable.

Roberson Liquid Metals

28 metallic shades are our most popular range, have a rich deep opaque colour and are ideal for a range of applications and surfaces. All colours are intermixable and can be used on surfaces such as plaster, wood, paper & canvas. The paint gives the appearance of metal but will not tarnish and is not required to be varnished.

  • All colours are intermixable.
  • Coverage: 7 square metres per litre
  • Water wash up

TheirRich Gold is more like a warm Rose gold whilst theirBrass has a cool gold sheen. 

Please note: The 'Twinkle' colour is part of the series 2 range and is a higher price than the others which are all part of series 1.

This variation of liquid metals produces colour changing effects with a hint of glitter. The use of different backgrounds will change the effects, for example dark backgrounds will show the glitter properties whereas light backgrounds provide a colour changing effect dependant on angle of view. It can be added to other colours to create a range of interesting effects. 

Winsor & Newton Professional Acrylic Series 4- Green Gold

 Sennelier Abstract Acrylic Paint Pouches - 5 x 120ml

Metallic paints; Full range of iridescent tones include; Pearl, Bronze, Gold, Silver and Copper. Rich, Creamy consistency, heavy body paint and highly pigmented. Soft sheen metallic finish. May need a few coats to create an opaque finish or use in layers over other colours. 

Highly pigmented for rich colour with superb coverage, smooth buttery consistency with enough body to hold brush marks and peaks makes this the perfect paint to use in the studio, out in the field or straight from the pouch in your hand.

The paint is kept safe in a study, flexible, plastic pouch which features a screw-top cap so no spills and no split tubes or cracked pots if dropped or stepped on.
The clear window in the pouch makes it easy and quick to know at a glance what colour you’ll be using and what it’ll look like before it hits the palette.

Permanent and water-resistant when dry.

Docrafts Artiste Multi-Surface Acrylic Paint- 59mls; Antique Gold, multi purpose acrylic paint. Thin consistency and may need a few Coates to provide an opaque coverage, dries to a soft metallic sheen. A darker gold than its competitors when multi layers are applied giving the appearance of an Antique old gold. 

Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic.

Iridescent Bright Gold has a bright yellow gold tone. For a more of an ‘old gold' feel Liquitex provides a Green Gold tone and a iridescent Rich Bronze. Heavy Body Artist Colour, previously referred to as High Viscosity, has a thick consistency for traditional art techniques using brushes or knives, as well as for experimental, mixed media, collage and printmaking applications. Impasto applications retain crisp brush stroke and knife marks. Good surface drag provides excellent handling and blending characteristics with increased open-working time. High pigment load produces rich, brilliant, permanent colour.

Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic Rich Gold imitation 

This Rich Gold acrylic has a warm yellow tone, while the Pale Gold provides a softer sheen, they are highly versatile, and water-based. They offer an excellent painting experience at an economical price. Only high quality pigments are used in the manufacture of the System 3 acrylic ranges. System 3's comprehensive range of colours offers excellent light-fastness, permanence, durability and covering power. (apart from fluorescent colours which are not lightfast).  All colours can be thinned with water to pale washes or used directly from the pot or tube quick drying time and dries waterproof. All System 3 Original colours are fully intermixable and suitable for interior use.

Lumiere Multi-Surface Acrylics 66.54ml

The most versatile and wide-ranging assortment of metallic and pearlescent acrylics available, these stunning light-bodied paints brush on smoothly and are formulated to last. Use Lumiere paints whenever a metallic or pearlescent effect is desired, for fine arts, craft, home décor or textile applications.

They won’t crack, peel or chip, even on flexible surfaces like fabric, leather, vinyl or rubber. Soft to the touch and wash fast on fabric, Lumiere paints also exhibit unparalleled adhesive properties, even on non-porous surfaces like ceramic and metal. Lumiere colours are lightfast and weather-resistant, and their high pigmentation provides excellent coverage, even on dark grounds.


Natural and synthetic fabrics, leather, wood, canvas, vinyl, plastic, rubber, clay, paper and more...

Americana Multi-Surface Premium Acrylics - 59ml

Incredibly versatile acrylic paint. Applicable to all surfaces, canvas, wood, terra cotta, glass, plastic, cork, metal, paper, ceramics and fabrics.

You can use this premium, satin, indoor/outdoor acrylic on almost any surface including most plastics. They are self-sealing, so no primer or varnish is required and they offer excellent coverage in one to two coats. This special formula is designed to brush out smoothly and once fully cured, creates a durable, hard finish that is highly resistant to cleaning chemicals.

Multi-Surface comes in 70 vibrant colours that offer excellent coverage in one or two coats.

  • Superior flow and levelling
  • Acid-free
  • Intermixable colours
  • Permanent, lightfast pigments
  • Soap and water clean-up
  • Water-based and non-toxic
  • Manufactured in the USA

Liquitex Heavy Body Iridescent Acrylics

Gold Metallic Inks 

For a more fluid Gold medium to use for dipping, pouring, spraying or painting techniques we sampled 3 of our gold ink ranges, with excellent results. 

Winsor and Newton Drawing Gold Ink

This ink has a beautiful old gold lustre with a reflective surface when dry. This Drawing Ink is formulated from a series of soluble dyes in a superior shellac solution, can be applied with brush, pen or airbrush and is widely used by illustrators, designers, calligraphers and artists.

Winsor & Newton Gold Drawing Ink

Liquitex Iridescent Bright Gold Acrylic Ink 30ml dropper bottle

This Gold issimilar to the Liquitex heavy body paint, this Bright Gold boasts a bright yellow tone. Becomes more opaque with each layer applied. Excellent fluidity, lightfast colour, dries water resistant, ideas for watercolour effects, colour blocking, layering over other ink colours or paints to create a shimmering effect. Comes with a dropper for easy use. 

Liquitex Acrylic Ink - Iridescent set of 6 inks.

Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink Metallic Set , is a set of 6 extremely fluid acrylics that use super fine pigments suspended in a state-of-the-art acrylic emulsion. They dry quickly, are permanent, water resistant and non-clogging, which makes them ideal for a variety of techniques from watercolour effects to stamping. 

Metallic Colours:

  • Iridescent Bright Gold, Iridescent Rich Bronze, Iridescent Rich Copper, Iridescent Bright Silver, Carbon Black, Titanium White.

Piñata Alcohol Ink 032 Rich Gold- 0.5oz,

Excellent highly reflective metallic opaque gold finish, made from real metal pigments. Piñata Colours are highly saturated, fast-drying alcohol inks for any hard surface, including glass, metal, plastic, ceramic, stone, leather, resin, polymer clay, YUPO® and more. Indelible and impervious to water, Piñata Colours clean up with alcohol and re-wet themselves, allowing for unique effects and techniques not easily achieved with water-based inks. As a dye-based, highly transparent ink*, Piñata Colours are unparalleled for vibrancy. Only the most lightfast dyes have been selected for the palette. Acid-free with excellent adhesive properties, Piñata Colours are the go-to inks for all non-porous surfaces.

The Original Liquid Leaf 30ml Bottle;

This Gold is more for professional use, as it requires solvents to clean brushes and it is not water based.This product comes in 8 metallic finishes, we sampled the White Fire Gold an as described provided a cool light gold effect. Liquid Leaf is a remarkable gilding paint that contains its own red primer and film of lustrous gold, pre-mixed into a single liquid. This is the most effective finish you can use on carved and ornamental furniture, frames, mouldings, decorative ceilings, lamps, figurines and other objects. Liquid Leaf flows easily onto the surface (with no brush marks), forming a beautiful, lustrous finish. It can be used with a rigger brush or ruling pen to create fine lines and scrolls. This easy to control paint gives a brilliant sheen without brassiness, a permanent finish closely resembling traditional leafing. The 30ml bottle will cover approximately 2sq/m. Strongly recommend reading all directions of use, instructions and health & safety information see label on the bottle.

Gold Pencils, Metallic Pens, and Fine liners

When you need that gold detailing! We sampled 6 gold pens all of them once dry became smudge and water proof. We have a variety of nibs, from fine nibs, bullet nibs or large calligraphy nibs. Use ona variety of paper surfaces, transparencies, card, glass, plastics, and porcelain and metal.


Faber Castell PITT Artists Pens - 1.5mm Metallic Bullet Tip Pen

Gold 250.These pens are great for decorative work and card making. This Gold pen has a true old gold lustre. The fibre-tip is suitable to be used on a variety of surfaces and the ink has good coverage. The acid-free, archival ink is smudge proof, waterproof and won't bleed through paper. Also comes in Silver, Copper, Ruby Metallic, Blue Metallic and Green Metallic.  

Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip Pens

0.8mm Medium Point, Yellow gold lustre, excellent for fine detailing on cards, illustrations or for letter writing. Superior water and light resistance, Gel ink for smooth writing. Metallic ink stands out well on dark papers as well as white paper. Suitable for decorating cards and gifts. Rubber grip for comfortable writing. 

FABER-CASTELL MetallicBullet Nib Pen

Bullet Nib Pen in Gold this Gold is similar to the fine PITT pen 250, which has an old gold lustre. Great coverage, suitable for bright, dark coloured papers and smooth surfaces. (plastic, transparencies, porcelain, glass, metal)Smudge & splash-proof.Heat fix at 160 ° in the oven, waterproof not dishwasher safe.Water-based ink.Does not bleed through paper.Odour Free.No need to pump or shake.  

Pilot Super Colour Marker Pen

Medium gold Pilot Super Colour Paint Markers offer brilliant, opaque, permanent marking on almost any surface. This is a high reflected metallic sheen. Xylene-free ink. SCWEF Extra-Fine Bullet Tip gives 0.5mm line. SCWF Fine Bullet Tip gives 1.0mm line. SCWM Medium Bullet Tip gives 2.0mm line. Note on operation: Shake several times, then press the tip down 3 or 4 times on scrap paper to start the ink flowing. Cap the pen tightly and store horizontally. 

Uni Post Ultra Fine Markers

Precise nib - produces a very fine line. Uni POSCA Markers contain water-based pigment inks that produce poster-like, vibrant colours. They are lightfast and waterproof and will write on virtually any surface from glass to paper without bleed.
Once dry the opaque ink can be completely covered with a new ink application. 

 Winsor & Newton Promarkers Metallic Gold

ExcellentDual tipped Gold pen, with a fine bullet tip at one end and a medium tip at the other. Fine tip produces approximately 1-2mm line; medium tip approximately 3-4mm, depending on angle and pressure applied. Pigment-based ink in shimmering colours. Lightfast, even when blended with water. Dark metallic gold. Also available in Silver.  

Uni POSCA Markers Bold PC-8 Gold 250

This is an excellent Gold to use for all projects, versatile, comes in a variety of nib sizes for small detailing to large calligraphic nibs.  Uni POSCA Markers contain water-based pigment inks that produce poster-like, vibrant colours. They are lightfast and waterproof and will write on virtually any surface from glass to paper without bleed. Once dry the opaque ink can be completely covered with a new ink application. These markers are extremely versatile so why not choose the style that suit your needs! 


Gold Metallic pencils

Derwent Metallic Pencils Set of 12

These highly reflective, water-soluble metallic pencils blend together beautifully to create vivid and striking effects. The shimmering pigments produce brilliant definition when used on dark backgrounds and open up an array of possibilities to any creative artist.


  1. Use black paper for best effects.
  2. Apply water to create interesting colour washes.

Metallic Pastel sets

Sennelier Iridescent Artists Quality Oil Pastel Sets

Sennelier Iridescent Artists Quality Oil Pastels are Artists Quality Oil Pastels, they are ideal for Art and craft applications.

Sennelier Oil Pastels - 6 Iridescent Colours

Colours in this pack: 111 Aluminium, 114 Rich Gold, 115 Red Copper, 132 Golden pearl, 123 Transparent blue, 125 Iridescent white.
Artists quality oils pastel, very soft and buttery. Apply colours directly or mix colours before blending with a rag or your finger. Dilute colours with mineral spirits or turpentine and blend them with a brush.
Seal the paper first with gesso if necessary. Use in mixed media, applying over watercolour, oil or acrylic paint.

Colours may be sculpted with a pre-heated palette knife. After heating, adhere and inlay pigments, sand, sawdust, wood, paper, glass or metal into the moist colour.

Sennelier Extra Soft Pastel Selection (24 Iridescent / Shimmering Colours)

It took over three years, around the end of the 19th Century, to formulate the Sennelier range of Extra Soft Pastels and thus to create one of the worlds largest chromatic pastel ranges. This range has evolved over the years, but the heart of its design remains unchanged.

A Sennelier extra soft pastel is a high quality pure pigment finely ground with a natural binder. The high quality composition is the result of the perfect balance between binder and pigment. The manufacturing process does not involve any compression and the pastels are dried naturally in the open air.

Gold Spray Metallic paint

Montana Gold Spray Cans 400ml (G6060 to M3010)

Montana GOLD Spray Cans are the perfect tool for all artists and creative workers. This 400ml spray can provide 204 matte colours based on high quality acrylic lacquer. High covering and quick drying. The Low-Pressure System guarantees a maximum of accuracy.

Recommended for most surfaces including Wood, Concrete, Metal, Glass, Plastic and Canvas Supplied with a standard nozzle, there are also 5 different nozzles available separately and in an assorted cap pack.

For more colours in the Montana range click here.

Features;180 Acrylic based colours| 100% lead & CFC-free | Suitable for indoor and outdoor use | Fast drying | Matt finish | Almost odour-free | Twice the normal coverage | Lightfast for over 10 years. Always follow manufacturers guidelines when using Spray cans.

Montana - METALLIC effect Cans 400ml

High-covering abrasion proof metallic effect

The Montana Metallic Effect Sprays bring state of the art paint technology to traditional metallic effect colours. Loaded with a Montana Standard cap, these cans provide excellent delivery and reliability under medium pressure output. Not only are the Montana Metallic Effect colours ideal for application on functional objects such as bikes and furniture, they can also add a metallic flare to any creative or artistic project on paper, cardboard, primed canvas, wood, glass, metal, ceramics, porcelain, stone, acrylic and other paintable materials. Made from an Acrylic-Nitro Combination base, the paint surface dries to a durable semi-gloss finish which is both hard wearing when cured (24+ hours) as well as flexible. Offering great lightfastness, the Montana Metallic Effect line can also be combined with the Montana GOLD, Montana BLACK and Montana ACRYLIC marker lines.

Always follow manufacturers guidelines when using Spray cans, cover surfaces for protection.


Glossy translucent paint with silver coloured glitter particles for a metallic effect giving objects and artworks of all kinds a refined finish. Applicable on many different surfaces such as paper, cardboard, primed canvas, wood, glass, metal, ceramics, porcelain, stone, acrylic and other paintable materials.

After being applied, a thin shiny lacquer coat will show with a fine distribution of glitter particles. Further coats will lead to a higher density of particles and intensify the effect. We recommend finishing your project with the Montana VARNISH Gloss to enhance the metallic effect.

Please consider that the achieved final result will significantly be influenced by the colour and gloss level of the undercoat. The glitter particles are carried in a clear base that can easily be covered with many common lacquer types. Can be combined with Montana GOLD, Montana ACRYLIC markers and conventional acrylic paints.

Always follow manufacturers guidelines when using Spray cans, cover surfaces for protection .

We hope you find the gold you need for your creations and please do share your finished pieces on social media!

Gold paint products


Ellie Jakeman
Ellie Jakeman

I have had a strong interest in the visual and creative arts since a very early age. After completing an Art and Design Degree and Post graduate studies I have taught Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, Textile design , Fine Art print and Illustration for over 20 years. Before teaching I was a freelance artist and illustrator and decided 4 years ago I would return to freelance and commissioned work. I have created many domestic and commercial murals for hospitals and hospices. I work part time for ARTdiscount as a content creator and product tester.

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