|A rock I found in the woods behind my house|
|Grinding with a mortar and pestle|
Step Two, Levigation and washing. I stir the powder (or paste) in a container of water. Any organic matter will float, and I can pour it off. I top it off with water again, and stir it. I let it settle for 30 seconds or so while the heavier particles settle to the bottom. Only fine particles are still suspended in the water. I pour the water into another container, and let the fine particles settle, leaving clear water at the top. I pour off as much of this water as I can, without losing any of the fine pigment particles. I'll grind the heavier particles again, and repeat the process to get more usable pigment.
|Pigment stirred into water|
|After 20-30 seconds settling time|
Step Three, Drying. I pour whatever's left onto a piece of glass, in this case an old picture frame with silicone caulk around the edges from its days as my primary studio palette. I set the frame outside to allow the remaining water to evaporate, and then scrape the dry pigment into an empty container until I'm ready to use it.
|Pigment poured onto glass to dry|
|Mixing linseed oil into pigment|
|Using a muller to mix paint thoroughly|
Step Five, Tubing and Testing. I Fill an empty tube of paint and test it out. Here is the color straight out of the tube, and mixed with white. It reminds me of a Terra Rosa paint, which is logical, since the original rock was pink.
|test driving the paint|
As a bonus, I mixed a little bit with some Gum Arabic and a tiny bit of honey (which I read aids with paint flow), and made a half pan of watercolor. I tested it out in my sketchbook, using it to paint the half pan I made.
|pigment made into watercolor|
|test driving the watercolor in my sketchbook|