A collection of 3 Ozark pigments in large, removable 26 mm metal pans in a reusable magnetized case.
All colors in this set are earth pigments and light fast, and came from stones foraged right here at Wild Ozark in Madison county of northwest Arkansas. The geological makeup of the mountains here change considerably from location to location. Even within the Kingston area, there are some locations that are mostly limestone type rocks and some locations that are mostly sandstone, shale, and clay. I feel very fortunate that our land is mostly of this latter assortment.
The assortment of colors I’m able to derive from our own rocks is impressive. The only color range I have not found yet is blue. At least there is now a sort of green. I gather stones from all around our own 160 acres here, and also from Felkins creek and King’s river. Both of these other locations are a short distance away from our gate, and the makeup is similar. However, the only place I’ve been able to find the pigment that goes into the color I call “Blood of the Ozarks” comes from tiny little non-sandy pebbles I find on the rocky beaches of Kings river.
These are the colors included in this set. You can read about more of the pigments I use here.
This is the portion that settled most quickly when the pigment was washed. It has more texture and grit than the Lites. This color stains less than some of the others, and lifts well enough, so sometimes I’ll use it for initial sketches.
For a long time I had no earth-pigment source of green (light fast). I am not sure what kind of stone this comes from. It’s not gritty like sandstone, but it’s hard like an ordinary rock. Once it’s ground up to make ready for paintmaking, it behaves a lot like shale. When I use it in a painting, it behaves like green earth. So I’m just not sure what exactly it is, but I am most grateful to have found a local source of light-fast green. It’s not an easy one to find as it’s not as abundant as some of the other stones I use.
Whenever I spot this color, I always make a point to stop and retrieve it. When that happens, it feels like I’ve been given a gift from nature. I am happy to be able to pass some of this color on to you now. While this color is excellent for making initial sketches, because it lifts easily and doesn’t stain, it is too precious for me to use in that way. Often I am working with only one pan of this color, and I never know when I’ll find more green rocks to make more. So I reserve it for more important uses than making outlines and sketches. I find this stone most often in Felkins creek, about a 3/4 mile walk from our house.
This pigment comes from another unusual rock I can’t define. It’s a black sandstone sort of rock, but once I finally am able to crush and grind it, there is no sand. I assume it is high in manganese and that is what causes the brown color once I make the paint. I have no idea, but it is the only source I have for a true brown earth pigment color. The shade it produces, fairly consistently from rock to rock, is a brown very similar to what I’d get from black walnut hulls. This rock also is one I find right here at home in Madison county, Arkansas.
A Note about Color Reproducibility & Transparency
All of my colors are made from natural foraged rocks, clay, or other resources. While I may be able to come close to reproducing the color later, it’s very unlikely I’ll get an exact match. There’s enough pigment in each of these pans to paint several paintings in the style I produce. A little bit does seem to go a long ways. But if you want to make sure you’ll have more of the exact same shade, inquire to see if there is more from this same batch. It may not be in the same form, but should at least be the same color. I often pour cubes at the same time as I’m making a set like this one.
Watercolor paints made from earth pigments are not as transparent as those you might be used to. All of them are more similar to gouache than not. The ones I’ve labeled ‘gouache’ are more opaque than the pigments alone. The only ones of my paints that are truly transparent are those from plant pigments, like the sassafras root bark in this collection. You can see the paintings I’ve made using these paints at www.PaleoPaints.com if you’d like to get an idea of how they look. I also have samples and sample sets ranging from $1 – $10. Email me if you’d like me to put together a sample set for you or if you’d like a single. My address is [email protected]