In this Instructable you'll learn how to make paint from berries. This is a great project to do with kids. It's a lot of fun foraging for wild edible fruit and then using some of it to make paint!
Step 1: Items Needed to Make Paint From Nature
The first item needed in order to make the paint is some berries! My son and I have been picking berries in our back yard along a wooded area, but not everyone will have access to wild berries. If you don't have access to wild berries, you can use store-bought cherries, raspberries or blackberries. As you can see in the photo I also had blueberries but they did not work in producing any juice.
The berries that I used were black elderberries, wild mulberries (these produced the thickest paint), wild black raspberries, cherries, some wild red berries (I don't know the type of plant these were from) & I also tried using some cherry tomatoes (those didn't work well).
In order to make a green-colored paint, you will need some spinach. I also used ground ginger and turmeric to make a range of colors from yellow to dark brown (when mixed with berry juice). You'll also need to have a little bit of flour to mix with the juice & and a colander to strain.
In order to complete a painting, you will also need paint brushes and any type of watercolor paper.
Step 2: Mashing & Collecting Juice
Be sure to have an apron and lots of paper towels and bowls on hand. Collect the fruit you plan to use in bowls. Then mash the fruit with a fork and then put it through a colander (mash some more) to finish up collecting all the juice. Some items are best boiled to collect pigments, but for this Instructable we're using the quickest methods possible - and are mostly just smashing them to extract the juice.
The only exception is in making a green color paint - as this will require you to boil some water (on the stove or in the microwave) and let spinach leaves steep to extract the color. I did this as I really wanted a green to use in my painting.
To create a nice thick yellow color, I used tumeric. Ginger works also but not as well as tumeric. With the tumeric, you can also mix other berry juice to make a range of colors.
Step 3: Finishing Up the Paint-Making
Next, add a small amount of flour to each of the paints you have created - to help thicken it up a bit. The amount you add is up to you - although I added about 1/4 to a 1/2 a teaspoon per paint bowl. The turmeric paint was created by adding the turmeric powder then mixing it with a small amount of water. Add more water if it's too thick. Then you can take some turmeric paint and add some berry paint to make shades of yellow to brown.
Step 4: My All Natural Painting - the Process in Photos
For the last step here I just wanted to share some pictures of my process in my all natural painting. I first painted what I wanted in a light wash of water and ginger & tumeric paint (the light yellow). Then I began adding color to create depth. I sometimes needed to wait for the paper to dry before adding more dark colors on top - it is tough with this type of paint to get that depth of color. I found that the wild mulberries made the deepest color and used that to create contrast. Good luck with your painting projects! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below!