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Spotlight: Finetec Metallics

Spotlight: Finetec Metallics

Metallic ink is perfect for contrasting with those rich, dark papers and add an elegant shine to any piece. Nothing achieves that special glimmer quite like Finetec paints, making it my favorite to use when doing calligraphy with metallics.

Finetec paints are made in Germany from mica, a natural mineral which leaves a rich, opaque color with a slightly raised surface on paper.

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The metallic palette is made up of six different metallics, each with it’s own color, shine and purpose.

Tibet Gold—a rich, brilliant gold
Inca Gold—the most orange-gold of the palette
Arabic Gold—the most yellow-gold and vivid of the lot
Gold Pearl—gold with a hint of silver, with a slight pearl shimmer
Moon Gold—a beautiful pearlescent mixture of yellow and silver gold
Sterling Silver—the white gold of the palette

Essentially, these are metallic watercolor paints, so they are super easy to activate—just add water! Each paint pot has ridges for easy mixing and the small paint trays pop out individually and lock back into the palette for easy use. The best part, these won’t blob as you write the way gouache does.

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How to use these in calligraphy

  1. Using a pipette, grab some clean water. 
  2. Drop by drop add water to the palettes directly. I rarely need more than 2-3 drops at most. Watch that you don’t make the mix too watery, the less water, the better and richer your color will be.
  3. Grab a small roundhead paintbrush and mix the water in with the paint. Do this until you see the shimmery paint appear creamy with enough density on the brush. 
  4. With your calligraphy nib attached to your pen, flip over so your nib is facing upside down.
  5. Using your paint-filled brush, load paint onto the nib itself until you have reached the nib’s shoulder.
  6. You can begin to write, keeping in mind this will run out and you’ll need to top up every now and then following the same steps if you need to add more water.

When mixing, aim for the same consistency as whipping cream—a smooth, creamy texture. If too thick, your nib won’t allow the paint to flow through and if too watery, you’ll notice the lack of color. Remember, a little paint goes a long way!

Handy Tip: If you’re after a super dense color, drop water onto the palette and wait about 10 minutes until the paint really soaks moisture in. The color you load will be richer.

When you’re done, just let dry and pack away. Even though you’ve added water directly to the paint pot, these act as watercolors—the water dries solid into the paint with no effect. 


You can buy the Finetec palette for around US$30.
Paper & Ink Arts (US)
Delta Arts (Canada)
Calligraphy Supplies (Australia)
Coliro (Europe) 

Happy painting!

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