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ink from berries

Natural 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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Natural pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

Making Natural Inks

12th October 2022

In June 2019, I released my first post about creating natural inks. Since then, I’ve explored, experimented, and optimized my ink-making formulas using various natural substances. I have learned much about this ancient means of communication. Ink is far more sophisticated than we realize! What is Ink? There are certainly as many definitions of ink as there are varieties. The most basic definition is that ink is a colored liquid or semi-liquid material used for writing, printing, or drawing. Chemists…

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Natural pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

Natural Plant Inks

5th June 2019

I had started my blog  Lost in Colours with an intention to raise awareness of the environmental issues involved in art materials and to provide non-toxic, low-impact solutions. Hopefully,  I can be more regular in sharing not only my insights on this topic but also my struggles and joy of creating sustainable art! To date, I had only been using pigments from Earth in my daily art practice. I began foraging for natural pigments from plants last year after being…

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Handmade Natural pigments, watercolor paints, plant dyes & inks

How to Make Watercolor Binder

17th May 2022

A step-by-step guide to making gum Arabic based watercolor binder for handmade watercolors The use of Gum Arabic as a binder dates back to ancient times.  The presence of Gum Arabic increases watercolor brilliancy, gloss, and transparency, giving greater depth to each color. It slows down the drying time of paint, and can also be used for controlling spread when painting wet-on-wet. Watercolor paint is made by dispersing pigments of any colour in different proportions with acacia gum binder. The…

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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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