All colors in this set are earth pigments and light fast, and came from rocks 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 stone 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 other stones I use for pigments here. All of the pigments in this particular set were derived from stones found here at Wild Ozark.
Rosy Sheer – Russet with a rosy tint
This color is sourced from a sandstone with more red to it than brown, and washing the pigment to separate the lighter parts from the heavier parts yields a fine, slightly rosy tinted, russet. A washed pigment, wets easily, stains. More sheer applications reveals more rosy than orange.
Russet – Rusty Brownish Orange
From a sandstone that yields a nice rusty brown. A washed pigment, wets easily, stains. Sheer to opaque.
Earthy – Dark Brown
This color comes from a black sandstone that is really difficult to break and grind. But it’s really easy to mull down to a very smooth paint. The shade varies between dark brown and brown brown. This one is on the darker side of brown, with no red undertones. Sheer to opaque.
A foraged stone that I get from Felkins creek, which is about a mile from our house. It’s not a common rock, so I am always happy to find this greenish-gray silty stone. The paint included in this set is a washed pigment, and the portion used for the paint was the heavies. The amount of green tint to the pigment varies from rock to rock quite a bit.
It takes a high heat to ash bone to white. Usually, I can’t achieve this in our woodstove, but for this one I burned some locust branches and got the fire hotter than I usually do. The found bones I used are most likely deer vertebrae.
This black is made by charring bone in the absence of oxygen, so I use a closed container and bury it in the ashes. It’s the blackest of blacks I have made so far, but it takes layering the paint to get to the density of black I need in some cases. The found bones I used are most likely deer vertebrae.
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.