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Pigment Hunter 3

Natural Colors

This series of classes will explore a variety of processes using natural minerals and plants to make paints & inks with different binders. You will learn to work with a diversity of minerals and plant materials to process into pigments with mortar and pestles as well as ball mills then sift with a screen, or levigate in water, to further refine the materials for making paints and inks.

We will make then make paints using those mineral and plant based pigments along with various mediums such as watercolor, egg tempera, and oil paint.  The inks will also be composed of a variety of plant materials and modifiers to create a diversity of natural colors. 

Throughout the process, you will discover natural colors in relation to place and geological layers from which they originate.

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Your Instructor

Scott Sutton, the Pigment Hunter

Scott has been working with earth pigments for 15 years as an artist and educator to bring an awareness to the potential of locally sourced color to create a sense of place. 


He began paint-making in 1997 at Oregon State University where he learned how to make paints with modern pigments from his painting professor Sandy Brooke. Scott began to collect earth minerals in 2002 when he was living in Taos New Mexico after making a trip to Abiquiu where colorful soils exist in a range of colors. 


After returning to Oregon in 2003, Scott began working with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Porltand, OR where he worked as an art instructor teaching natural paint making to tribal members to use in their own art. 


Scott returned to New Mexico in 2009 to study for a Master of Landscape Architecture at University of New Mexico that has enabled him to better understand the landscapes through the use of mapping which now guides him in his adventures for color. 


In 2012, Scott returned to Portland, OR where he built an art studio and developed the Pigment Hunter Artist in Residence program. He has since moved back to Taos, New Mexico where he is creating another studio and artist in residency program.


Over the years, Scott has introduced the art of making paints and pigment hunting to other artists who are interested in using local materials that are collected from the landscape in a sustainable manner to lighten their own footprint on the Earth.

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