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Making ochre pigment

 
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Hi,

I've been making my own ochre pigment, extracting it from rocks which have appealing colours. I did very little research before I started experimenting, but I've ended up with something which compares well to the professionally made ochre I've bought. I've posted pictures, instructions and a video on my blog:

http://danielkeating.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-ochre-paint-by-hand-part-2.html

Hope you find it interesting... but I was wondering, is there anyone else here with more experience? Is what I'm doing a common way of extracting ochre, and can I improve the process further? Is it technically "ochre" in the first place???

The way I do it is very time consuming, and for that reason I use it sparingly.
 
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Daniel Keating wrote:Hi,

I've been making my own ochre pigment, extracting it from rocks which have appealing colours. I did very little research before I started experimenting, but I've ended up with something which compares well to the professionally made ochre I've bought. I've posted pictures, instructions and a video on my blog:

http://danielkeating.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-ochre-paint-by-hand-part-2.html

Hope you find it interesting... but I was wondering, is there anyone else here with more experience? Is what I'm doing a common way of extracting ochre, and can I improve the process further? Is it technically "ochre" in the first place???

The way I do it is very time consuming, and for that reason I use it sparingly.



I've been making my own paint from store bought pigments, and from what I understand you're using the official method. The pigments you're making will indeed be hella lightfast. Now you can start experimenting with various binders and color blends. Blend with linseed oil to make oil paint, gum arabic to make watercolor and gouache, hydrolized cassein protein to make milk paint, and beeswax to make encaustic. Check out some of the recipes on sinopia.com and earth-pigments.com Add calcium carbonate or marble dust as an opacifier and filler so that you need less pigment to create the right texture.
 
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Location: Southern Appalachia
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Corin Royal Drummond wrote:Blend with linseed oil to make oil paint, gum arabic to make watercolor and gouache, hydrolized cassein protein to make milk paint, and beeswax to make encaustic.



Don't forget Egg Tempera (egg yolks thinned with water), sifted/cleaned clay for earth paint, and hide glue (boiled rabbit skin).

Also, in your process you say to dry the pigment in an oven, but for less energy use it can be poured onto a plate and left to dry.

Black can be made with charred bones.
 
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Location: Sierra Nevada mountain valley CA, & Nevada high desert
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Daniel, Very good! I've seen rock of all colors but never thought of what you have done. Thankyou
 
Daniel Keating
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That's really interesting that I've managed to come up with the "official" method. Only so many ways you can do it I guess.

Thanks for the links and other suggestions. I'll post my most recent painting here when it's done.
 
richard valley
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Look forward to seeing your painting.
 
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Location: Idaho
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Looks good, Daniel! That's the method I use when I'm after a very fine pigment. Typically though, I just take a chunk of ochre and grind it on concrete by hand. The resulting pigment probably isn't fine enough for your paintings (which look great by the way!) but works fine for my purposes. A book you might be interested in is "Earth Pigments & Paint of the California Indians" by Paul Campbell. A five star book in every aspect.
 
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