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Look inside VIDEO: Flipthrough - Found and Ground Click here for extra content on Bookmarked Hub
  • Publisher: Search Press
  • Edition: BC Paperback with flaps, MATT LAMINATE
  • Publication: 19 June 2023
  • ISBN 13/EAN: 9781800920996
  • Stock: 50+
  • Size: 216x280 mm
  • Illustrations: 300
  • Pages: 128
  • RRP: £15.99
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Found and Ground


A practical guide to making your own foraged paints by Caroline Ross

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Book Description

‘Natural’, ‘no waste’ and ‘plastic-free’. If this is how you want to live your creative life, you will find a greener, more natural path with this book.

Found and Ground details a more sustainable and fulfilling approach to painting. Readers will learn to create professional-quality paints using colour from the earth itself: the rocks, clay and soil in their locale. The palette created will be unique to the individual's local area, their eye and their tastes. Foraging for pigments and creating paints from scratch is both life-affirming and fascinating, and this book teaches new skills while also introducing the reader to the land outside their door.

Starting with a foreword by award-winning author and environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth, this book covers every aspect of making natural paints, from finding the raw materials to the techniques needed to refine it into a pigment. Suitable for the complete beginner as well as those with some experience in art, Found and Ground will also appeal to those with experience in drawing and painting, but who until now have only used shop-bought materials to make their work.

Found and Ground is the ideal reference book for artists and crafters wishing to move away from plastics (such as those found in acrylic paints), and use natural paints in their place. The book covers how to make a series of simple natural paints such as watercolour, gouache, tempera, and glair. It also includes innovative vegan ‘egg paint’ alternatives.

Aimed at a general readership, all specialist art terminology is clearly and simply explained, and all the techniques demonstrated through step-by-step instructions. The book will also give fresh ideas to those stuck in a rut with their use of watercolours, and introduce readers to try new 'old ideas'. Most importantly, it will teach readers how to forage and gather successfully and safely. 

Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Introduction 8
Foraging 16
Foraging principles 18
Where to go foraging 22
Making use of your finds 58
Refining 59
Creating your first paint 76
Creating artists’ quality paint 80
Creating your watercolour palette 84
Creating your own watercolour medium 86
Colour your world 90
Exploring your paints 91
Local colour 96
Beyond watercolour 106
Gouache 106
Egg tempera 108
Glair 110
Veglair 112
Beyond paint 114
Simple ink 116
Refined studio ink 118
Going further 124
Glossary 126
Index 128

About the Author

About Caroline Ross

Caroline Ross uses wild and ancient materials to make artworks from small illustrations to large murals. She also teaches life drawing and shows people how to make the materials she herself uses. Having spent decades indoors in art and recording studios, Caroline spends as much as possible of her life outdoors, immersing herself in nature as she sources her materials, and makes her work. Visit her website www.foundandground.com and follow her on Instagram @foundandground

MA Painting Chelsea School of Art 1996; BA (Hons) Fine Art Kingston University 1995; BTEC General Art and Design Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design 1991


Customer Review

This book is beautifully put together. Her writing is engaging and easily followed. The imagery is lovely. Both are inspiring. Im sure the foraging and processes will take time to learn and to perfect but I look forward to trying some of them out. I hope I can make it look as easy and create as beautiful images as Caroline Ross. The connections to nature and art being woven together in a stunning tapestry for the beginner and the already established creative. This book works for the artist, the historian, the experimental archaeologist or anyone just interested in learning something new, environmentally friendly or creative.

Booklist, July Issue

It was only a matter of time until the foraging craze turned to paints watercolours, in this case. Why make your own paints? Per artist, instructor, and author Ross, making your own paints offers customization and self-reliance, with earthy pigments tested as stable, relatively lightfast, and long-lasting. Ross focuses on her native UK, incorporating a few instances of unique pigments found in places like New Mexico and California. The philosophy of ethical foraging is embedded everywhere: gather only whats needed; avoid contaminated areas, and wear protective gear; stay clear of protected spaces. She carefully scopes out several types of land (beach, countryside, woodland, rural roads, edge lands and wastelands, fresh water) and the potential hues to be found in them, with specific examples like acorn caps and birch bark, cherry plum and damson sap. Paint recipes are plentiful and include step-by-step photographs for processes like refining materials and developing gouache, glair, and even inks. Look to the included watercolour galleries of artist works for inspiration. Nature repurposed is nature enhanced.

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