Any binder that dissolves in water can make watercolour paint. Traditional watercolours are made with gum arabic, the magical sap from acacia trees. This stuff is awesome and you can get your hands on some from an art supply store. Because we’re focusing on ingredients that are easier to get your hands on, we’ll use honey as the binder in this watercolour paint.
You will need:
- Stirring spoon
- Eyedropper (optional)
1: SET UP THE PAINT POT
Put a little bit of pigment in a small jar and get some water and honey. This will be your mixing bowl and paint pot all in one. Start out with a small batch: go with about 2 teaspoons.
2: MAKE COLORFUL MUD
Add a little bit of water to the pigment, something like 1 part water to 1 part pigment by volume. Add small amounts of water at a time and stir until the mixture looks like mud. Be careful not to add too much water. It’s hard to take it out if you have too much. For younger kids, you may want to use an eyedropper
3: ADD HONEY
Start out by adding about 1 part honey to 5 or 6 parts colored mud. The amount of binder to add is not an exact science, so don’t get too hung up on measurements. It comes down to personal preference in how you like your paint. If you want thicker paint, add more binder; for thinner paint, use less binder. With honey it is better to have too little rather than too much.
TIP: If the honey watercolour paint dries a little sticky, you can sprinkle pigment on it to fix the problem. Just match the paint to the pigments they are made from and add less honey next time.
The Organic Artist for Kids: A DIY Guide to Making Your Own Eco-Friendly Art Supplies from Nature By Nick Neddo
This craft feature was originally published in JUNO Early Spring 2020