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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject: Period paints         Reply with quote

It's obvious that in the 11th century, people didn't pop on down to the local craft store and buy little plastic bottles of acrylic paint. What they would have done, of course, would have been to create dyes, stains, or paints from pigments and some type of solvent like eggs, milk, or oil.

I'm curious on this topic from two different directions - First, I'd like to know more about how it was done. Second, I'm interested in a safe, durable approximation that can be done today, either commercially, or home-grown. I have a project that will require me to paint leather to yield a fairly accurate period representation.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Mike Pospichal





Joined: 20 May 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure how much help this will be, but I think it does a fairly good job at explaining. If the link takes you down the page, just scroll back to the top. http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Library/....htm#pgpnt
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Mark Shier
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Joined: 27 Mar 2005

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 10:09 am    Post subject: painting         Reply with quote

Theophilus. On Divers Arts, is available in a cheap Dover edition, and is very good. Anything by or translated by Thompson, D. V. will be of use, and Dover has lots of his titles in print.
mark
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, guys, for your input. I'll have to do some playing around to see which may work for me, and hope the library will have the oop books.

My "canvas" will be veg-tanned leather, so I need something durable and compatible, but will yield a period look.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm eager to hear more about period paints as well. I'm thinking of doing a bit of painting on my viking shield and need something that binds well to leather.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
I'm thinking of doing a bit of painting on my viking shield and need something that binds well to leather.


Yup. Something like that. Big Grin

I know acrylics work well for things like leather jackets. (yes, if you look closely enough, you'll see the horns under my halo)

Problem is, they're too modern for what my client has in mind. From what I have read, egg tempera may be a viable option, if it will adhere appropriately to the leather. It forms a permenant, waterproof paint, and I think if the leather is properly prepared, it will work out ok.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Fortior Qui Se Vincit
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Mark Shier
Industry Professional




Joined: 27 Mar 2005

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 3:29 pm    Post subject: pigments         Reply with quote

I've had pretty good results with medieval pigments tempered with size (in this case, made from parchment scrapings). Check http://medievalwares.com/new.htm , bottom half of the page, for some knife sheaths I have painted.
Pigments can be tempered with size, glue, egg yolks, oil, etc.. The choice of temper depends on the material being painted, and what time period you are trying to replicate.
mark
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work, Mark, and that tells me that I can accomplish what I need.

In my particular case, I am looking for appropriate paint for a Norman shield, circa 1066, in ivory/cream/off-white, yellow, and black.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Fortior Qui Se Vincit
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Mark Shier
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2005 3:48 pm    Post subject: pigments         Reply with quote

Why leather? I was under the impression that most shields were wod, covered in canvas. Gesso the canvas, smoth, and paint.
You can buy pigments and media from John the Artificer.
http://www.icubed.com/users/jrose/jartindx.html I prefer to buy from him in person, as he can be very slow by email. Griffon Dyeworks /http://www.griffindyeworks.com[/u] is planning to sell pigments soon. I get larger amounts form Lee Valley http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&a...,190,42996 . I used these to paint my oak chest (twelve egg yolks).
You should be able to get most of what you want from Lee Valley, except for whites. Get Thompson's technique book-some pigments react badly if they touch each other.
Don't lick your brush- some pigments contain arsenic, lead, mercury,etc.. Grind them wet. Don't inhale the dust. Earth pigments are pretty safe.
mark
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Shane Allee
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Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

Posts: 506

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 7:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't used to worry about modern paints that much, but it is a direction I have been heading for awhile now. Really it isn't that bad and doesn't require that much more work. About the best choices for period type of paints that I have found are egg tempera, milk paint/casein, and hide glue. If you want to put in the work you can make these yourself, but they are pretty easy to find now days. Milk paint can be bought online in powdered form from several places, I just picked some up from ebay even. Most of the places even stick with using earth pigments which makes it even easier. I bought mine without pigment so I could add my own and not be locked into only having a few colors. Powdered or granulated hide glue can be picked up from many woodworking shops as well as online and it can be mixed up to be used as a paint. The pigments can be a touch harder to find and not all of the earth pigments would be aappropriate but many are. I haven't had a chance to deal with the more organic pigments as of yet, so I don't know much about those.

Trying to remember back to the research I did on viking age shields, but I only think there was one example of tempera being used. It was one of the more dominate paint types used later on, but I think there was only the one viking age shield found with it.

www.milkpaint.com or as I said I bought the same stuff from ebay.
A place called Native Way sells hide glue as well as some pigments, believe they even sell a paint set to get you started.
Do a search for "milk paint" or "casein" to find out more general info and how to do it your self, and "earth pigments" is a good search to get start for finding pigments.

Shane
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Jesse Frank
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Location: Tallahassee, Fl
Joined: 04 May 2005

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's not a paint, per se, but I use vinegar as a black leather dye. Just soak some steel wool in the vinegar for a week or so, paint it on, and it will turn your veg. tanned leather a very nice blue black.
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Aaron Schnatterly




Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 16 Feb 2005
Reading list: 67 books

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Posts: 1,244

PostPosted: Tue 14 Jun, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This has really been some great information, guys! Thanks! I'll play with some various methods and see what yields a good result. When I get something tangible, I will post the results. In the mean time, let the discussion continue!
-Aaron Schnatterly
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(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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