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Low-VOC Paint

May 22, 2010

In planning out my own artwork, and the courses I teach, I decided to use Low-VOC paint.  Now for you readers I will explain what that is: Volatile Organic Compounds.  The chemicals within the paint.  Here is a link: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/voc.html (this is the government epa site).

Unfortunately there is not a whole lot available for artists.  What is available is through-the-roof priced!  They are mostly designed for interior wall painting, not artwork.  Color-mixing with these paints would be nearly impossible.

I could use milk paint, with a much larger palette.  But, milk paints work better on rigid supports.  Not real conducive to painting on canvas!  Here is a color chart from the “Old Fashioned Milk Company”:  http://www.milkpaint.com/color.html


Now I could make my own CASEIN paint. But, my studio would need the proper containers and a small refrigerator.  Don’t think the school will pay for the latter.  There is egg tempera, or glair paint.

Egg tempera is horribly difficult and tedious for the novice to use.  Glair might be interesting.  Both would spoil quickly and rotten eggs are rather nasty.

This summer I am going to be experimenting with plant and vegetable dyes, natural minerals, and also powder pigments for my own work.  I will be using some animal-based and plant-based binders.  I will post my results as I work through all of this experimentation.

The lazy part of me is whining about the fact that I cannot just purchase these in a handy-dandy tube form.  Anyone out there tried these forms of pigments?

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