There is one precious source for a certain color I don’t use often or in large quantities. My new Driftwood Palette collection I’m calling ‘Blood of the Ozarks’ contains some paints with some of this color.
Unadulterated with other pigments, the stone makes a deep, rich, red. I call that one ‘True Blood’, and I only have 2 mini-cube sized paints of it currently. One of those is on my own personal driftwood palette and the other is tucked away in my reserve stash.
But when I made the colors on this latest palette I used some of that red to combine with a few other pigments. Just to see how it would work. And it worked. Wonderfully.
Pigment Source for True Blood
True Blood comes from a smooth red stone I find in the King’s river gravel. When I find the stones, they’re always small- about the size of my thumbnail (literally, the one on my thumb… not the small graphics called thumbnails).
This stone is smooth and saturated with red pigment. The most treasured stones like this are fully red, with no brown or black coatings on them. Those are the most rare. Usually there are inclusions or coatings that give the resulting paint a brownish tint.
Most of the time, if I get down close to the gravel and search through it, I can find little nuggets and flakes of this red stone without all the other things mixed into it. It’s free of all the grit the other stones have and seems to be just pure tumbled red ochre.
Blood of the Ozarks Driftwood Collection No. 1
Any collection I make that uses True Blood in some way is going to be a ‘Blood of the Ozarks’ collection. This is the first one. The following lists the colors included on this one and their sources.
Char-Shale Bone Black is a combination of charred wood, creek shale, and charred bone. It makes a nice pigmented black. Not as nice as bone alone, but better than char alone and blacker than shale alone.
Stormy Lites is the lightweight portion of a gray-green sandstone. This is the closest thing to a light-fast green I currently have from local pigments. To get the lightweight portion of a stone, I wash it in water after grinding and then make the paint from the portion that stays suspended in the water longer than the grit. The grit settles immediately, then I pour off the washing and let it settle. Then I pour off the clear water and let the sediment dry. That’s where the ‘Lites’ tag comes from in my paints. The grit can also be used to make a paint, and I call those ‘heavies’. Most of the time there is a color difference by a few shades between the lites and heavies. As well, the lites are almost always smoother paints and heavies are grittier.
Earthy Delight is a brown that comes from a black sandstone. It is one of the hardest rocks to grind to a powder, but once it’s ground, it mulls to a smooth paint. That’s a pretty odd combination of traits, but it makes the best earth pigment brown without the reddish cast. You can read more about the surprises this stone sometimes gives me in this post about brown colors.
Earthy Blood combines a little True Blood with Earthy Delight.
Fresh Earthy Blood is True Blood combined with Murdock Lites. I used the Murdock Lites, a pigment with a very light flesh-tone color, to pick up what was left of the True Blood on the mulling plate. When I have a very pigment rich paint on the plate, rather than wash it down the drain to clean up, sometimes I’ll use a neutral color to blend and capture the residue instead. That’s what this one was.
Bloody Yellow! is a combination of a slight amount of True Blood in Yellow Lites.
Murdock Yellow is a combination of Yellow Lites and Murdock Lites. I’ve found that the Murdock Lites will give a lift and clarity to the pigments I’ve combined it with. I like that, but only have a limited amount of that original stone. It was gifted to me by someone with the last name of Murdock and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find more of it. It is also an Ozark stone, just not one I see right here around Wild Ozark.