I've slowly been making a switch to eco-friendly solutions in my studio, and one of them is by incorporating Natural Earth pigments. As I haven't worked with oil-based paints in some time due to their effect on my husband who has severe environmental allergies, there will definitely be a shift in the way I work.
I began by mixing up the natural ground stone pigments with an environmentally healthy walnut oil which is a traditional media in the history of art though I'm not fond of the smell of eco-solve and at some point I would like to give lavender spike oil a try as a thinner since it's supposed to work as well and smell amazing. One thing I found interesting is how the different pigments mix with the oil...some blending quickly and easily while others took a bit more effort. Since I'm only mixing small portions of pigment, I think in future I will experiment with measuring different amounts of pigment & oil. I have to say that I definitely enjoyed blending the colours with oil as it was quite meditative, like making my morning matcha tea. There's something soothing about taking the time to do something repetitive.
I used two different types of surfaces and two different sizes of palette knives and I think I might have favourites. Initially I mixed the paint on a grey marble surface which was nice as the grey background is a wonderful neutral. Then I used a picture frame backed with a white sheet of mixed media paper. I also have a creamy marble which I'd like to try as a nice neutral background. Also, as the portions are smaller, I prefer using the smaller palette knife in order to have a little more control and to ensure that each grain is coated with oil though I am thinking of investing in a glass muller. Plus I'd like to get a non-toxic varnish to complete the work.
So far this experiment is going very well. Nothing like a pandemic lockdown to practice. My next step is to create a colour chart. That should be fun.