3 Fun Ways to Use Metallic Inks: A Live Lesson with Shelly Kim

If you’re anything like me, you can easily get lost watching Instagram lettering videos. Well, I am about to feed your habit with this next artist. Well, that is if you haven’t come across her account @lettersbyshells already!


Shelly Kim started off like many of us, looking for a creative outlet (in the hopes of decorating her office cubicle with fancy hand-lettered quotes) which soon evolved into her full-time career. She’s worked with a number of big brands, including Coliro. Yeah, the watercolor brand from Germany. In fact, her lettering can be found on their packaging!




Shelly loves to work with watercolor paints, holding a special affinity (and talent) towards pearl and metallic textured paints. Check out the video below for the many ways you can use metallic paints.

The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.


In the video Shelly goes over her favourite tools (check out the list below!) and how to use metallic paints.


Shelly’s Favourite Tools:


Coliro Pearlcolors

Black Card Stock (the metallics look especially vibrant on dark paper!)

Princeton Heritage Paint Brushes (Round, Size 4)

Pentel Aquash

Ecoline Liquid Watercolor

Kraft Paper

Ink Me This Dip Pen

Blue Pumpkin Nib


Extra/Alternative Tools:


White Card Stock

Kraft Paper

Water Cup


Shelly shows us how she uses the tools above, covers a number of techniques, and also gives us some really key pointers on how you can mix and match certain paints for completely unique results. Here is a little overview in case you can’t watch the video right now:


  • To prep your paints for use, you need to let them soak a bit! With a paintbrush (or water brush), swirl a few drops of water into the paint until you get a creamy texture. If you happen to oversaturate the paint, give it a few minutes to evaporate. *To Note* you can still use the paint, but it might not give you the opaqueness needed.


  • Always dip your brush before mixing colours to avoid the colours transferring. If you want to mix custom colours within the colour palette, use another surface to do the mixing.


  • Want to create something EXTRA custom? Dip your pen in an Ecoline Liquid Watercolor paint first, and add some metallic paint to it. This is a really fun way to experiment and the end results are lovely.


  • Keep in mind that the colours have very different qualities depending on the paper you use. A dark card stock will help the paints pop, whereas white (watercolour) paper and/or kraft paper will give completely different effects.


Shelly also show us how to use a metallic watercolours with DIP PENS (*heart eyes exploding from my head*). This is especially fun for special projects, BUT requires a bit more time and effort (you’ll see why when you tune into the video). Side Note: If you’re brand new to dip pens, you should check out my video here, which covers ALL THE STEPS you need to prep your dip pen and nib.


I want to go ahead and thank Shelly for taking the time to take us through her process and favourite tools! I don’t know about you, but I am FOR SURE getting my hands on that Corilo Galaxy palette ASAP!


Want more? Be sure to check out and subscribe to my The Happy Ever Crafter YouTube channel and join The Happy Ever Crafters Facebook group to stay up to date!

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