This yellow ochre pigment came from a yellow sandstone rock found on our property here at Wild Ozark. It can be used to make any kind of paint. The swatch below is from a watercolor paint. Use the powder to make whatever kind of paints you’d like. This pigment, as can all earth pigments, can also be used to make handmade oil paints, or tempera.
Wild Ozark’s Paleo Paint pigments are sustainably foraged from right here around our home. Most of the color comes from various iron and magnesium oxide compounds. These are earth pigments and are generally considered lightfast. The rocks are abundant and on the surface of the ground when I collect them. They often start out as larger rocks, but I break them into smaller sizes so our handy rock crusher can process them into a powder.
The color of the paint from this pigment is an earthy. To make a smooth paint from this pigment powder, you can either grind it a little more in a mortar and pestle or wash the pigment to create a very smooth, easily wettable handmade watercolor paint.
Washing the pigment
Wear a respirator when working with dry pigments. This yellow ochre, as with any pigment from sandstones, contains silica dust that can be very harmful to your lungs. Start with 2 oz of whole pigment in a quart jar. Fill with water, shake well. Pour off colored water into another empty quart jar. Repeat. Now you have 2 quart jars full of colored water that needs to settle. Pour the sludge left in the initial jar into a small jar. Those are your heavies. The sludge that settles in the large jars will be your ‘lites’. Once the water settles and clarifies, you can combine the sludge from both larger jars into a smaller jar to let it dry.