Basically, what you do is find rocks with good color to them, crush them up to a fine powder and add a solution of gum Arabic. That is how to make a very basic handmade watercolor paint.
Is that it?
There are many other things that can be done to refine your pigments so that you can make better paints.
I’ve linked you to some more detailed instructions below. Once you have some experience under your belt for making the basic paint, start experimenting with different ratios on the binder solution, different treatments of the pigment. Some changes effect great change (better wet-ability when using, less crumbly, too sticky, etc.), while others seem to make no difference.
Other ways to refine
Other things to experiment with include washing your pigments, separating lights from heavies, heating, and chemical reactions using plant pigments.
What Kind of Paintings does this Make?
I use only my handmade paints. The first paintings I did were with the paints before I knew anything more than the very basic instruction. Later, as I learned to refine my paints, I was able to get more shades of colors and use them in better ways. You can see my gallery by clicking the button below.
More Details on How to Make Paint:
- Watercolor Media (Binder) (includes my recipe for how to make it)
- Watercolors using Rocks, Clay, etc. (a very basic paint you can easily make)
How to Make – Hands on Workshops
I offer workshops on foraging for pigments and then what to do with them and how to make them into paint. Click the image below to go see what’s scheduled and when.