A collection of 3 Ozark pigments made from local, foraged stones, 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 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.
The Stone Pigments
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.
This is a slightly reddish rusty brown. Sometimes a russet will be more orange than red, sometimes more brown than orange. This one has a slight rosy tone. When a stone is large enough, after I grind it I’ll separate the pigments by washing them.
What happens is that the larger or denser particles sink to the bottom of the jar and the smaller particles float. So I pour the colored water into a separate jar and let those settle over the course of a day or two. Those are the ‘Lites’. Usually this is pigmented clay, and it makes a very fine, rich paint. The heavies are retained and either made into paint as they are, or ground some more, maybe washed and separated again, or used as is.
This is as close to a white white that I can get unless I buy purified lime or calcium carbonate. It is a slightly off-white color, a shade that might be called ‘antique’ white at a paint store. Not quite as white as ‘eggshell’. Most of the limestone I find around here is white, but sometimes it has rust inclusions or stains on it. That makes it unsuitable for a ‘white’ paint. Every once in a while I’ll find a nugget, or even a chunk of nice clean white limestone. That’s the ones I look for. It’s a very hard rock to grind, in spite of being chalky and seeming brittle. This rock also is one I find in Felkins creek, here 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]