How to Use Powder Pigments

How to Use Powder Pigments

16th Jan 2020

When you get dry powder Pigments, they don’t come with much of an instruction manual. Using them opens up so many opportunities for creativity, but sometimes you need some help getting started before you can even think about creativity. If you want to understand how to use powder Pigments, read our guide on getting started.

Pick a Binder

An important counterpart to a Pigment is the binding medium that transforms it into something usable. You have many options to choose from, including tempera, linseed oil, casein, and encaustic binders. Egg tempera provides a great sheen, linseed oil is flexible and durable, casein dries quickly with a matte finish, and encaustic painting is a classic way to use hot wax with your Pigment. And you can make your own if you’re struck by an idea.

Use a Dispersing Agent

Because a Pigment isn’t a uniform substance when dry, using a dispersing agent helps your pigment dissolve easily into your binder. After everything comes together, it also keeps your paint from clumping up. This allows for a nice, smooth surface when you’re done. There are many dispersing agent options to investigate that work for different paint types, but water is always an easy option.

Or Just Use Dry Pigment

It may be nice to mix a traditional paint, but there’s no reason you can’t work with dry paint Pigment powder itself. Try applying a primer to your surface, then apply your Pigment however you fancy. You can use a matte sealer to secure it and then add as many layers as you’d like. This method is great for changing both the color and texture of your piece. One warning though—dry Pigments give off dust that you don’t want to inhale, so wear a mask while working with it. To make sure working with your dry Pigments is safe, avoid products with toxic substances. Instead, buy safer, non-toxic alternatives like those sold by Earth Pigments Company to ease your mind about trying this unconventional approach.

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