4 ounces of solution was mixed with 12 ounces of distilled water (1:3) to accommodate a few selected pigments. Different pigments require different strength solutions. (More on that in a later post.)
For the white base, used for white chalk and tinting other pigments, 2 ounces of titanium white was dry mixed with 6 ounces of chalk.
2 ounces of the white base materials was mixed with 4 tsp of the 1:3 solution. (A second batch was later mixed.)
The first sticks were made of white chalk. Then quickly came ultramarine blue reddish (2 tbsp pigment and 2.5 tsp 1:3 solution).
An often described process is to divide pure pigment sticks into quarters and mix down with white, continuing to quarter and mix down. I found comfort in simply mixing my own tonal range by eye. Sometimes I'd mix straight pure pigment and white; sometimes I'd start with a bit of a previous stick, a method somewhat similar to the quarter and mix down method but without the structure.
Here's a set of viridian all mixed out. (1 tbsp viridian and 1.75 tsp 1:3 solution)
And here's the viridian set rolled out.
Now with a comfortable process established I was able to focus on extending the tonal nuances.
And here's the chromium oxide set. (2 tbsp pigment and 1 tsp 1:3 solution)
Some of my pigment/solution recipes might be off. I tried to keep ongoing records but kept getting caught up in the process.
The sticks should be dry within a day or two. In the meantime, I'll get into my earths.
I'm rolling on the thin side and don't know if there will be a durability issue there. Some pastel makers shape into triangles as they like points and sharp edges.
A couple of lessons learned:
- Mixing 450 ml of gum tragacanth starter is a lot. Half that would still be plenty. I'm only using teaspoons of diluted solution and many pigments require even more diluted solutions.
- Mixing lots of white is useful. It is used in every stick except the pure pigment.