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Here is some info on how to mix ochre with water and binder to make your painting permanent..otherwise when it dries the ochre will come off too easily. This is not a problem if you live in the bush don't have to buy ochre and can touch it up before you go out and perform ceremonies..... 

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How to mix ochre with binder

Hi Rick

I have just ordered an ochre pack from you. I was wondering what you normally use for a binder to make it stick? Could you let me know?……Regards Sue…..

Hi Sue,
Thanks for buying the ochre. In the old days we used
wattle sap, fig sap. For binder nowadays I use pva glue (Craft or wood glue that’s white and dries clear.)

…Mix it about 5 water to one glue…to the consistency of milk… in a small bottle.
Add enough to saturate the ochre….Let it sit for a few minutes to soak in. Stir it occasionally and stir enough liquid in til the ochre is like the paint you want.

Apply with normal brushes, hair, bark, sticks…tip of a kangaroo tail, feathers, finger tips, cotton tips and so on.. 

Top up with binder from time to time as it dries out…and if it gets a bit gluggy add some fresh water…. 

Try to mix only what you will need to start,
…. you only need a paint mix… even a water colour mix… not a concrete mix. No need to buy ochre again if you don't have to

For any loose rough surface give it a coat of the craft glue/ water mix as a primer or paint it prior with an undercoat..
The ochres look fantastic on black back grounds….

…..Black acrylic paint or fine charcoal /craft glue/ water mix works exceptionally well.

Keep your ochre and pva mixture sealed when not in use or it will set as hard as a rock…and you’ll need to soak it in water for many days to soften the glue and hopefully use it again.

Or you can use the ochre straight up mixed with water only to the consistency of paint,
When the ochre is dry….spray it with the above binder using a hand spray bottle….gently, a couple of light sprays, let them dry… couple more sprays…

Or use hair spray, or a clear spray on sealer from the hardware….But test it first because the aerosol sprays tend to make the white go clear….so not necessarily recommended for the white ochre especially if it's a thin layer, but good for the red and yellow ochre.

If you are not wanting it to stick permanently… just use water..
…though the RED STAINS WHITE CLOTHES  forever……

Hi Rick, what background or primer do you use?

Best Regards  Mark

Hi Mark, glad you asked...

A background of fine charcoal mixed with the pva and water is pretty cool…

otherwise paint the background black and the ochres - Red,Yellow & White will show up beautifully even just as splashes.

Hope this helps,

…Oh...and very important never forget to


                                                                              .......... ;)

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