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Nascent paint manufacture!

6 December, 2011

I usually make my paint and straightaway use it to make a painting.  I’ve been making watercolour paint to sell, but it’s not as easy as you would think!  The moisture in the paint evaporates, of course, but shrinks and leaves cracks as it does so.  I see from Studio Art Supplies (Auckland) that the Schmincke company takes ages to complete the process of filling pans of paint, letting the layers dry before adding another.

Watercolour paint is great, it is revivable after going dry and solid – you can use every last little scrap of it.  That’s good as it takes a while to grind the pigment down to powder and then use the muller to incorporate the pigment into the gum arabic vehicle. Another exciting thing about making paint is the way the finished paint colour suddenly appears whilst you are making it and the pigment becomes fully dispersed in the vehicle.

The various colours definitely have a psychological effect!  I find browns boring, the crystal-clear glauconite green beautiful, and the reds elating.  I just wish I could find a good blue, but as we all know from art history, its an elusive (and therefore expensive) hue.

I’ll keep battling on, trying to understand how the different pigments dry, and hopefully have a few half pans ready.  Thanks for the photos, Andrew!



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