Author: Natural Earth Paints

Natural Earth Paint Through The Ages: Ancient Egypt

The Color-Filled World of Ancient Egypt 

     The influence that Egypt has had on countless cultures is profound. Can you believe that the ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for more than 3000 years? They were not only astounding innovators, but they discovered and advanced most of the arts and sciences that we have the privilege of knowing today. Art was incredibly important throughout their culture, and to this day we can still marvel at the preserved tombs, statuary, sculptures, complex pyramids, homes and buildings. Back in their day, all of the buildings, pyramids, sculptures, homes and walls were covered in color and paintings. It’s hard to imagine those iconic yellow pyramids covered in a multitude of colors, but that was the rich world they lived in. 
(Preserved Limestone Statues)                
       
     Egyptian artists depended on an array of natural materials. They were highly skilled miners who unearthed a variety of earth pigments, minerals, copper, bronze, silver and lead. They had extensive trading arrangements with overseas suppliers of dyes and pigments. They used precious stones such as Lapis Lazuli, which were imported from Afghanistan, and Azurite which were ground down to make a radiant blue. They heated lead ore which produced colors from white to red.
    Red, orange, yellows and browns came from iron oxide clays. Bright yellows came from orpiment (which was highly toxic). White came from gypsum or chalk and black from carbon (burned wood). Shades of green were prepared from minerals such as Malachite, Chrysoprase and also their own invention – the acidic corrosion of Copper. 
     They were the first humans to make a man-made pigment, now called “Egyptian Blue”. Egyptian blue is a glass-like pigment which was made by heating together quartz sand, copper, calcium oxide, and an alkali such as natron, which was found naturally in the waters of Egypt. This crystalline material was ground into a pigment and made a luminous turquoise color. An Egyptian belief was that blue was considered the color of the heavens and the universe. It was also associated with water and the Nile.
Egyptian Blue
     They were known for using each element of nature in numerous ways. For example, they used a natural tree gum from the Acacia tree to create incense, perfume, paint, protective furniture covering, medicines and cosmetics. We use this same gum today as the binder in our Children’s Earth Paint. The most common paints used were natural earth milk paints. Although, oils, waxes, resins, mastics, eggs, milk, lime and alcohol were also used as binders to craft a long list of paints and finishes. 
(Ground Minerals)
     So why on earth did we ever stop using natural earth pigments and binders for art purposes? (No pun intended). The amazing longevity and archival nature of natural pigments is evident simply by the preserved Egyptian art and artifacts we still have today. At Natural Earth Paint, we are committed to providing these same natural materials for the highest quality, easiest to use and most radiant art supplies available.
     We are walking the paths of our ancestors to experience how historical cultures related to the world around them. By doing this, we become more conscious of and grateful for our natural resources and the properties of our products. Our pure Earth pigments are clay and mineral deposits that are prevalent in native soils all over the planet. By leaving out the modern-day preservatives, heavy metals, solvents, synthetics and fillers, our paints remain pure, radiant and archival just like our like-minded Egyptian inventor-artist ancestors. 
Egyptian Painter’s Palette
Written By: Taylor Ann Hansen & Leah Fanning

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D.I.Y Decorative Banners

With spring coming to an end, now is the perfect time to do some last minute spring-cleaning by taking down old décor and creating new ones! These banners are perfect for seasonal décor; they can also be used as decorations for all celebrations such as baby shower, wedding showers, graduations, and birthday parties. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create decorative banners for any occasion!

All you need is a little bit of paint and a lot of creativity! For this tutorial we are using our Earth Flag Kit!

Step #1: Empty the paint content from the packages into their individual containers. (Tip: Make sure to only use the amount of paint you think you’ll need!) Mix in water to the dry paints in small increments until you achieve a creamy consistency. 

Step #2: Now that the paints are mixed and ready, the fun part begins! Paint colorful, custom designs onto the hemp flags. Our flag kit contains four hemp flags, so the possibilities are endless!

Step #3: Once you’ve finished painting the flags to your liking, thread the hemp rope through the loops that are sewn in the flags to create a banner perfect for brightening up any room!

 

Watch the full tutorial here! 

 

Written by our wonderful intern, Lucia Corona.

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Natural Earth Paint through the Ages: The Prehistoric Era

This is the first blog post in our series of articles in which we are capturing the historical uses of Natural Earth Paints through the different eras. Enjoy! 

 The Prehistoric Era

           

Natural Earth pigments were the earliest recorded materials used by our ancient ancestors to make paint and various mediums. Prehistoric Art illustrates the earliest advances of human creativity through cave paintings, sculptures and architecture. We can see artistic practices dating as far back as 500,000 years ago implemented by Homo Erectus, our ancient ancestors.

The oldest cave painting known today is from El Castillo, in Northern Spain and stands as a symbol of our human evolution and the beginning of the natural art movement. Most people don’t realize the scale and intensity of these cave paintings but you can start to understand in the photo below of the Altamira caves. Archaeologists have discovered that the Altamira cave painters were the only ones who used powdered fossil amber as the binder for their natural paints.

Prehistoric artists used pigments that were found nearby in the Earth such as limonite and hematite (reds, orange, yellows and browns), greens from oceanic deposits, blues from crushed stones and manganese ore, charcoal from the fire and white from ground calcite or chalk.

 

A recent discovery of a 100,000-year-old paint-making workshop was discovered in a South African cave a few years ago. The archeologists found hundreds of pieces of red ocher stone, special ocher grinding stones and tools made from animal bones. Large abalone shells were also found in the cave, which was situated near the Indian Ocean, were used to mix the paint. The pigments were mixed with natural binders to make paint. These binders were made from vegetable juices, plant oils, urine, tree sap, animal fat, bone marrow, blood, and albumen.

            The most famous cave paintings at Lascaux were studied and tested for 3 years by Claude Couraud. He discovered that the binder they used was simply cave water which was really effective because it was rich in calcium carbonate.

            These natural colors from the Earth would stand the test of time even with the ever changing environment. The old masters would travel many miles in order to harvest a solid supply of Earth pigments for their creations. They were innovative, using twigs to produce drawn or linear markings, collecting feathers to unify areas of pigment and constructing brushes from horsehair for a better application of paint.

          

Prehistoric people illustrated their environment, lifestyle and beliefs through visual description. Today, Natural Earth Paint is devoted to utilizing our old ways of creation and continuing their journey for beauty and durability using naturally non-toxic ingredients and the most archival paint on the planet. We offer a selection of safe and professional quality natural Earth paints as an acknowledgement to all the ancient seeking painters who came before us and started an artistic revolution that should never be forgotten.

 

Written By: Taylor Ann Hansen 

 

 

 

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Natural Mother’s Day Craft Ideas!

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what we want to give to our mothers, grandmothers, and all the mother figures in our lives to express how much they truly mean to us. With a little help from Mother Nature, you can create simple handmade gifts that mothers can cherish forever.
 
We came up with two beautiful crafts that anyone at any age can do for their mamas! Check them out: 
 

1. DIY Adoration Stones 

Adoration Stones
These stones describe the loved one and are beautiful, elegant, and would make any mama smile. They are super easy to make and as always, we used 100% all natural paint. Check out the tutorial here!

 

2.  Handmade Flower Cards


Finger painting is a great way to let kids express themselves and create personalized art just for their moms on their special day. And of course we use natural and truly non-toxic paints since these will be on the skin. Check out our full tutorial here!
 
Thank you Mother Nature! 
Our craft articles were written by our lovely interns, Lucia Corona and Taylor Ann Hansen, with some guidance from our Earth Paint Team! 

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Avoiding Toxic Cards on Mother’s Day

When it comes to simple gifts that you can make for Mother’s Day, painting a card or creating a picture are among our first thoughts. Finger painting is a great way to let kids express themselves and create personalized art just for their moms on their special day. However, let’s not forget about the messy and highly toxic situation that’s in conventional children’s paint. It’s important to choose paints that are safe for your kids, especially if their skin is going to be exposed to it, and we all know that sometimes those little paint covered fingers wander into their mouths. 
 

Here’s a step by step guide for how to create beautiful mother’s day cards while avoiding toxins

 
All you need is some hands and fingers and some non-toxic paint! For this tutorial, we are using our Children’s Earth Paint Kit! It is 100% non-toxic and made with real earth (Thank you Mother Nature)!
Natural Cards
Step 1. Mix the powder paint with water using a one-part paint to one-part water ratio. The paint can be used on paper, rocks, wood, fabric, and other surfaces so get creative!
Step 2: Paint the palms of you or your little ones hands to make flowers
flower card
You can also paint their palm half green and half brown to create a potted plant and can use their fingers and thumb to make flowers at the top of each finger! 
Of course, no card is complete without a sweet poem. Happy Mother’s Day!
Written by our Intern, Lucia Corona, with a bit of guidance from our Earth Paint team!

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