Grinding pigments

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Grinding pigments

From Virgil Elliott

Published before 2005


Norberto Navarro wrote:

I recently watched a video documentary on the quest by Rembrandt Research Project to discover the workshop secrets behind Rembrandt's paints. Since then, I've become extremely interested in learning how to make my own paints.

Can anyone recommend books or resources online? Is this process cost effective?

And Virgil Elliott responded:

Norberto,

Mark Gottsegen's book, The Painter's Handbook tells about it, if I recall correctly. Also The Artist's Handbook by Ralph Mayer. Note that the Mayer book does have some dated information in it that has since been shown to have been in error, as it was written in 1940, with the last revised edition published shortly after his death in 1979. However, what he says about making oil paints is generally correct. I would say it is not cost-effective if your time is valuable, but it is good to know how to do it, as depth of knowledge is always preferable to ignorance. I generally have my students grind some yellow ochre for the experience. It is a cheap pigment, not toxic, and it is very useful. But for economy and quality, tubed paint is a wonderful thing.

-- Virgil Elliott