Making Your Own Paint – Tips

Have you considered following in the footsteps of the old masters and making your own paint? It’s certainly one way to become more intimately involved with your artwork. We offer some tips, tricks, and products to help you along your journey.

Making your own paint with pigments and binders from Schmincke

Many artists, even today, grind their own colours in their studios, just like the old masters, using a glass muller and a slightly roughened glass plate. Moreover, it is sometimes useful to add more binders to finished paints for certain painting techniques. Schmincke offers a wide range of ready-to-use binders for all applications and numerous possibilities for the individual production of watercolour, gouache, lino print, acrylic, oil, and tempera colours.

Simple paint-making is easy. We recommend making small batches to start. Create the quantity of paint you’ll use right away. Are you seeking to store your handmade paint in tubes to use later? Then the process is a little more involved. Thoroughly work the dry pigments into the medium. Every pigment particle must be thoroughly coated and integrated into the binder. If not, then the dry pigment will settle out and harden in the container. The settled pigment will separate from the binder. The resulting paint may dry in a brittle or delicate film that may crack in time. Continue reading to learn more about using a glass muller.

ATTENTION: For all artist paints you have mixed yourself, it is important to do your own pre-test with the painting technique you intend to use.  We recommend keeping careful notes on each of your paint batches.

Here are the steps for making your own paint.

Supply List

Schmincke Binding Medium of your choice
Dust mask
Dry pigments
Flexible metal spatula or palette knife
Glass surface – recycled glass, even an old mirror.
Glass Muller
Water (or solvent if you are using the Oil Binder)
Empty paint tubes for storing paint

The video below represents an over-simplified process but it really is this easy, thanks to the new Ready-to-Use Binders from Schmincke

More tips

Here is a recycled paint-making technique demonstrated by Shelly Banks. Watch the video to see the process of using a muller. Glass mullers are very useful for the proper process called milling the pigment. The exact ratios and length of time spent milling will depend on the pigment and your own perfectionism. In fact, ratios and processes are carefully guarded by every paint manufacturer. You will see that very little medium to pigment ratio is required.

“Hi oil painters! Have you ever wondered what to do with that sludge that collects in the bottom of your container of solvent. Well it is just pigment and solvent. If you let the solvent evaporate then you can reclaim the pigment, mix it with an oil binder, and make your own paint. Artist Shelly Banks reclaims the precious pigments that settle into the bottom of her Gamsol Solvent!”

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