Sunday, October 14, 2007

Clay, with a side of Eggs

Two pigments were refined this time! Blue clay and eggshells.

For the clay, I used the standard slurry method to settle out the larger particles.

It had been drying in my house for almost a month now, and would still be drying if it weren’t for the fact that I put it next to a heating vent (yeah, this is a proof of concept test to say the least)

Anyway, it actually makes a great dark grey!

In other news, I tried crushing the heck out of eggshells to see what I could some up with. I’ve been grinding them in my mortar and pestle for about a week now, and the particles are still too coarse.

I read a Google search excerpt from Pigment Compendium Set by Nicholas Eastaug, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, and Ruth Siddall, (now on my wish list for those out there to those with way too much money on their hands)
It looks like that
a) eggshells were used in the past and were considered as good as lead white, and
b) there are other techniques I need to try to get finer particles.

So, I’ll try those ASAP and then post my results!

By the way, starting with this entry, this blog is have updates every other week entries for the next few months.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Enter the (Copper) Matrix

I thought I had some really promising results with the copper tests I did using the salt, white vinegar & ammonia recipe, so I decided to do a test matrix to see what would work best. (No, it did not include Trinity as played by Carrie-Anne Moss but next time you're in your home town, feel free to drop by and say hi to me & the family), I just tried every ingredient combination.

I got a whole bunch of interesting results. Long story short: Salt seemed to make it hard to disperse in walnut oil (it was all clumpy)

My best result is to only use white vinegar. I also thought I had an incredible blue with an ammonia/white vinegar combo, but after I mixed it with walnut oil, it reacted and turned green.

One other thing, as noted on some of the close-ups, I had reactions between the tests. My guess was that the vinegar & ammonia vapors reacted in the air just above the copper & oxidized it.

So, one more thing to try with copper before moving on: I need to do a few more tests with different types of vinegar. This time I’ll keep the samples a little further apart.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Painting From Scratch: New Host, New Name

Last night I updated this blog, so it is now hosted on the BlogSpot servers, and takes advantage of the neat, new and nifty layout features. Long story short: I don't have to do as much coding to get the features I want, and updating is a lot faster.

Why the name change? There's already an is already taken. So I registered and They may eventually become the main page for this project, with a link to this very blog. In the meantime, this is the place where all the action is taking place!

All the pictures are now hosted on Picassa. If you just want to look at the pretty pictures, they are here: