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.
The 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.
I’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: