How to make your paints ?
As is stated in our “what is paint?” article: making paint does not have to be complicated. The first step in making paint is simply to understand that all of the color found in every type of paint comes from pigments. Next, you’ll have to learn about the binder for the technique that you would like to practice. Once the logic of your binder has been understood, all you have to do is mix the pigment and the binder together in the right way.
The most commonly used binder for oil paint is linseed oil. What makes linseed oil a binder of choice is the fact that it’s a siccative oil. Unlike other vegetable oils – such as canola or olive oil – linseed oil will dry. What this means is that it reacts with oxygen (in a process called oxidation), to slowly change from a liquid to a gel to a tough, solid form. Therefore we refer to it as siccative oil because it solidifies through oxidation
Linseed oil is not the only siccative oil; therefore not the only binder that can be used to make oil paint. Poppy seed, safflower or walnut oil are semi-siccative oils that can also be used to make oil paints.
It is also important to understand that the process of oxidation does not stop when the painting seems to be dry, , it actually continues for years. We should also keep in mind that oil paint is a dynamic technique which continues to change, whether by reacting or oxidizing -a painting can yellow, darken or even crack well after its completion. In short, oil paintign is a living art.(Click here to see a virtual demonstration with pictures)
Here's what you need to make your own paint:
Here are the steps to follow:
We recommend that you use a glass muller if you plan to prepare a large quantity of oil paint, or if you want a very fine paint. This being said, a simple spatula will work very well for small quantities: you can even use putty knife that are sold in hardware stores.
Fillers, also known as inert pigments or pigment load, are traditionally used in oil painting. Even though they are generally thought of as being a bad thing, it is worth considering the advantages of using filler pigments. Several extenders have desirable properties for the manufacturing of oil paint. If they are used sparingly, they can allow you to save money and give you better control over the texture of your oil paint.
Barium sulfate and aluminium hydroxide are the two most common extenders. They are, in fact, white pigments (Pw21, Pw24) that have a very low tinting power. By using these pigments to make your paint, you can increase the total volume of paint produced without altering the color. In addition, the fillers also play a role in stabilizing the oil colors (especially the aluminium hydrates and aluminium stearate).
We suggest not adding more than 25% fillers in the mixture; otherwise the color could be altered. The savings are much more noticeable when using extenders with expensive pigments such as cadmiums or cobalts.
When you begin grinding your pigments, you will find that certain colors change consistency after a while. This phenomenon is quite normal, and has nothing to do with the quality of the pigments.One of the most striking examples is probably ultramarine blue. When prepared in oil, without extender, the pasty texture is gradually transformed into anunpleasant liquid, similar to molasses.
The solution to this problem is to add a stabilizer to the paint. Hydrate or aluminum stearate, and especially beeswax paste is generally used to control the consistency of paint. Our experience has shown that Kama Pigments’ beeswax paste corrects this problem very well if it is incorporated in grinding of oil paint.
The binder for the acrylic paint is called "acrylic emulsion polymer", and you can get it in different forms when you buy acrylic mediums.
Unlike drying oils which oxidize, the acrylic dries by evaporation of water (and the various liquid solvents) to form a tough, flexible film of paint. This polymer can be purchased in various forms: gel, liquid or impasto mediums (either glossy or matte).(Click here to see a virtual demonstration with pictures)
The easiest way to make acrylic paint is to use Aqua-dispersions of pigments, which are sold already prepared. When you prepare oil paint, you can take your time to mix the pigments and binder together, however, with acrylic paint, time is limited because the acrylic binder dries very fast. It is therefore difficult, when using dry pigments, to obtain a smooth and well dispersed paint. The Aqua-dispersions mix easily with acrylic mediums to produce a high quality paint in a jiffy.
It is also possible to make acrylic paint without the Aqua Dispersions mix, as with all other water based techniques from dry pigments. To do so, you have to mix the dry pigments with water, making sure they are well dispersed. You can then incorporate this homemade dispersion in the acrylic binder, and mix again. For lighter pigments such as organic pigments, it is much easier to replace the water with rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl) to prevent the pigments from floating on the surface of the water.(Click here to see a virtual demonstration with pictures)
The binder for gouache and watercolor is gum arabic. which comes naturally from acacia trees. We have a good recipe to make your own gum arabic solution in our recipes section, we suggest you take a look.
To make your own watercolor we again recommend that you to use the dispersions of pigments which is even more important in that technique. By adding drops of dispersions in the solution, you will instantly obtain transparent watercolor. To get an opaque gouache, simply mix either talc, zinc white or china clay into a paste using the same solution and add your dispersions or pigments.