Grinding Paints
Ned Martin explains why he grinds his own paints.

Q: I read that you grind your own paint. Why do you do this?

Ned Martin: OK, walk into your nearest art supply store and buy 1 tube of the cheapest brand of oil paint you can find. Pick the hue COBALT BLUE. When you squeeze the paint from the tube you will find gobs of gooey stuff amongst the pigment. That is a lot of low quality binder and fillers. Low-end paints are packed with the stuff because the raw pigment, especially a hue like cobalt, is the most expensive ingredient.

Q: Does it save you money?

Ned Martin: It’s all about controlling quality for me. I add Zero fillers.

And, if I can control the quantity and quality of the binder and the paint pigment itself. I can achieve richer, deeper, more saturated effects.

It takes me about 45 minutes to grind my paints and set up my palette. It's well worth my time.

Q: And what is the process like?

Ned Martin: In the days of Vermeer, an artist bought raw minerals and grinded them using a mortar and pestle. In today’s times artists can purchase pigments which have already been ground so a good palette knife is efficient to combine the dry pigments with a binder.

I buy pigments by the pound (dry weight). My binder of choice is walnut oil because it does not yellow with age.

To grind paints, I put the pigment onto a marble slab and form dry pigment into an inverted conical shape, then dig a hole at the top with a palette knife
so it resembles a volcano. Then pour a very small amount of binder into the top
and begin to work the mixture together adding a few drops of binder at a time. The paint is ready to use when it is uniform and has the consistency of toothpaste.
Often, I grind more than I need for what I'm working on and put the extra into empty paint tubes to use in the future-- just to save time.

My resource to buy dry pigments is on my LINKS page.