Woo! I have another color to add to my non toxic art-senal. Black, one of my long missed dark colors I used to liberally apply on my toxic acrylic paintings back in the day. I have not only missed the color itself but I have also missed the thick goopy opague quality that acrylics gave my art work. Last night I learned how to powder charcoal from the wood stove here, and turn it into paint!
1.Using a rock and a wood surface the charcoal was carefully crushed into a power by rubbing the stone over the charcoal... this was actually fairly easy and didn't take long at all.
2. After powdering the charcoal I took the powder and added it to an egg yolk (just the yellow part of the raw egg).
3. Stirring it together with bamboo stick (you can use a spoon, knife or anything laying around) it immediately turned black and was a thick dark paint ready for use!
I tested a blop on some scrap paper and it was good to go!
I made a paint brush by cutting a small bit of my hair out and tying it to a stick with a rubber band, then applied the paint to this scrap piece of wood (end piece from a lumber mill). The wood was rather rough and my brush was too soft for the rough wood, so the paint could not go on smooth - the surface in which you paint has ALOT to do with how much paint you will have to use and how it will look when applied (same reason why canvas is ghesso'd before use). The thing that was really cool about the black egg paint was you can easily scrape back into it and draw using the 'negative' technique (like scratch board). I drew this simple owl into the paint, while testing out how the egg & charcoal would apply, work, and especially how and if it would dry correctly after!
While waiting for it to dry i smashed some poke berries on the surface and stained the wood with it- using a little water to spread it around. One of the amazing things about the charcoal/egg paint is that not only did it dry rock hard, but it keeps a bit o' shine to it... in other words it does not really dry to a matte finish, it has gleams of light reflecting off the surface. Very cool!
This (new for me) discovery of using powder in egg yokes for thicker colors is awesome... you can most likely apply other natural & non toxic powdered colors like various spices and herbs (turmeric, paprika?) , and I would love to dehydrate native dye plants growing in the woods here and make my own organic egg paints for free with a wider range of colors!
When this project below finishes drying what i want to write above the 1970's looking owl is "Kiss me Stranger". :)