Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Own da Vinci

We are in the 1400s now in our studies.  That means we are reading about men like Gutenberg, John Hus, Christopher Columbus, Michelangelo, and, of course, Leonardo da Vinci.

Last week I picked up a really cool book about da Vinci from the library...
This book has several of Leonardo's inventions in there and how you can make them. When Bonnie went through the book she was immediately drawn to the section of making your own paint.

  To make your own paint you first need dirt and two flat rocks.  Instead of dirt, Bonnie gathered together pieces of broken brick and some charcoal.  She also had two perfect flat rocks in her room.  Once you have these supplies then you need to grind the dirt, brick, charcoal  into a fine powder using your rocks.
 This can get pretty messy and I didn't want the counter to get scratched so we found that on old plastic ice cream lid worked great to grind the brick on.  

 Once you get a nice powder then you need to add a bonding agent.  Da Vinci used egg yolks to bind it all together. 

It really makes a nice paint.  For yellow paint they recommend using the pistils and stamens of daylilies or even crumbled saffron.  Snail shells should give you a blue or purple powder (Remember the Phoenicians?)
Bonnie has had a lot of fun, although I've told her she has to start buying her own eggs.  She has already gone through a dozen of mine.

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