UV Painting Tip: How To Create “Transition Grays” For Dual Image Effects

Published On: June 29, 2011By
UV Black Light Art: White Light Image

Black & white daylight image using transition gray mixtures.

One of the coolest signature black light effects is the dual image: one image appears under normal lighting, while a different image appears under backlight.

The dual image can be as simple as an ordinary shift in color… or as complex as two completely different, unrelated images.

The most fundamental element to creating a dual image is the use of transition colors, or paint blends that transition from one color to another under black light.

For example, imagine a grey window turning fluorescent yellow under backlight… or dark grey eyes that glow red under backlight… or grey shadows suddenly becoming illuminated by a ghostly blue hue.

Our artists have spent hours and hours figuring out formulas by trial and error to create certain effects. This can be frustrating and expensive if you’re figuring it out all on your own. That’s why we’ve decided to start sharing some of the most common fluorescent paint formulations.

This week, we’ll cover one of the most commonly used formulas: transition grays.

First, start with a standard gray base:

  • 2 Parts JWR Acrylics Titanium White
  • 3/4 (.75) Part JWR Acrylics Carbon Black
UV Black Light Art: Dual Image Under Black Light

Black & white daylight image fluoresces in brilliant color under black light.

We recommend the use of Modern Masters JWR Acrylics with Wildfire paints, as they are both manufactured at the same facility and are proven to blend well with each other.

You can always adjust the amount of Carbon Black to create the exact shade you want. However, keep in mind the color will become lighter once you add the Invisible Fluorescent Paint. (Wildfire Invisible Paint appears white under normal lighting and fluoresces its color under black light. For that reason, you’ll want to start out with a darker shade of gray than you’ll ultimately need.)

Once you have your gray base, add the Wildfire Invisible Luminescent Paint color of your choice in the following proportions…

  • 1/4 (.25) Part Gray Base
  • 1 Part Invisible Luminescent Paint (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, or Blue)

These paint formulations are used all the time in creating dual image murals. With these paint formulations alone, you could create a “black and white” visible image that fluoresces in brilliant colors under black light.

Imagine the possibilities!

Share This Article!