How to paint with Indigenous Ochre

Laura's photo by Laura on the 14th of March 2017

Here we show you how simple it is to incorporate Ochre into your next craft lesson!

What is Ochre?

Ochre is found all around the world. It forms naturally as coloured clay deposits and sediments in the ground. The coloured pigment in ochre ranges from whites to yellows, oranges, reds and even purple hues and occurs naturally due to different types and amounts of iron oxides.

Traditionally, ochre was mixed with a variety of substances to form a paint or coating to preserve Indigenous implements and weapons. Some of the substances ochre was traditionally combined with included sap, honey, egg, blood, saliva, animal fat and water. Here are some simple tips for introducing Ochre to children.

What you will need:

Step One - Prep your Ochre

Place a few teaspoons of ochre in a glass jar followed by a few teaspoons of PVA Glue and mix together. Add a small splash of water to the ochre and glue mixture. The ochre needs to become the consistency of slightly watered down paste.

Step Two - Paint

Once you have mixed your ochre together it is ready to use. Dip your brush in the ochre and use it as you would use paint. As the ochre dries, it will form a bright paint on the surface of the paper.

Step Three - Experiment

Try using different materials such as wood, paper and naturals to experiment with the ochre. 

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