Sunday, June 26, 2011

making paint

As if I am not already too busy with work, hobbies, and trying to create art, I have decided to try something I have been wanting to do for years- make my own paint. I have always loved looking at pigments and minerals so I did a lot of research and have been experimenting with egg tempera. I read several books and have been using the internet as well- I am finding the discussion forums on very useful. Some tips I have made use of: the best black according to several artists is Mars Black. It was hard to find this pigment but I finally found it at an online store called RGH. According to an artist whose book I read, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White are difficult to disperse, so I took his advice and bought these colors in the form of a paste from Kremer Pigments which is another online store. The rest I bought in the form of powder at and they were very affordable. Of course, the coveted Lapis Lazuli is out of the question- I have to be content with the affordable alternative- Ultramarine Blue. There is enough information on the internet about the technique of making egg tempera that I won't go into it- but a few notes: Cobalt Blue is a very strange plasticy pigment and resistant to dispersion- it has the consistancy of Ublik. Like a solid and liquid at the same time. Some pigments are soft enough that you can put some in a bottle and stir in some distilled water. Some, such as the Cobalt Blue and Alizarin Crimson (the latter is particularly very grainy), need to be ground with a palette knife on a granite slab. I work in the monument business, so this was very easy to obtain. If you mix large amounts, a glass muller might be easier. I mix small amounts, as I don't work large, and I have heard artists complain about the paste not storing very well. Not pictured in my photo but very important- gloves and a respirator.