How to make natural paints

Making your own natural oil paint is not only super quick, easy and economical but it also makes the most archival, vibrant and pure paint on the planet. Unlike tubed conventional oil paints, these paints don't have fillers (bulking agent), toxic preservatives, heavy metal or petroleum-based pigments, solvents or chemical additives. These paints will last for thousands of years and be 100% lightfast, humidity resistant and won't off-gas into your home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Natural Pigments
  • Walnut Oil
  • Palette for mixing
  • Palette knife
  • Dropper/Syringe (optional)

Quick & Easy....

1. Add a pile of pigment to your mixing palette.

2. Create a small hole at the top of the pile, like a volcano.

3. Add about 30% by volume of oil to the pigment or just add drops of oil and start mixing. You can use a syringe or dropper to make adding oil easier or simply pour carefully from the bottle.

Note: All natural pigments absorb liquid differently and in different amounts, for example green may need a lot more oil to make a thick paste than yellow. Just add drops of oil and mix until a thick paste forms - you don't want it too liquid.

4. Mix the pigment and oil with your palette knife.

5. Add more walnut oil as necessary until you reach the desired consistency for your paint - a creamy, thick paste.

6. To store your paint, you can transfer your paint onto a piece of aluminum foil, fold it up, and save it for your next masterpiece. Or put it in a small jar with lid or scoop into an empty aluminum paint tube!

Or if you know you'll be painting throughout the week you can simply leave it on your palette since it takes over a week before it will dry.

Optional Final Step:

Some artists use a glass muller after mixing their pigments and oil with a palette knife. This is simply to make sure that every single particle of pigment is completely coated in oil and there are no air pockets that my crack a painting surface in the future.

Watch Natural Earth Paint Founder, Leah Fanning, mix a batch of oil paint....