02 October 2007

Making Paint

Tonight I made my own encaustic paints. I melted some beeswax, ground up some damar resin, and mixed it and the various pigmenting agents in the beeswax.

I ended up with six or seven very interesting colors and a couple not-so-interesting ones. I will use the ones that are not so interesting as base/background colors.

I used commercially prepared ground pigments. I am looking to move away from the paints that have heavy metals in them - even though those colors are the most intense. I do not like working with them because they are so toxic. I may end up working with a totally different color range in order to be more health and ecology focused with my practice.

I eventually want to grind my own pigments. But that will have to wait for a while. I need to figure out if I can grind the pigments without using a binding agent. I think most binding agents would not mix well with the beeswax.

Maybe I will make some more handmade paper and see how these handmade paints work on it...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are more natural binding agents. Linseed oil can be used in beeswax. I'm not sure if you have a copy but one of the best books I own is "Formulas for Painters" by Robert Massey. It contains over 200 formulas for making paints, glazes, mediums,sizes and the recipes are all given with measurement, melting points, flash points, and ratios of dry pigs to oil, for all techniques in painting, including encaustic and egg tempera. Can you tell I love this book? ;)

Also you can look into "pigments from the earth" --- clay based although the color range is a more muted and natural palette. I wish I had to area to play with encaustic but for now---I can only work with it outside due to the vents needed.

Hope you are well,