Friday, 6 December 2013

Why Choose Natural Paints

Think of the last time you used some paint to create a picture, or watched your children dip their brushes or fingers into a pot of paint.  Have you ever wondered if you should be concerned about what is in paint and how we dispose of it? We all want to use products in our daily lives that are healthy and safe, and through creative acts like painting we make physical and emotional contact with this medium in much the same way that we do with cosmetics or decorating our homes.

In the past, artists used paints that were made from natural ingredients.  Each artist had to learn how to source, grind and mix his or her own ingredients to make paint. With the dawn of the petrochemical industry in the 1930's (Smith, 2003), the knowledge and skill of creating natural paints was displaced by cheaper, petroleum-based, ready-to-use paints and that is still largely the case today.

Petrochemicals have become so pervasive in our lives, that most of the time we don’t even know what has been made with a fossil fuel derivative or by-product and what hasn’t.  We are highly dependent on petrochemicals, but their use is not without cost to the environment, our health or the future of our planet.

Historically, natural paints like watercolors and oils used to be made out of earth and mineral pigments or plant and animal substances mixed with oils, gums, resins, waxes and other natural additives. Often the mineral pigments used in the past were highly toxic, primarily from  lead which exposed the artists to high levels of toxicity.  Today, natural paints are made from ingredients that are from the plant, mineral or animal world.  They all require some degree of processing or chemistry to remove toxic elements, or to prepare the substance into a usable form.  The difference between pigments used in natural paint and those in conventional paint is like the difference between plastic and glass.  Plastic is made from fossil fuel and glass is derived from sand, a naturally occurring mineral mixture. Similarly, the rest of the ingredients that are added to natural paint are from plant or animal sources, not petroleum.

There are some drawbacks to natural paints.  Conventional paints use pigments that come from burning fossil fuels at extremely high temperatures and are engineered to provide hundreds of artificial colors.  Not all mineral pigments, such as the bright red cinnabar (vermillion), can be collected at a reasonable cost, or ‘cleaned up’ to remove toxicity (Smith, 2003). Clay earth pigments and other mineral-based pigments that are available for us to use in paint are beautiful but limited in color range.  Although it is true that conventional paints can be very economical, natural paints are sometimes only slightly more expensive and in return you still are provided with high-performing quality and rich color. Some natural art paint brands are already prepared for you, and some are in powdered form for you to prepare yourself with ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. Explore what’s available and consider switching back to natural paints like the old masters!

Smith, Ray. The New Artist's Handbook, UK Publishing, Inc.;  New York: 2003 print

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Art Evolve - Colors of Nature Watercolor Review

On December 3, 2013 Ashesela K, wrote a review on Colors of Nature's watercolor paints. The review was unsolicited and derived from a free paint sample card that was sent to her a week or so earlier.

What Ashelea has written and produced with Colors of Nature's natural paints is informative and delightful. She has discovered for herself many of the points Colors of Nature has been striving to show artists since we opened.

Here is an example of some of her observations.

There is no black in the Colors of Nature paint line, but I don't mind that at all.  A great tip I read from many art masters, is to not use black paint, but to make a 'black' from a mixture of other colours.  It really makes the darks in the paintings more realistic and in more harmony with the rest of the picture, since there is very little pure black in nature.  Adding a pure black to your painting can make the black areas look too out of place with the rest of it.  Also, shadows are generally not black, but darkened combinations of colours.
Here is an example of the artwork she created with our sample card.

Ashesela K., Dec 3 2013
If you are interested in reading more of Ashesela's review please visit her at:

If you are interested in receiving a free sample card of our paints we would be delighted to send you one.  Please go to our website and use the contact form to submit a request.

Request a sample.

Monday, 2 December 2013

"Reawakening" with Colors of Nature

Readers have asked why are there so few colors in our palette and retailers say their customers need more colors, more choices, but our contributing artists like G. Papadakis and J. Muir demonstrate that 13 natural colors in the hands of a talented artist are more than sufficient to produce a beautiful peace of artwork.

If you are such an artist let us know. We would like to speak with you. Contact us at

Colors of Nature Watercolor paint on acrylic cold-press paper 10" x 8"
"Reawakening" G. Papadakis 10" x 8"

Colors of Nature is Now Zero Carbon Emissions

Colors of Nature, always striving to set new standards for itself, has achieved a new milestone.

Research has shown that consumers like yourself care about the environment and want to support companies that have a strong record of respecting the environment. To that end, Colors of Nature has created an all natural earth-friendly paint that is petroleum and solvent free, it has no animal products in its paint nor was it tested on animals, and it uses recycled and reusable packaging in order to lessen the burden on our waste management systems.  Not stopping there, Colors of Nature has gone one step further but offsetting its carbon emissions.

Colors of Nature, as of December 2013, is now emissions free at its office and manufacturing facilities.

zero emissions, green electricity, green natural gas, carbon emissions, zero carbons
bullfrog power 100% green electrify and gas

Colors of Nature has entered into an agreement with Bullfrog Power as of December 2013. This agreement means that 100% of both its electricity and natural gas requirements are now met with green electricity and green natural gas from Bullfrog Power. This power is generated from various solar and wind farms around Canada and methane gas is captured from one of Canada’s thousands of landfills.

To learn more about what Bullfrog Power is doing for the environment please visit their website at: