I managed to convince my kid that she should have prehistoric art as part of her birthday party theme this year, so I got to make paints for favors!
Here they are, in “action”:
Seashells are the oldest recorded paint cups. (they were also used like this in the middle ages)
I have a bad habit of spending too much time making party things for kids who enjoy them for twenty seconds before moving on, so I ordered pre-ground ocher and lamp-black. I also got powdered gum arabic for a binder. Unflavored gelatin works fine too, but we were having mouse problems, so I went with the vegetarian option.
100% non-toxic & kid-safe, which is good since the party guests ended up painting each other…
Start by hydrating your binder-- I think I used one part gum arabic to 2 parts water, & then let it sit for a couple hours. Then mix that with pigment!
The mortar & pestle was kind of fun, but since the pigment I had was commercially pre-ground, the only thing it really did was make me wash a whole lot of red ocher down the sink trying to get the pestle clean. I mixed the other colors in smaller containers with popsicle sticks, and that worked just fine.
Here they are, ready to dry:
(mine did crack somewhat over time, which may mean my “ok, this looks about right” measurements could have been better, but you can always rehydrate them, and it didn’t seem to be a problem with the amount that got used on a painting.)
(and then I had extra gum arabic already hydrated, so I made some with mica powder, too)