The History of Paint


Today we are truly blessed to be able to purchase a variety of different types of paints and colours however, this was not always the case. Paint is one of mankind’s earliest inventions. It began with cave paintings dating back as far as 40 000 years but some believe that paint may have been created way before that. Humans have made use of hematite, charcoal, yellow and red ochre and even manganese oxide as painting mediums. There were 6 basic colours used by early painters these being green, yellow, blue, black, red and white.

Early paintings discovered within the tribal grounds of Europe, Australia, Africa and Indonesia depict images of hunters and early farmers/herders as well as images of families, community gatherings and other important moments regarding life at the dawn of humanity. Painting has been used to capture the lives of humans, to document our progress and experiences and still to this day holds value in the way we express ourselves today.

As paint evolved humans began using dried plants, minerals ground roots, berries and even blood to pigment their paint and bring new life to the colours they were using in their art. Iron oxide was a leap into longevity and durability as well as adding vibrancy to art. Artists had to resort to mixing their pigments with anything from saliva, egg and even animal fats to ensure they achieved optimal results. The Romans and Greeks created “oils paints” by combining pigments with plant oils, revolutionizing paint for millennia to come. For application, earlier painters used hollow bones (resembling the earliest methods of airbrushing), their fingers and brushes made of animal hair

We still use a lot of the original methods today, however, we have been blessed with people who have made accessibility to a variety of painting mediums as easy as 1-2-3.

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