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  • Writer's pictureKnezic Petra

Neon Lights

A post about painting with Black Light Paint.

For my recent work "0 100 0 0 / Magenta", where I drew jellyfish, I experimented with acrylic Black Light Paint. Today they come in many colours and you can easily get them on the internet. My wish was to make the jellyfish glow under black light, so people could first take a look at them in normal daylight and than have a special "lights out" feature, where the drawing would come to life as if they were deep under the sea surface, surrounded by fluorescent shining jellyfish. 

There are different types of these colours, so read well before you order them and make a plan of how and what you want to do. There are some that are "colourless" under daylight and show colour under black light and than there is the ones I used - they already have a colour in daylight, which is what I wanted. 

I made some tests with the ones I got (Neon Nights - Black Light Paint Fluorescent, 8x 20 ml (0.7 fl oz), Premium Black Light Paint, to see how they would react in combination with my acrylic ink. I got them on eBay.


Process: after I finished all my drawing, I applied acrylic ink from Liquitex (magenta) so I would be sure the whole painted surface would be covered. A few days later I covered it with the Black Light Paint and let it dry. 

You don´t need to paint anything underneath, but I noticed the Black Light Paint is a tiny little bit like painting with pudding - you have to really be careful how much paint you use on your surface, so it is even and no brush strokes are seen in the paint - this is mostly visible only under Black Light. 

Result: when the Black Light Paint dried, it took a bit of a different shade, but because of testing I knew that would happen. It was still the wished for result and I am happy with it under daylight and under Black Light. As I took pictures with my camera, the colour in daylight looks a bit pale compared to the original - it looks much more intensive and fresh in real life than it did on my pictures. 

Black Light Paint did not run over, it did not dry to fast or take too long drying after, it was just the perfect amount of time to make little details. I used a small brush (12/0) and applied the paint very gently and quite generously - the paint does not create marks on it´s edges and does not go through paper on the other side. I was very satisfied with it, it reacts perfectly for my super tiny details and all in all, I had no problems working with it or after with the finished artwork. They glow beautifully but make a test or more tests on different papers and find the right colour for yourselves.

Note: in one part of the drawing I had to paint over the Black Light Paint, because I just didn´t like the colour combination, but that could not have been foreseen and that´s just me having a problem with too much "colour" in my works. I am saying that because I had no problems painting over it with acrylic ink - I used Sennelier, because they are shellack based which makes a nice glow. It covered completely.

I am posting some pictures maybe some of you might find interesting if you cannot decide which paint to buy and you can watch a video of how the artwork looks finished. Keep in mind the colour that looks light pink is in reality dark pink - magenta and the part I painted over is purple (on the pictures it looks almost black); the background is black.

* You can also get energy saving Black Light bulbs on eBay (or elsewhere). 


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