Discover the History of Artists' Pigments

Make and Use Your Own Homemade Paints

Historical Artists’ Pigments Painting Course

Have you ever wondered where artists first discovered the yellows, reds, and blues that are in our paint palettes now? Through the centuries our ancient ancestors looked to animal, mineral, and vegetable sources to create the pigments used in their cave paintings, frescos, textiles, illuminated manuscripts, and paintings.

In this course, you’ll learn about the origins of many of the important colors in your palette such as burnt sienna, rose madder, gamboge, and ultramarine. Then you'll learn how to make your own homemade egg tempera paint and then practice using it as we paint realistic silhouettes of trees.

"Fantastic presentation, really enjoy Christine’s teaching style"

- Joji Finney, student


  • You’ll learn about the earliest origins of artists’ pigments beginning with our ancient Paleolithic ancestors through to the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Pre-Colombian civilizations, then all the way to the golden age of painting in Renaissance Europe.
  • You’ll see examples of where various cultures mined and wild-crafted various colors from natural chalk white to carbon black.
  • You’ll learn about the development of one of the oldest forms of paint; egg tempera and see examples of its use through the centuries.
  • You’ll learn how to make your own egg tempera paint with a step-by-step video demonstration.
  • Lastly, you’ll practice using your egg tempera by painting realistic tree silhouettes.

"Thanks for another excellent class, Christine!"

- Barbara Chan, student


Greetings, I'm Christine Elder, your instructor!

I've been an artist all my life, exploring many mediums including pencil, pen, watercolor, acrylics, oil, and even digital art. I specialize in drawing flora and fauna informed by my master's degree in biology and a graduate certificate in biological illustration.

As an artist, I've always been fascinated by the history of artists' pigments and paints. Below you'll see a picture of me in my happy place, purchasing authentic pigments in Rome, Italy.

"Soooo fun! Thank you! My favorite class yet"

- Starleen Rogers, student

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!