Meet the Maker - Dan Barrett
Dan was our Featured Maker in the first ever Sketch and Story Founder's Box. Out of all the lovely colours he has made, I picked the tones Magenta and Sunflower Yellow for crocuses and daffodils, the first flowers to bloom in spring - to represent the brand new beginnings of Sketch and Story.
I tested these paints on both Cass Art paper and Arches paper, and they turned out beautifully each time! You can see below the full range of colour which can be achieved by blending just these two colours; from a rich, almost opaque magenta, a fiery orange, sunset gold, and finally a pretty pastel yellow.
Having never tried paintmaking myself, I asked Dan a few questions about his paintmaking process and how he got started in this incredibly unusual hobby.
1) How did you first get into paintmaking?
I purchased a discontinued paint from Winsor & Newton that was discontinued in the 60s and I wanted to recreate it. I failed but I caught the bug and started making small batches of paint and the rest is history.
2) Where do you get your inspiration from?
I know it's very cliche but everything in life. Music, the environment, strange shapes, moods, films & TV. Rather than finding inspiration I feel inspiration finds me so it can be random what ends up inspiring me.
3) Tell us a little bit about your paintmaking process.
I select the pigments I want to turn into paint, this can be on impulse or well-thought-out and on my wishlist for ages. While the pigment is being shipped I make my binder which is my own recipe and takes a few days of stewing. I make a small batch of paint to start with to test it. I mull using a glass muller and slab which helps grind down the pigment and helps form a nice smooth paint. Once I am happy with the paint and that it dries and rewets correctly, I will make a larger batch. I fill my pans in lots of layers which allows the paint to dry and condense down so that customers get the maximum amount of paint I can squeeze in to each pan. Once everything is all dry, I label the pans and wrap them in three layers. They then get photographed etc before being purchased.
5) What’s one tool you can’t live without?
Paint making: my palette knife.
Painting: My watercolour palette, I love it so much instead of getting a bigger one to fit all my colours in I am looking at customising it instead.
6) What’s your favorite colour to make and why?
I'm not sure I can pick one particular pigment. I really like making yellow paints and blue paints. They are easiest to mull and they always turn out the best. I don't have many nasty surprises with them.
I also like unique earth pigments when I am in the mood for a challenge!
7) What’s the next step on your journey?
To continue and grow. I really want to be able to have a day job part time and paint and make paint part time. I am at that stage where I need more time to spend on painting and that really is the focus for the next two years to be able to get to that place.
Hi, I'm Natalie, and Sketch and Story is my passion project. Check this blog for features of indie makers, local artists, and more details on the Sketch and Story subscription experience.