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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

Masterclass & Interactive workshop: “Radically Sustainable Watercolors”

22nd May 2021

Do you want to learn to make sustainable and natural non-toxic watercolors?   Are you an artist or someone like me who uses watercolors as a medium of expression?  Do you want to create something that doesn’t harm our environment? Well, you need not come up with some eco-friendly innovation to create art. Throughout the ages, nature has been an apothecary of arts. One can obtain myriad hues of beautiful pigments from nature. Natural pigments are the purest form of color…

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Painting & Sketching

Expressive Illustration with Natural Handmade Watercolors

29th April 2021
Illustration of a flower shop

Inspiration is food for thought for all artists! As soon as I step out of my doorstep, I find inspiration everywhere!  It can be as simple as a simple cup of coffee to as large as scenery in the countryside. In this case, it was a local flower shop that got my attention on a morning run. I stopped by to make a quick scribbly sketch of the flower shop and a variety of subjects then transformed my sketch into…

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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

How to make organic and non-toxic Holi Colors

19th March 2021

I was really looking forward to visiting my family this month but the US president’s proclamation prohibits anyone from visiting friends and family in the US from Schengen countries. So, I ended up re-booking my flights to travel at a later date. This would have been a wonderful opportunity for our son to celebrate one of the biggest Indian festivals with his Indian family with mirth – Holi! Holi – The Spring Festival of Colors  Holi is a joyous and…

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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

How to make handmade watercolors

10th March 2021

This post provides you a basic step-by-step process of making your own handmade watercolors Watercolor paint is an alluring medium of traditional fine art, which when mixed with water creates translucent layers of color on paper. The use of watercolor dates back to prehistoric times when primitive humans made paints from charcoal, ochres, and water. They applied them with fingers, sticks, or whatever was naturally available, to communicate and document their life. Since antiquity, watercolor is used as a medium…

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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

How to make Egg shell white Watercolor paint

25th January 2021

The next time you’re cooking eggs, don’t throw away the egg shells in the bin straight away. It will surprise you that you can use them for making safe and eco-friendly creamy white watercolor paint and use it for transforming your existing color palette. It also makes for a great rainy day project to get the kids involved!  White is not a color that is used by traditional watercolor artists. To achieve white in a watercolor painting you plan ahead,…

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Handmade

Farewell to 2020: My year in review!

8th January 2021

The year 2020 was unlike any other in our lifetime! It was a year filled with trials and tribulations for everyone. In hindsight, it has been a year that I will remember the most for it gave us once in a lifetime opportunity to look at life in a very profound and unique way! I reflect on 2020 by not fixating on the tribulations and personal loss but instead acknowledging their existence, honoring the thoughts and feelings that were a…

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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

Making ink from Berries

23rd June 2020

Have you ever wondered how ink was first made? How did the ancient civilizations make those beautiful colored inks? What were the pigments and dyes used in making inks? Many of the colorful dyes that were used by ancient civilizations came all from the natural world. These early pioneers created ink using fine carbon particles and natural pigments combined with plant gum to acts as a binding agent. Inks have a large impact on our lives!  It is essentially a fluid…

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Handmade

How to make twig pens and brushes!

6th June 2020

Elder (Sambucus nigra) or Holler as it is called in Austria grows very commonly as a shrub or small tree. Its natural habitat is on river banks and in wet woodlands.  The fruits and flowers of the Elder have long been used in traditional Austrian medicine. In fact, Elder is an absolute classic whether it is made into a syrup, roasted, or cooked into a marmalade, one or the other of these delicacies can almost always be found in an…

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Handmade

Plant to Paper: The process of making Handmade paper

16th May 2020

 The journey of a plant to paper! What is Paper? It is a network of plant fibers laid down as a flat sheet. Paper is a basic and immensely versatile material that has been used since long for written communication and the dissemination of information besides having numerous other applications. Paper has many names (papier, carta, kagaz, waraq, etc) depending on where you go, but everyone understands its many uses and importance. In today’s modern world there exists an endless variety…

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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

The living pink colour from Avocado!

27th April 2020

It was in the year 2005 I was still a graduate student finishing up my Ph.D. program in Australia when I was introduced to this exotic fruit called Avocado. I had never heard or seen this fruit before that, and honestly I never really liked the taste of it either but gradually over the years my taste buds developed a liking for avocados. If someone had asked me then what I did with food scraps? I would have simply replied—well,…

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Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

How to make natural pigments from foraged raw resources!

14th April 2020

How to create handmade watercolor paints from foraged pigments. What is better; paints made from foraged natural pigments or mass-produced store-bought paints? Everything is derived from nature, unfortunately, today we are living in a world that is driven by consumerism. Imagine walking through a forest or climbing a mountain, and foraging for pigments to make your own paints just like how it was done in the bygone era, instead of going to an art supply store and purchasing a mass-produced…

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For children

Celebrating Easter in lockdown!

9th April 2020

Easter falls this weekend but with the strict regulations implemented globally to control the COVID-19 pandemic, not being able to take part in a traditional Easter celebration may make some feel disheartened. We too had planned to celebrate Easter with our family in Upper Austria but with travel restrictions and lockdown still in place, Easter will be quite different for us this year! In times like these, we may come to realize that staying at home with the entire family…

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For children

Lockdown phase: Puzzle your way through the Day!

1st April 2020

In Austria, the coronavirus lockdown was introduced swiftly. This was just a week after coming back from our holidays in Tenerife. We were officially in quarantine from the 15th of March until further notice. We had anticipated the implementation of such measures based on the situation developing across the globe. However, the lockdown hasn’t changed anything in our lives except that our son got holidays from his Kindergarten for an uncertain period of time. How are we dealing with this…

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Painting & Sketching Pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks Travel Sketches

Sketching and foraging for pigments in Southeast Styria

4th January 2020

The last leg of our summer holidays last year was spent in south-eastern Styria, locally known as the Steiriches Vulkanland (Volcano land). This region was a hotspot for volcanoes – but that was 17 million years ago. Today there isn’t any lava spewing out or any scorched black earth. Nature has done its course and created a beautiful lush green landscape of rolling hills. The hillcrests in this region are covered by forest and the valleys are dominated by farmland,…

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