Silver is a metallic shade that resembles gray, the visual sensation usually associated with the metal silver is its metallic shine. This cannot be reproduced by a simple solid colour like gray, because the shiny effect is due to the actual material's brightness which varies with the surface angle to a light source. Consequently in art you would normally use a metallic paint that glitters like real silver. This doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the look and feeling of silver by using the correct highlighting techniques. It does work best when painting objects that are obviously silver like cutlery or chrome bumpers on cars for instance.
Silver itself is a precious metal and other metals like stainless steel are often described as silver in colour. Silver doesn't have the warmth of gold. It's a cool metal with a cool colouring.
Silver is often considered to be rich, just as gold is. It can be glamorous and distinguished. While gray-haired men and women are seen as old, silver-haired denotes a graceful aging. It is the choice of second place as seen in things like Olympic medals where gold is considered to be first.
When painting with silver, the colour it self can be seen as earthy, natural or sleek and elegant. It can be used the same as gray is although when using shiny metallic inks, small amounts for accents is a better way to use it.
For mixing in with other colours, silver used with turquoise or any combination of blue or green suggests water. You can use silver with other colours like black and gun metal gray to create a high-tech or industrial look. It doesn’t tend to work too well with warm colours but when used with cooler versions of say yellow or a touch of orange it can look amazing.
Shades of silver include – sterling, iridescent, stainless steel, gun metal, gray, metallic grey
Oh and heres a "your really needed to know art fact "- Andy Warhol for many years dyed his hair silver.
And while you’re here - Touching on Colour Mixing
Posted: Thursday 6 May 2010