Celebrate indigenous culture with our NAIDOC Week craft ideas.

How to Paint with Ochre

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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.

Some materials and products may contain terms that reflect authors' views, both current or past. These views may not be considered appropriate today and are provided in a historical context. These views are not necessarily the views of CleverPatch.

  • Step 1Place 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 2Once 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 3Try using different materials such as wood, paper and naturals to experiment with the ochre.

Materials used in this activity

Round Paint Brushes - Assorted - Pack of 30
Product Code: 10708
EACH $27.49 (inc GST) $24.99 (ex GST)
3 or more $20.61 (inc GST) $18.74 (ex GST)          
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CleverPatch Junior PVA Glue - 1 Litre
Product Code: 12302
EACH $10.99 (inc GST) $9.99 (ex GST)
12 or more $6.59 (inc GST) $5.99 (ex GST)          
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Glass Jar - 250ml
Product Code: 14731
EACH $1.98 (inc GST) $1.80 (ex GST)
24 to 47 $1.76 (inc GST) $1.60 (ex GST) 48 or more $1.38 (inc GST) $1.25 (ex GST)
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CleverPatch Cover Paper - Black - A3 - Pack of 250
Product Code: 16139
EACH $32.99 (inc GST) $29.99 (ex GST)
4 or more $26.39 (inc GST) $23.99 (ex GST)          
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Indigenous Ochre - 500g - Set of 3 Colours
Product Code: 17688
EACH $130.88 (inc GST) $118.98 (ex GST)
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