Colours as you know are formed across the spectrum (like a rainbow) including white and black, plus red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. But many paints, food dyes and more are dyed with artificial chemicals (there is one river in India where street dogs have literally turned blue, from drinking the polluted water from dying blue jeans for western consumers). So if you like to create your own colours, here are a few creative ideas. Keep all these dyes and ingredients away from children and pets.
Found and Ground is a unique book that shows you how to make your own natural watercolour paints alongside oak gall ink and drawing tools from pampas grass. Terminology is simply explained and techniques have easy instructions. The book gives fresh ideas on how to forage and safely (keep all foraged items away from children and pets – oak is toxic to animals including horses).
The ideal reference for artists and crafters who wish to move away from acrylic (plastic) paints, learn how to make a series of simple paints including gouache, tempera and glair, and even an innovative ‘vegan egg paint’.
Learn how to make paint pigments from chalk, clay, rocks and other found materials. Readers may look for greenish shale in fields, pink clay at beaches (never take pebbles from beaches, it disturbs ecosystems) and orange discarded bricks in urban areas. For stones, Ross advises hammering them into tiny pieces, grinding with a mortar and pestle and filtering through a sieve then adding to a jar with water, to pour out the ‘paint. The book also focuses on ethical foraging:
- Stay clear of protected spaces
- Gather only what’s needed
- Avoid contaminated areas
- Wear protective gear
about the author
Caroline Ross uses wild and ancient materials to make art from small illustrations to large murals. She also teaches life drawing. Having spend decades indoors in art and recording studios, she now spends as much time as possible outdoors, immersing herself in nature.