I have to admit, it looks very toxic in the tube: fluorescent paint. But I love it especially in the shades of neon magenta and neon orange, and not only because it lights the way to bed at night. It can really be used universally and can do more than the first glance suggests. So what can you do with it?
Mood and light
With neon color you can conjure up a great mood in your pictures. It’s practically like turning on the light. You can either paint directly with the colors or cover similar tones with a thin glaze later. This has a great effect, especially with red tones, because red tones often become dull after drying. With a magenta glaze, the red remains brilliant. In addition, a glaze brings depth into the picture.
Fluorescent watercolor paints
Neon watercolor paints are also available in specialist shops. Especially when I’m out and about with the sketchbook, I like to take the glowing pots with me. This allows me to achieve a wide variety of sunny and fresh tones by mixing with the conventional colors. And since I like to paint less realistically and to exaggerate a bit, I am very happy to discover this material.
Neon oil pastels
You can also use fluorescent oil pastels , for example. to set reflections or flashlights on surfaces. Neon-colored lines bring light and lightness into your picture. Even with somewhat dull or overpainted structural grounds, you can revive the surface with the oil pastel and a neon-colored pastel remains shiny.
Fluorescent pigments, which can be used with various binders, also have a great effect. With acrylic emulsion (similar to acrylic binders, only more liquid and shiny), the result is a shiny, luminous and translucent surface that can stand in exciting contrast to rough structural backgrounds. Rubbed into a cold wax, the neon pigments appear a little more matt than when used with acrylic emulsion, but still transparent. It also lets the lower layers shine through.
Combinations with other color tones
Basically, the neon colors go with all color tones. But they are especially great with their dull and broken color tones. For example, with gray-beige-white sounds, the neon color unfolds its full radiance and brings tension into the picture through this quality contrast.
These colors work just as well with rust elements – again a special quality contrast. You can either use a thin layer of neon acrylic paint, light coatings with the oil pastel, or you can add the fluorescent pigment directly to the mass when mixing the iron primer and then let it oxidize. This creates rust tones with extreme luminosity.
I know such material trends come and go. But the epoch in which a picture is created can often also be recognized by the type of color tones used. I don’t think that the neon color will be a milestone in retrospect. But it’s just fun to work with.