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Make your own watercolor paint from dirt

Watercolor from dirt

Making watercolor paint from dirt.


Its fun easy and super magical!

 Here is my basic method of creating watercolors from dirt.

 Gather some nice colored earth, I get mine all over mostly on hikes, I carry multiple ziploc bags to gather varying colors, I label each dirt bag with the exact location.


1/2 cup water

1/4 cup gum arabic powder

1 Tablespoon honey or glycerine

2 drops clove


cooking pot

a jar with lid to hold excess watercolor medium in


pigment- your choice

a container with lid to hold ground pigment in.

water color half pans or whatever you have to store the finished water color into.

a sifter

mortar and pestle

muller and mulling board, scrapper of some sort 


To make water color medium

heat water to just boiling, remove from heat and whip in gum arabic, add honey and 2 drops of clove essential oil. At this point if you still have chunks of gum arabic that simply won’t mix don’t worry just pour the mixture through a sifter and into the jar you will be keeping your medium in, cap and label and set aside for the time being.

 earth pigment

Prepping the pigment

Grind your dirt pigment up as fine as possible with your mortar and pestle, like more fine than you think. Pour powder pigment through the sifter to remove any larger deposits, put your powder into a jar to keep safe if you won’t be using it all, label, date and label where you got it from too for future reference.

make your own water colors from dirt 

Next you will blend your pigment with your water color medium

Sprinkle powder onto your mulling glass (or stone)

add water color medium slowly, mull around until it becomes paint like, adding more water color medium as needed. I find during summer months the medium evaporates quickly so I use more medium as I mull. The key to perfect water color is mulling, so seriously mull over the mulling, your future artist self will graciously thank you. Mull and use your scrapping tool to bring the paint back into the middle and work more.

mulling pigment

Once you have a perfectly mulled blend pour your paint into your half pans. Your paint will most likely have an air bubble hole in the center of the half pan when dried, it’s still great paint and will in no way effect your paint, however, If having a perfect top to your paint pan matters to you then start with fulling 1/3 full of paint and let that dry, fill 1/3 more and let dry then top off and let dry (this method may take a number of days during which time you will need to put the excess paint in an airtight jar and into the refrigerator to store and keep fluid.)

watercolor pigments from dirt

let your paint dry for as long as it takes to dry, in cold damp climate it may take a number of days, in hot dry climate it may dry in less than one day.

Use as you would any other water color.

Make your own watercolor from dirt by Moon Magic

Make great art!

You’re awesome!

I love you!

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