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View Full Version : Paintmaking: part 2!


Mythrill
09-24-2013, 06:38 PM
Hello, guys! As you have probably seen from my previous post (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1328765), I had trouble with creating earth colors that were too gritty. No more! I've combined your ideas and got some pigment that is very concentrated, fine and transparent, while still being subtle. Here's how:
Followed rltromble's advice to remove organic material.
Used 100% cotton rag (very fine rag) to remove the suspended material.
Mixed paint with water to manipulate it and transfer it to a metal pan.
Cooked the paint at 100 C (water's boiling point.) This makes the paint crumble and change colors very little to nothing (earth colors only change their behavior at around 300C or more.)
Used the rag as a filter again to remove any organic material left. Now I have some murky water, and the sediments will stay in the metal pan.
Repeated the process over and over until the water from the pan was almost completely clear and all there was left were impure sediments (sand particles, unwanted small stones, and so on.)
Let the murky water rest. After a while, the fine sediments settled on the recipients I chose.Test the pigment. The result is a very fine powder close to a synthetic iron oxide in texture! I got two earth samples, and I got two different colors: one similar to a dusty, dull yellow (similar to Yellow Ochre,) and a darker color, which would be close to a neutral red shade of raw umber.

And the best thing: although the texture is similar to a synthetic iron oxide, the earth you get is very transparent and subtle when mixed (even more so than W&N's Raw Umber!)

The only downside, though, is that you'll need a lot of earth if you want a texture that's delicate and close to dust. As far as the earth have settled, two litters of water gave me only around two (or three) teaspoons of earth pigment.

Would you guys like to see pictures of the result? :)

Gigalot
09-25-2013, 07:37 AM
Good to have a compact crystals of earth pigment. Grind it with water using granite pod and muller and you will have a pure, fine grade powder, free of impurities. :)

Mythrill
09-25-2013, 03:01 PM
Good to have a compact crystals of earth pigment. Grind it with water using granite pod and muller and you will have a pure, fine grade powder, free of impurities. :)
Hi, Giga!

I have done just that, but the pigment was so fine it seemed I was mulling a murky liquid (tried to make a paste big mistake, because it becomes harder to handle) with water.

After 3 hours of mulling, I pretty much liked the results. Here's a picture (by the way, I've used my house's soil, which is darker than the original earth sample I got, even though they come from very close locations:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Sep-2013/96427-Raw_Umber_Fine-09252013.jpg
Pigment applied full strength with palette knife.
Pigment applied with brush.
Tinting with water.
Tinting with Titanium Dioxide (PW6.)
Opacity test over Red Iron Oxide (PR101) palette knife and brush.
Comparing with Winsor & Newton Raw Umber (Pbr7) palette knife and brush.As you can see, the homemade version, choosing only the finest particles, is even more transparent than W&N's version, even if applied thickly. However, to pick the finest particles was a laborious process that only gave me a small pot of paint.


Contrary to the previous post, this paint has no other color mixed to it only honey as an additive, because I want to store it, our climate is too hot and honey makes the paint flow beautifully. It also has a typical granular texture, which I love to give natural underpaintings and subtle textural effects.

What do you think?

opainter
09-25-2013, 10:54 PM
Looks good enough to eat! Esp. since it is made from dirt (who as a kid has not eaten dirt?), honey, and, in the case of #4, titanium dioxide (which is used as a cheap food coloring agent)!

Seriously, though, I wonder if the dirt might contain mold that the honey by itself might not be sufficient to prevent.

Anyway, it looks like you are making progress! :D

Mythrill
09-26-2013, 04:25 AM
Looks good enough to eat! Esp. since it is made from dirt (who as a kid has not eaten dirt?), honey, and, in the case of #4, titanium dioxide (which is used as a cheap food coloring agent)!

Seriously, though, I wonder if the dirt might contain mold that the honey by itself might not be sufficient to prevent.

Anyway, it looks like you are making progress! :D
Hi, Opainter!

Thank you so much for your feedback!

In the case of no.4, I didn't add titanium dioxide directly to the paint tube I only mixed it with some of my paint to see what kind of neutral we get from that (similar to what Dickblick or Daniel Smith do when displaying their paint.)

To prepare the paint, I used Golden's Acrylic Medium (Gloss) and some of Pebeo's (Matte, because I ran out of resin.) I hope they will have enough preservatives to prevent mold. In addition, this earth was constantly boiled to 100C, so I hope it was made sterile.

In any case, what substance(s) do you suggest to prevent mold?

Gigalot
09-26-2013, 06:54 AM
In any case, what substance(s) do you suggest to prevent mold?

Add Boric acid there or Sodium tetraborate solution. Sodium fluoride is also effective thing.

Mythrill
09-26-2013, 01:20 PM
Add Boric acid there or Sodium tetraborate solution. Sodium fluoride is also effective thing.

Giga, thanks for the tip! I don't have boric acid, so I added a few drops of sodium fluoride. It's extremely convenient! :)

Gigalot
09-26-2013, 03:52 PM
Giga, thanks for the tip! I don't have boric acid, so I added a few drops of sodium fluoride. It's extremely convenient! :)
Boric acid is not rare, it is always available over the counter. Cheap antiseptic.:)

Mythrill
09-27-2013, 08:42 AM
Hi, guys. I decided to test the paint on my current work (acrylics,) "Lost Paradise."

The results really surprised me: although on its own this umber is more transparent than Winsor & Newton's, it's actually more chromatic and gives me a wider range of values (Winsor & Newton's Raw Umber is so light on paper I have to use black to get a full range of values.) The left was painted only with my umber, while the right was only painted with Winsor & Newton's Raw Umber (though I had to glaze my umber there and add black in mine to get my composition balanced.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2013/96427-Umber_Layer_-_Complete_Web.jpg


I'm starting to think the reason earth pigments are not as transparent as they used to be is not because there isn't good soil. Rather, it's probably because feeding earth and sediments to a powerful muller will give you more economical, cheaper paint. Boiling the paint, allowing it to settle, then getting the finest sediments and drying them using an oven is a very time-consuming process.

Another option to that, of course, is to mix synthetic iron oxides around the same hue of the historical umber colors. Considering even two batches from the same place can look very different, it's much cheaper to add them to save money and control the hue of the paint. If the earth I got from my neighbor is much yellower and mine is darker and redder, do you think big companies would produce completely natural batches of paint that are so consistent in hue?

Mythrill
09-27-2013, 08:47 AM
As I have balanced out the composition, I've simulated how different it looks like in Photoshop Winsor & Newton's Raw Umber would be in the right, and mine would be in the left. Can you see the difference?

Please note that I had to exaggerate a little, because, as I said, as soon as I noticed the paints looked different, I had to balance the composition.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2013/96427-Umber_Layer_-_Complete_Exaggeratedjpg.jpg

Gigalot
09-27-2013, 10:26 AM
Congratulations! Your pigment seems to be better than tube umber. I had one tube of real, bona fide natural umber. It was absolutely gorgeous pigment, black in masstone and bright orange to apply thinly. Fake umbers, made from black mixed with oxide are far from real thing. :)

Mythrill
09-27-2013, 01:12 PM
Congratulations! Your pigment seems to be better than tube umber. I had one tube of real, bona fide natural umber. It was absolutely gorgeous pigment, black in masstone and bright orange to apply thinly. Fake umbers, made from black mixed with oxide are far from real thing. :)
Hi, Giga!

I'm glad you like it. About your pigment, if you say it had a bright orange tint, it was probably Burnt Sienna (also Pbr7.) The difference is that it has more hematite (natural iron oxide) and little to no magnesium. Natural, transparent Burnt Sienna, as you've described, is something many artists would die for!