- Plastic baggies
- Can of beans or rolling pin (mortar and pestle can be used if available)
- Glass jar
- Measuring spoon
- White glue
- Optional: egg; selection of spices/foods for pigment (such as turmeric, smoked paprika, cumin, cocoa, etc.); tea; coffee; Pepto-Bismol
Questions to Consider
- Where does color come from?
- How do artists make paint?
- How can you make a painting without using paint?
Basic recipe: Pigment + Binder = Paint
1. Break up a stick of chalk into small pieces and put inside a plastic baggie. Use the end of a can of beans or rolling pin and firmly press down repeatedly against the chalk, grinding it into a fine powder. This powder is your pigment. (Alternately, you can grind the chalk to a powder using a mortar and pestle if available.)
2. In a glass jar, measure a tablespoon of white glue and a tablespoon of water and mix with a paintbrush to make your binder. Add the chalk pigment and mix thoroughly to make your paint. You can use it straight away, but if you allow time (at least 1 hour) for the pigment to dissolve, the paint color will be stronger.
3. Explore different ways of applying your paint to the paper. You can paint a large area in solid color, or create interesting marks by dotting or swirling your brush. Try using just the tip of the paintbrush, then gently press the brush head flat onto the paper and carefully pull to create more marks.
4. How about making egg tempera paint? Instead of using white glue, substitute an egg yolk; this binder results in a lovely luminous finish that becomes more noticeable as you build up more layers of paint. Be sure to let each paint layer dry completely before adding the next.