Hi Rick, can you tell me how to use ochre please?
What liquids are added to ochre to turn it into paint
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, A LITTLE BIT OF OCHRE GOES A LONG WAY …. you only need a paint mix… even a water colour mix… not a concrete mix.
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.
You can experiment with honey and water which works really well but bees and ants also love it, also egg white is nice and sticky too, but same problem, insects like is as much as I do.
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……
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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 binder is pretty cool…
Otherwise paint the background black and the ochres - Red,Yellow & White will show up beautifully even just as splashes.
In the old days...and even in some places today...ochre was applied to cave walls, or rock ledges or used for body painting.
Also paintings were done on shields, boomerangs, clap sticks for identification...or for painting on cave and humpy walls or on the ground... The first bark paintings were on bark humpy inner walls.
Hope this helps,
If you want to find Ochre, it is a soft colourful rock, usually clay or kaolin stained with mineral iron to make it red, or the red can be weathered to a yellow colour or in its pure state it is white.
Aboriginal people would find ochre in well known traditional quarries. This bulk ochre comes from the bush but not from sacred ochre sites
In the old days we used wattle sap, fig tree sap, Eggs, Honey and water. For binder nowadays I use pva glue (Craft or wood glue that’s white and dries clear.)
is the place to buy ochre collected by an Indigenous artist.
Where to buy ochre in Australia
Aboriginal school workshops and Indigenous art and culture supplies right here!!!
Crush it up to a fine powder and mix it with water and let it soak for a few minutes for the best economy. It can be mixed with emu oil or goanna oil to make body paint that glistens in the moonlight.
Ochre is used ceremonies like corroborees,
Ochre is a natural earth paint used in Australia by the Indigenous Aboriginal people to paint their stories.
Sometimes it is poured onto a flat rock and water and fig tree sap is mixed with it. Sometimes spit...! Sometimes honey and water, sometimes emu oil, sometimes egg white, or yolks. There were many ways Indigenous people could mix ochre to make paint
A paint brush from the tip of a kangaroos tail or piece of bark, or feather or a few strands of hair are used to apply ochre.
For dots the tip of your finger is good, little finger for little dots, bigger fingers for bigger dots, or different size sticks.
If you look around creeks you will find ochre, different coloured rocks and stones. Rub them on a hard flat stone and you will have natural Earth pigment...! or you can buy ochre here in packs of 200gm in three colours or bulk ochre by the kilogram
This site is a dry pigment powder supplier with free delivery in Australia
Bulk ochre from here is used by Aboriginal dance groups and Artists all over Australia, it is not so easy to find ochre, but not impossible, look around creeks for soft colourful rocks and stones. Or just buy ochre from this site if you want it in a hurry
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Find ochre, bulk ochre or buy ochre from this ethically sourced source
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