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Anybody make their own paints?

Just wondering if anybody here likes to make their own paints?

I usually use tube paints, but have learned how to make my own paints.  I've made oils, acrylics, watercolors, egg tempera, and soft and hard pastels.  This has helped me to understand my materials much better!

Following Mark's guidance, I plan to make up a limited palette set of oil colors, mix them with some homemade slow dry medium using Mark's formula, and keep them in jars as he recommends.  I haven't been sure how well they would keep in jars, and I find that loading homemade paint in to tubes to be rather onerous! 

Would like to know if anyone else does this?


  • If you have good jars, the paints will last quite a while in a refrigerator. It is explained in one of Mark's videos. And congrats on making your own paints as stated above, awesome!
  • If you are making your own paint then be careful about adding thinners while making it more fluid like Mark's. It may become extremely runny. Modern paints have lot of extra elements.
  • Kaustav, I saw in one of Mark's videos on oil paints that when he statted making his paints, he found that his "traditional" paint only needed a few drops of his slow dry medium to get to the right consistency.

    Even when grinding oil into the pigments, I've found that a couple of drops of oil can also take it from too dry to too wet.  

    The reason I want to add his medium is to increase the open time.  
  • Yeah @mstrick96 but in the latter portion of the video he said that '...maybe it doesn't need a solvent' so he developed Geneva paints without thinners/solvents but his slow dry medium (for market available paints) has thinners to dilute those paints because they have extenders and other eliments.
  • Good point, @Kaustav, I remember that now.  I womder if he just uses linseed oil and clove oil as his medium?  

    He talks about the problems of adding too much linseed oil weakening the cured paint film, but in. Y experience, it doesn't take much.  Perhaps I should make a stiff paste from the pigment and oil and then use linseed oil with about 2% clove oil in it as a medium to make the paint creamy?  Or maybe just use the linseed/clove oil from the beginning?
  • If you search on YouTube about how to make traditional oil paint,  you will see a lot of videos
  • @mstrick96 have you considered including a little stand oil in your mix with linseed and clove oils? This works for me, still eliminates a need for solvents. I believe the solvent is necessary to melt the "venice turp" into the mix, I don't have access to venice turp.
  • @Forgiveness, I haven't tried using stand oil.  My understanding is that the Venice Turps and the clove oil are the main ingredients that extend the drying time which is what I primarily want to do.

    It would be interesting to know more about how Mark makes his paints.  He talks about an "additive" that he uses, but doesn't say exactly what it is.  I am wondering if it is the clove oil?

    I've also made water miscible oil paints using traditional linseed oils.   I just add Span 80 to the oil.  I've found,however, that it isn't necessary, because walnut or safflower oil is great for cleaning brushes and then soap and water wash these oils out of the brush nicely.  I'm trying to find ways to be solvent free in my studio.
  • Every color of paint needs different amounts of oil. I found the blue to be the most difficult of Marks colors to make. It just was stringy and awful!
  • mstrick96

    I find that loading homemade paint in to tubes to be rather onerous!  
    Loading new tubes should be easy if the paint is handled in the same way as cake icing.
    Disposable plastic piping bags, or reuseable silicone piping bags will cleanly and efficiently transfer the paint to the tube. Even simpler cut the corner off a ZipLock bag.


  • Great idea!  Thanks!
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