How a new color is born...
I thought with the launch under my belt, now might be a good time to talk a bit about how I come up with a new formula. It starts first with an idea. I had wanted to make a pale purple shimmer that looked almost looked gray. My first step is to look at my chemicals and take some notes, looking at their properties to theorize how they will play together.
Once I've narrowed down my choices and have figured out what balance of pigments will work depending upon the chemistry I start making the mix for a test.
Some pigments have to be mixed wet while others can be pre-mixed dry. When I do this I put it in a little bottle and shake it up to mix it together. When I'm testing a color, I normally have 4-5 different little bottles with different proportions of pigments in them.
Next, I mull up the paint. You'll notice in the video that there is some dried pink on the mulling slab, that's because I tried this pigment with the ultramarine pre-mulled. I wound up not needing the extra step, but I like to try it both pre-mulled and single mulled.
Once the paint has been mulled I do a half fill--meaning I put the paint into pans but only fill it half way. I do this for a few reasons; first, if there's a curing problem it will show much faster in this small amount. Second, the paint tends to shrink as it dries, so to get the maximum fill in any of my paints, I do two separate pours, with a few days to cure in-between.
I label each of my pans so that I know which version is which and then fill.
Once they've dried, I test each of the different versions. I normally test for how easily it wets, how much it shimmers (if its a shimmer paint), how well it layers and what it looks like when it dries down. I wait another day after testing to see what the paint does when its been exposed to water from the brush. If the pan isn't showing any signs of the pigments separating after wetting then I know I've got a solid mixture. I'll pick from my favorites of all my options and viola! I have a new paint.
This whole process from start to finish normally takes me about 2-3 weeks. I've had some paints--like Starry, Starry, Night, take me 5 weeks to perfect. I got lucky on Thunder Wishes and it came together relatively easily!
I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about what goes into making my paints! I've attached a video below of thunder wishes so that you can get a feel for the sparkle, since these types of paints don't like to play well with cameras.