My favorite homemade paint is egg tempera. I learned how to make it and
use it in a college watercolor class I took.
Egg tempera paint is actually a very old technique that was used for a lot of medieval paintings. You can also make oil paint from linseed oil or milk paint using dried milk protein known as casein.
Paint requires three ingredients:
For egg tempera paint, you use watercolor tube paint concentrate for the pigment, egg yolk for the binder, and maybe a very tiny bit of water if you need it more solvent.
For a basic casein paint or milk paint, sour some skim milk with lemon juice overnight. Strain out the curds, known as quark, and add a pigment. The smell will disappear once it dries.
You can also buy milk paint powder where you simply add water to use.
If you make your own paint, you can use safer materials that do not release toxic fumes or pollute the environment. Natural paints are usually not as durable as synthetics, but they are more beautiful and can work great for small projects.
In the class where I studied watercolors, we used the egg tempera technique to decorate small pieces of wooden board covered with white gesso.
Of course I decided to paint a butterfly design on mine. My inspiration was the mourning cloak butterfly, a type that hibernates over the winter and is the first to appear in very early spring.
We also added (imitation) gold leaf so it really looked similar to the medieval artwork style. It was my first time using it, so that was another interesting process to learn.
This photo was taken after it had been in storage for several years and you can see the paint held up very well. The pigment colors are still very fresh and vibrant.
Now how will you use the paint? You might want to try making some homemade paper to go with it.