While making gold-colored paint may seem like a simple task, remember that numerous hues may be called "gold." For example, if you look at Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer or Henri Regnault's portrait of Salome, you'll see a wide variety of tones that can all be considered gold: a shimmering ochre backdrop, a canary-gold top, a metallic skirt and a bronze-gold platter. These images probably feature more than a dozen golden hues, and they were painted long before you could go to the store and pick up a tube of "gold" paint.
To make gold paint, you may need to experiment with several combinations to find the hue you want. The process is easy to follow.
Things You'll Need
Yellow oil or acrylic paint
Brown oil or acrylic paint
White oil or acrylic paint
Orange oil or acrylic paint
Gold glitter or powdered bronze
Step 1: Mixing Yellow and Brown
To make gold acrylic or oil paint, begin by mixing equal parts of yellow and brown with a brush. If you're just practicing, you can start with a 1/8 teaspoon or less of each and begin by dabbing your brush into the brown paint and blending it into the yellow to see how the shade adjusts with increasing amounts.
Step 2: Add White
To brighten up the hue, blend in a small amount of white paint, adding more as desired. Mixing in orange will dull the shade, which can be necessary for low lights.
Artists who have access to an array of paints may want to experiment with a cadmium yellow or ochre and umber or burnt umber.
Step 3: Make It Vibrant
For a more vibrant shade of gold acrylic or oil paint, mix a 2-to-1 ratio of yellow to orange and add smaller amounts of white as necessary.
Step 4: Add the Shine
Part of what makes gold distinctive is its reflective hue. To give that metallic sheen, add a dash of fine gold glitter or powdered bronze, each of which have a slightly different quality.
Creating Gold in Watercolor Paint
Things You'll Need
Yellow ochre watercolor paint
Raw sienna watercolor paint
Carmine watercolor paint
Step 1: Create Gold Watercolor
To create gold in watercolor, use yellow ochre for the highlighted sections and mix the yellow with raw sienna and carmine for the shadows. Begin with a 2-to-1-to-1 ratio of yellow ochre, raw sienna and carmine.
Step 2: Adjust the Proportions
That balance may need to be adjusted depending on the desired tone.
Step 3: Make It Shiny
Gold powder along with a watercolor binding medium adds a sheen that won't flake off.