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Picture of Justine painting with homemade paints

Homemade Paints with Justine

https://www.insideoutcommunity.com/paints-with-justine/This week’s workshop is a lovely activity that can help you create paints to use at home.  Justine tells us a little about what inspired the activity and how to make two different types of paint with items that can be found around the home. We look forward to seeing some of you at the live in person for the Making Your Mark session (for 18-25 year olds on Monday afternoon) and our open Artworks session (open to all ages on Friday morning),  if you can’t make those don’t forget we have online sessions on Wednesday for Creative Lives (over 60s) and Friday morning we will still be running Artworks on Zoom as well. You can also download these instructions here

Hello- during lockdown I was inspired to make paint/ use materials that I had at home to paint with. These are some simple ideas of things you can use from your fridge or cupboards – no special equipment or even time required!

My video shows examples of things I have used that I just happened to have around. You could be more organised about it and buy things that made all the colours of the rainbow. Here are things that could work- (earth colours and warm colours are the easiest- so you may want to choose a subject that is already browns and oranges and yellows to paint). Justine

Red: Berries – raspberries are best, Paprika
Orange: Chilli powder
Green: Spinach, Grass
Blue: Blueberries-skin only
Purple: Blackberries, Elderberries
Brown: Soy sauce, Tea, Coffee
Pink: Foundation/powder for Caucasian skin, Avocado pits – you need a lot and they require a lot of boiling- good for dyeing fabric or paper
White: Flour, Chalk dust
Black: Charcoal powder- ie burnt toast! 

  • Watercolour types

All these will make paint similar to watercolour- can be thinned down and made paler with water.

Some of these can be used as is- soy sauce works straight from the bottle.

Others can be diluted with a small amount of boiling water – tea and coffee.

Others need to be crushed- I used a pestle and mortar- you could also use a fork, or stamp on them in a plastic bag!

To remove bits you could strain through a muslin cloth or a bit of old tights!

If you want to make stronger colours from these you could try steeping in hot water- leaving for an hour (or longer) in a jam jar- which is what I did with the spinach.

Egg tempera type

Egg tempera is an ancient type of paint that is very strong and also has a gloss to it when it dries. I think it is most like modern day gouache paint. It is made by adding egg yolk to powder pigments. Try adding egg yolk bit by bit to any powdered items from your cupboards, until they have a good colour and consistency for painting:

  • Turmeric or other powdered spices.
  • Chalk
  • Flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Face powder/ any powdered make-up ie eye shadow

About the Paints

The watercolour paints will keep in a jam jar in the fridge for a few days but once mixed with egg yolk should be used immediately.

Have a go at making some of these and bring them in to Inside Out if you are attending in person, to paint with on the day, or make them and use them at home. I have had a go at painting an object in my house -a brooch, you could do this too or paint a pattern, abstract or anything of your choice.  I look forward to seeing your paint experiments and paintings in person and/or online!

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