Hello fellow watercolor nerds!
Today I have a special treat for you. Following on from the theme of the binder recipe, and the tools you need to make your own watercolors from home comes a video on how to mull and make your own combination watercolor paint.
For this video I made the popular Kraken, from the Mythical Creatures Cool palette. It's a combination of 3 pigments. Making single pigment colored paints is a good place to start out providing that the pigment you are working with is friendly, not stubborn, like Mr Prussian (Prussian Blue). I might point out here that it's one thing to mix and mull a paint but another entirely tricky process of ensuring those paints cure sufficiently. I.e. cracks and excessive shrinkage. This will be an entirely separate post in itself.
I find that mulling paint is a therapeutic outlet and a great way to tone those upper arms....no unfortunately it doesn't work! Perhaps I eat too many donuts. Meh!
Anyway, I feel that the physical act of mulling is a fairly straightforward procedure. There is no specific rule on exact motions except that you are ensuring that you are moving the pigment/binder and catching those edges where the paint spreads out. A palette knife is a fabulous companion during this process for pulling in those outside edges and mixing that in to achieve an even color.
Having an appropriate mulling tool helps aide this process in ensuring that the pigment/binder disperse and "marry' together nicely. The length of time can vary for each pigment and for how many pigments. I believe that the longer the mull, the smoother the blend. So less time can equate to some interesting granulation however be wary that length of time ensures the paint does not rub off the page when used. Testing throughout the process of mulling a paint is a crucial part. If rubbing off occurs, this might indicate either more binder or more mulling is required. Keep testing!
Another key part of making watercolor for me, and this is my personal choice, is that I have a loose recipe in mind. I always have my original swatch of the color during the process in the aim of achieving said color however I like to play and explore along the way and find out what happens when I do vary the ratios slightly. I keep a paintbrush and watercolor paper handy at all times to record the different variations and this is how some "accidental" colors emerge. So, I am aware some paint-makers prefer to follow their recipe exactly and that is awesome and time efficient but that is their method and this is mine.
My method is experimental, exploration based and playful. Along the way, you will figure out what method suits you.
So on that note, enjoy the video..........or my kiwi accent!