How To Use Shimmer Drops Paint

A user guide to shimmer drops paints. You may have been using watercolour paint for a long time or you may be completely new to the medium. Whichever it is, you will find that using our paint is a little different to using traditional watercolours. So, if you are a long-time watercolour user or a complete newbie there will be a few tips in here for everyone! That’s mainly because we are constantly looking for and using pigments that that are not made to be used to make watercolour. We are looking for pigments that are different and will give interesting, colour changing and shimmer effect to your artwork. We really are pushing boundaries and with that comes small adjustments in the way to use the paints. But hay what is art is it’s not pushing boundaries!

One thing to keep in mind is that there are two main categories in our paint collection. They are Shimmer and Colour-shift and under both of these there are also subcategories because each collection uses a slightly different type of pigment. But I won’t go onto all of that now. Let’s get into how to use the paint.

How to use (the basics)

Step 1

Put a drop of water on top of the pan

Step 2

Dip your wet paintbrush into the pan, move it around to pick up some paint and away you go.

We have specially formulated our paints to activate quickly. That means when you put the drop of water on the pan you don’t need to wait before you can start painting. They are ready to paint with straight away. The exception to this is the Gemstone Collection. With these 12 colours, at step 1 you will need to allow the water to sit on the pan for around 2 minutes to activate before you can paint with these colours.

Our paints can be used with lots of water to create a wash which will give a light coloured shimmer that could be a great background or lighter version of the colour just as in traditional watercolours. However, if you are trying to use our paint with the traditional wet on wet technique you will find that they won’t flow and bleed like traditional paints do. This is because the shimmering pigments are heavier and just won’t float around in the water on their own. You will need to push them and dab more pigment in places you want it to be. It simply won’t travel there as traditional watercolours do. They will also give a beautiful granulated effect when used in this way.

Mostly we find that our paints are used with less water and this creates an opaque vivid result of saturated colour. This is also how best to use the colourshift paints and will give the best result to show the colour shift in the watercolour paint.

Categories of Paint and how to use them

Now let’s get into the different categories of our paint we have two main types they are Shimmers and Colour Shifts.


Shimmers are just what they say, shimmering paints. This range is made up of Mica, Chrome and Christal pigments. Most will have a flat colour and some will have what we call a duo-chrome effect. This is where they will have two different colours on the shimmer and will paint a different colour on black. But this is an exception as most will be the same colour on black and white paper. 

 The Glimmer Collection is made up of all our chrome shimmers, these watercolour paints are super shimmering and very vibrant.

Mica and Christal Shimmers make up the majority of our shimmer range. These paints will paint with a buttery consistency and will activate fast and give opaque results. These are sold individually and in several different size sets - from the Obsession set of 28 colours to a set 12 like the Devotion palette or a set of 6 like the Blissful or Metallic palettes to name a few.

All of our shimmer paints can be used with lots of water as a wash for a background or over the top of traditional watercolour to add a shimmering translucent look.

They can be used with less water that will give an opaque effect. This will be vibrant and can be used to add shimmering highlight to your traditional artwork. Alternatively, they can be used on their own to give a very shimmering vibrant look to your finished piece and they work really well for lettering.


Colour Shift

Colour shift paints are paints that will change colours when they are looked at from different angles or in different light. These gorgeous and extremely popular paints will reveal their true nature when you move them around the room or when you walk past them and see them from a different angle. There are three different collections in our colour shift paints. They are the Mythical, Pastel Chameleon and Gemstone collections.

The Mythical Collection is made up of 12 opaque colours that have bright and contrasting colours in their shifts. These colours are best used with less water to give bright and opaque results when painting. The paint is slightly tacky in the pan and this is very normal for this pigment. They work best when used with watercolour paper, they have been made to be used on this type of specialty paper. Although if you use them with other types of paper you may find that they smudge after drying; you can stop this by adding a drop of Gum Arabic to your pan when painting. This helps the paint bond with the paper better. You can find liquid Gum Arabic at any good paint store.


 The Pastel Chameleon Collection is made up of 8 pastel colour shift paints that have multiple colour shift colours per paint. These colours are also used best with less water and have an opaque result. They are bright and will surprise you with their wonderful colour shift qualities. They paint a different colour on black and white paper and the colour shift is also different on the black and white paper also. its almost like getting 16 different colours in this set of 8. The photographs of these paints don’t do them justice and they are fast becoming out most popular range!



The Gemstone Collection is made up if 12 extremely shimmering colour shift paints. These paints are translucent and have been named ‘Gemstone’ because of their translucent qualities. This is the one range in our whole collection that has a longer activation time. When using these watercolour paints you will need to put a drop of water on top and allow it to sit for 2 minutes to activate the paint. This will give you the best results. These colours will surprise you, because they will often paint a different colour to the colour in the pan. Peacock Ora has a purple colour paint in the pan, but it will paint blue on the paper and its shimmer will be purple. That’s what is so special about this range - it’s the shimmer that is a different colour. These are are not like our other colour shifts; they are quite unique in their qualities. This set also paints quite different on black and white paper and truly is like getting 24 colours in a set of 12.

The Ghost Collection is made up of 6 exciting and very cool colour shift paints what have almost white pigments. These white paints have a very faint colour on white paper but the shimmer really pops and will shine coloured unexpectedly. Making them fantastic for layering over regular watercolours. But on black paper is where these paints really come to life, like a ghost in the dark! because these white paints will paint a vibrant colour onto black paper. The best way to use these on black is to use only a little bit of paint with your water. Less is defiantly more when using them on black. If you pick up too much paint with your brush they will come up chalky but with more water and less paint they are divine.


Black Paper

All of our paint works very well on black paper. Giving vibrant and saturated results. The paint is all highly pigmented so they will give excellent results.

Taking care of your Shimmer Drops Paint

When you have finished using your paint, remove any water from the top of each pan and allow the pans to dry out for several hours or overnight before closing your tin or container. Some paints will remain tacky and that is completely normal. Watercolour paint is best stored in a tin or container to keep them from absorbing moisture from the air and kept in a dry cooler environment.