A Little Color


After carving these spoons, I decided to add some color to the handles.  The top three are artist oil paints.  I like how easy it is to just squeeze a little out of the tube for small jobs like this.  I thin the paint with a little citrus thinner if I want the wood grain to show through more.  There’s no grain raising, but they certainly take longer to dry than other paints such as acrylics.  As with plain oil, I find some sunshine or other heat source speeds that considerably.

SAM_2125The bottom brownish-red one is also oil paint, but not from a tube.  I picked up a few ochre stones in a stream.  All sorts of yellows, reds, and browns are available.  It’s easy to test out the color by rubbing on a nearby rock.  Really, you’ve got a simple paint right there, and what a great reason to play in a stream.



another option for your pallet

IMG_5471I’ve read about some more involved procedures for grinding the pigment, but I just kept it simple by pulverizing the relatively soft rock with a mortar and pestle.  Rubbing the rock on fine sandpaper also works.  Then I mixed in a little flax seed oil into the powder well and painted it onto the spoon.  Even with the relatively course pigment it works out pretty well.

Now that the paint is dry I can pop the spoons into some flax seed oil.  Next week, I should have some photos ready of a bowl I carved from this log:



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20 Responses to A Little Color

  1. lew60 says:

    Blog was much appreciated David. Well done.


  2. philo_beddoe12 says:

    I’ve only recently discovered your wonderful blog since I’ve started carving spoons, and I am greatly impressed with your work and your ingenuity. I especially appreciate that you do this in addition to full time work, and it gives me hope that an amateur woodworker such as myself can scrape together enough time and experience to create beautiful pieces as well. Thank you for sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bill B,. says:

    Good Day David,
    I’ve wondered for a long time about the source of OCHRE that the Native Americans used.
    Now I’ll just have to spend more time (paying attention) while walking the New England beaches.
    Many thank for another interesting post. (NIce looking spoons.)
    Bill B.


  4. philhuber11 says:

    Oooh. I’m excited about the bowl teaser. Please, please. What is the species of that log?


  5. Jason Yelvington says:

    Beautiful spoons. What hook knife did you use for those?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Fisher says:

      I usually use one made by Svante Djarv (Country Workshops calls it the “Big Brother Hook Knife”). I have a few others, and they work well too. There are so many good ones out there now that I think the key is to pick one and get to know it well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very nice works!! I really like also the use of natural pigment !!


  7. Patsy Selman says:

    Hey Dave I look forward to your post’s so so much, when you don’t write something for a few days I get so bla ! ! Please put something on there if it’s just to saw working on a bowl,spoon .Thank you for being who you are .


  8. redbeardsart says:

    Very Nice artical David,,, your a very interesting and skilled man…


  9. Will Riseley says:

    Those spoons look stunning Dave and the paint really sets them off. Also that bowl blank looks mighty exciting.


  10. Pingback: The Organic Artist | David Fisher, Carving Explorations

  11. Michael Thomas says:

    Beautiful work, I would like to try this but I am not sure what you mean by citrus thinner. Could you clarify this? Love your blog.


  12. Isaac Kent says:

    Nice work. Were did you buy the paint? I tried buying some but shipping was $25. It was way too expensive.


  13. Dave Fisher says:

    Most art supply stores will have artist 0il paints, so if you have a locally owned art store near you, or Jerry’s Artarama, or Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s, or similar, you’ll find lots of options there.


    • Isaac Kent says:

      Thank you. Do use the citrus thinner as a binder instead of linseed oil?


      • Dave Fisher says:

        The paint itself is a mixture of pure linseed oil and ground pigments. You can use it just like that, but most often you’ll want a slightly thinner consistency. You can add a little more linseed oil and/or some citrus thinner. The thinner will help the paint to dry a little faster as well. Test it out on a piece of scrap wood or a popsicle stick. You can always keep the popsicle sticks around for later reference.


      • Isaac Kent says:

        Thank you. I will need to try this.


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