What is Paint?

Paint consists of two things, pigment and binder. Pigment is what gives color to paint and in its raw form it is a fine powder. Binder is what holds the pigment and adheres it to a surface. The pigment particles are insoluble and merely form a suspension in the binder. There are a great many pigments in the world, from a variety of sources. Some pigments are earth pigments, or natural inorganic pigments—simply put, colored clumps of earth. These are the first pigments used by mankind and include such colors as Yellow Ocher, Slate Grey, The Siennas, and many more. Closely related are the Mineral Pigments (also natural inorganic pigments) which include colors such as Vermilion (Cinnabar/Mecuric Sulfide) and green Malachite. Artificial inorganic pigments, on the other hand, are colors that are produced rather than found. Many of these pigments were made and discovered by the alchemists of antiquity. Such colors as Verdigris, Naples Yellow and Sandarac fall into this category. Natural organic pigments have sources that are either vegetable or animal, rather than earth or mineral. These include colors such as Indian Yellow (cow urine from India), Sap Green, and Bone Black (calcined bones). Finally, there are the synthetic organic pigments, which saw their birth in the nineteenth century. When this type of pigment was first developed, it tended not to be very light fast and often faded in a short period of time. Eventually, this setback was overcome and color groups such as the Indanthren and Heliogen were invented. There are a great number of binders for pigment. It is these binders that give us the many different types of paint such as Oil, Acrylic and Casein. Each binder imparts a unique quality to the pigment and adheres to the surface in a different way. Casein Casein is a milk-based product that forms a strong glue when mixed with an alkali (e.g. lime, borax, ammonia, etc.). Casein paint has a very dry, velvety surface which is rich in color. Casein is water soluble; however, it dries water insoluble which makes it possible to use it with glazing techniques. Casein is also an emulsifier, i.e. oil and varnishes can be added to the casein glue and still be thinned with water. Casein can be used as an underpainting for oils and can be applied to a variety of rigid surfaces.

Casein
With this type of paint, Casein glue acts as the binder for the pigments. Casein is one of the natural components of milk. It is made from precipitated milk, which is then reconverted into glutinous casein glue with the aid of alkali. Casein is one of the first binders ever used by mankind. Casein can be painted on a variety of surfaces, including wood and plaster. Which ever surface used, it must be a rigid one as casein is too brittle to paint on a flexible surface (such as canvas). Casein is also an emulsifier this allows you to "combine" oil and water. There are two methods of using casein in combination with pigments: Lime-casein and Borax Casein. Of the two, the Borax Casein is easier to use and suitable as an artist grade pigment binder. It is used to make such paints that are commonly known as Distemper colors, but can also be used to make larger quantities of paint for interior wall paint applications. Casein is natural product and will spoil if kept in a wet state. Store unused casein solution in the refrigerator—this should preserve it for two weeks.

Borax Casein Ingredients by weight: 2 1/2 oz. (80g) Casein Powder 9 fl. oz. (apr. 250ml) cold water 1 oz. (32g)Crystalline Borax 9 fl. oz. (apr. 250ml) hot water ...by volume 5 Parts of Casein w/ 9 Parts Cold Water 2 Parts Crystalline Borax w/ 9 Parts Hot Water Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. Soak Casein powder in cold water in a covered container overnight. Dissolve Borax Powder in hot water. Add Borax Solution to the Casein Solution and stir. Hydrolysis will start right away and must be completed before the next step (wait approx. 2 hours until no more swelled casein particles can be seen and the yellowish mass is evenly translucent) 5. Heat the solution in a double boiler until it becomes liquid (140° F). 6. Once the solution has cooled, it will return to a syrupy consistency and is ready to be used as a pigment binder. As with all water-based media, the chosen pigment has to be wetted first. This is achieved by adding small amounts of water to the dry pigment. Then using a palette knife or spatula, the water is worked into the pigment until it retains a paste consistency. The casein solution is then added TO the color paste sparingly. The casein to pigment ratio can not be described in exact proportions. The amount of pigment varies according to desired opacity. The amount of binder (casein solution) varies according to pigment. Before use, apply small amounts to a piece of cardboard to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of binder. If the pigment comes off after a gentle rubbing, add more casein solution. Once pigment and binder have been combined to desired consistency, the resulting paint can be thinned with water. Casein Gesso Ingredients Casein Glue (see above) 9 Parts Chalk (Champagne or Bologna) 4 Parts Zinc White (or Titanium) Pigment 4 Parts Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Combine Chalk and Pigment. Slowly add mixture to Casein Glue. Mix until smooth. Strain gesso through cheese cloth to ensure that there are no lumps. (optional) Apply in thin layers to a panel that has been sized with Casein Glue.

Applications Casein Gesso makes an excellent ground to use for any type of paint; it is particularly good for Casein paints. Lime Casein

Ingredients 40 Grams of Casein Powder 125cc. Cold Water 33 grams Slaked Lime Putty Directions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Soak Casein Powder in cold water in a covered container overnight. Remove excess water from casein by squeezing the soaked casein through a cloth. Thoroughly mix Casein and Slaked Lime together in a mortar and pestle. To prevent lumps, grind the soaked casein prior to being added to the lime. (optional) Within a minute the hydrolyzation will be complete. Immediately following hydrolyzation, dilute mixture with water to a brushable consistency. The volume of water should not exceed the volume of the casein-lime mixture. This binder is then ready to use with alkali fast (see fresco pigments) pigments.

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