The next post in my Tempera series!
One thing all the stuff I’ve read insists you do is grind your pigments. The best grinders are glass mullers and a bit of ground glass.
A glass muller from an art shop will set you back about 70 bucks. I can think of a lot of things I’d rather spend $70 on at this point – I’ve just started a charm bracelet (did you know you can get a tiny silver six pack of beer as a charm?) and this exercise has already cost a lot in pigments. Also, I live no where near a shop that will sell me one, it would be a special trip into the north of the city, assuming they had them in stock, and postage on those things is a lot. I went all cheap and cranky at this point.
I managed to get on ebay a set of old stoppers for glass containers (I found a blog where someone suggested this is an idea) and I bought them. Cost around $8.
I had a bit of glass I assume is a car window glass, that I used to have on a fish tank at one point, to replace a broken lid. The glass and muller should be ground down with a grinding paste so they are not shiny and they have enough ‘tooth’ to grind pigment. I decided to see if i had anything suitable that would do the job and came up with using sand and bits of metal filing from when Dave was doing drilling from making his amp case. It wasn’t really suitable but hey. I know that now.
Also, who needs good old elbow grease when you’ve got one of these:
I managed after a lot of work to get the ‘shine’ off the glass but I do concede I need to get the grinding paste now to make it really properly grinding-able. Glass is surprisingly hard to get a mark in the surface of! Even after a lot of trying i just managed to get a slightly less see through patch (about where the end of the glue is in the photo below, the pane goes a bit fuzzy). Actually it has JUST occurred to me that if this is a car window it might be super strong glass with a coating or something….
The ‘muller’ itself is a bit rougher, probably not as strong glass. There is also a blooble hole in the middle which is annoying, it’s not really flat. However when I used this against the sand to try and get a ground down surface on both, I ended up grinding the SAND to a fine powder – so I guess that is proof of concept really.
I washed the sand and gorp all off and added pigment.
And then some water, and started grinding. Sounds a bit rude, but it truly was not.
I DID hear a lot of gritty sounds initially and then it stopped so it made a difference. I suspect that’s the pigment being ground down proper, like.
I scraped up the paste and popped it in a little storage jar – all ready for painting now!
Now is when I admit that I didn’t bother grinding the next lot of pigment for another of the colours I was working on which i will show you in later posts – and I think that was a big mistake cause it was a bit thick and gluggy and a bit grittier than it should have been. Next time I paint with something I’m going to grind and see if it makes a difference.
All the posts in this series: