If you are looking for new art ideas to spark your creativity, then what better source to turn to than nature? Many artists throughout history—from the Romanticists to the Impressionists—have looked to the great outdoors for inspiring subject matter on which to base their paintings. However, since modern advancements made it possible for the likes of ink and pigment to be manufactured on a grand scale, there are far fewer artists who turn to Mother Nature to source their art supplies.
If you’ve ever wondered whether you could make your own art supplies from things you can find in your backyard, the answer is yes! Still wondering how? At My Modern Met, we’ve compiled a list of 10 books that will guide you through the ins and outs of making your own natural art supplies—and a few of them even offer some DIY art projects you can try out as well. From papermaking to natural inks and dyes, the opportunities for creativity are endless.
Read on for a list of 10 books that will teach you how to make your own natural art supplies.
Here are 10 books that will teach you how to make your own natural art supplies!
The Organic Artist by Nick Neddo
Trying to be more conscious about where the products you regularly consume are coming from? Or, maybe you're just hoping to cut back on your expenses? No matter what your goal, The Organic Artist encourages readers to become immersed in the natural world and return to a time when art was made solely with materials from nature. Along with instructions for working with natural pigments and dyes, clay, wood, and a plethora of other projects, the book also includes insight into skills and concepts necessary to the creative process.
The Organic Artist for Kids by Nick Neddo
From the same author that wrote The Organic Artist, this edition is especially for kids. With kid-friendly projects that are sure to keep them engaged for hours, this book encourages children to connect with nature. They will learn new skills and cultivate an appreciation for art and creativity as they explore the outdoors and use their imagination.
The Organic Painter by Carne Griffiths
The Organic Painter is geared towards artists who might feel like they’re stuck in a rut or a creative block. The book teaches you how to make paint from substances like tea, coffee, and other everyday materials, encouraging you to look at them with new eyes. By pushing you out of your comfort zone and away from more common art supplies, its overarching purpose is to help you boost your creativity.
Make Ink by Jason Logan
In his book Make Ink, Jason Logan explores the history of ink making and the science behind extracting pigment from substances in nature. That background serves as a base of knowledge that will aid you as you learn to forage for materials, mix them, and transform them into vibrant inks. With minimalist photography throughout, the book is organized by color and illustrated with a rainbow of nature’s possibilities.
Botanical Inks by Babs Behan
Centered on mindfulness and sustainable practices, Botanical Inks teaches you how to create natural inks and dyes from environmentally sustainable sources. Learn how to create natural dyes for clothing and other textiles with in-depth instructions and project suggestions. Now, you can make that tie-dyed shirt you’ve been wanting!
Wild Color by Jenny Dean
Wild Color offers up-to-date information on the latest environmentally friendly dyeing techniques as well as details about over 65 plant species and other sources of natural dye. Teaching you all the essentials necessary to get started dying on your own, this book is an all-in-one resource. Whether you knit, sew, weave, or crochet, now you can learn how to get the perfect shade for your next DIY project completely from natural sources!
The Natural Paint Book by Lynn Edwards and Julia Lawless
Many paints are made with substances that are harmful to our bodies as well as the environment. For that reason, people have started looking for more organic alternatives. The Natural Paint Book teaches readers to make their own paints right at home using ingredients like clay, gelatin, linseed oil, and artist pigments.
Earthen Pigments by Sandy Webster
While Earthen Pigments is also focused on extracting pigments from nature, the book also offers instructions on how to make a much wider range of artistic materials. Follow the book’s guidance and you can learn how to make crayons, pastels, water-based paints, and more. Whether you are a full-time artist or just an art enthusiast looking to explore a new hobby, there are a lot of interesting projects to choose from.
Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds by Helen Hiebert
Though most of the paper we use today is industrially manufactured, papermaking itself is an ancient craft. Rife with possibilities for creative expression, it is a surprisingly simple process once you get the hang of it. In Papermaking with Garden Plants & Common Weeds, learn how to create your own unique stationery, books, and gifts by using organic fibers from your own yard.
The Papermaker's Companion by Helen Hiebert
The Papermaker’s Companion is a more in-depth guide to the papermaking process. In addition to learning how to create your own paper, the book also offers guidance on how to build your own papermaking equipment, ideas for repurposing unneeded paper, and many other useful tips. Exposing the endless possibilities for creativity and expression through hand-crafted paper, this book is a must-have for anyone who is interested in trying it out for themselves.