WORKSHOP “Introduction to Mineral Pigments”


Mineral pigments (also known as Iwa-enogu,岩絵具 in Japanese) is a type of pigment derived from ground ore. Mineral pigment seems difficult to use without specialized study, however, once you understand the basic concept and its characteristics, anyone can paint with mineral pigments.

In this article, I'll be introducing you to the content of PIGMENT TOKYO's "Introduction to MIneral Pigments", a workshop designed for beginners to help you get started with mineral pigments by painting flowers.

Introduction to Mineral Pigments

Schedule: Once a month on Sundays

Time: 14:00-15:30


Reservation: https://pigment.tokyo/workshop/

The instructor may vary depending on the courses. Thank you for your understanding.

The instructor is Natsumi Yamasato, an art materials expert at PIGMENT TOKYO.

She teaches workshops mainly on Japanese painting materials such as mineral pigments and metal leaf, as well as online video courses.

Introduction to Mineral Pigment
3,850 tax in
Introduction to Metal Leaf
3,850 tax in
Introduction to Pure Gold Leaf
3,850 tax in

This time, we held a workshop with the staff from "WHAT", an art museum operated by Warehouse TERRADA, located next to PIGMENT TOKYO.

We started off by talking about the main subject of this course, "Mineral Pigments."

The WHAT staff is also involved in art regularly, but they were very interested in learning about mineral pigments and binders, which most of them were not familiar with.

Whether it will be your first time touching the mineral pigments or you have never learnt about it theoretically, you will be amazed by the difference between natural and artificial mineral pigments, the history of mineral pigments, and the color variation depending on the particle sizes.

During the actual workshop, there will be acrylic shields in order to follow the guidelines of social distancing.

Please note that the photos in this article were taken without acrylic shields in an appropriate measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Workshop scene of "Introduction to Mineral Pigments"

After learning the basic concept of mineral pigments and other painting materials, it’s time to put it into practice!

In this workshop, you will be able to learn how to paint with mineral pigments and mediums. All the materials are going to be provided in the course, so everyone can join empty-handed.

The mineral pigments on the plum shape palette are called Ginkohmatsu (銀紅末, salmon pink) and Yanagicha (柳茶, willow green) in Japanese, and the colors reminded me of Japanese sweets, wagashi (和菓子). As you can see, these colors are rather subtle, deep and beautiful.

I added the Nikawa (膠, animal glue) to and kneaded with my finger to feel the graininess of the pigments. As I kneaded the paint, I began to imagine what kind of painting I wanted to create.

Kissho Ginkohmatsu
770 tax in
Kissho Yanagi Cha
880 tax in
OX glue liquid 20% concentrated
1,100 tax in

Plum motif Palette
440 tax in
Brush Cleaning Round Pot
2,530 tax in

Once I started painting, I got carried away.

There is no right answer to what the painting should look like, so just follow your heart.

Even children and those who are worried about their drawing ability can enjoy it since the Washi paper has a pre-drawn image on it and you just need to fill it with the colors.

The line drawing on Washi paper is Japanese peonies that are in full bloom during early summer.

Even though the same materials and colors are used, the expression and painting style can vary depending on the person who paints it. I wonder how the drawings will turn out.

Our instructor will give you detailed instructions on how to use the art materials and how to draw, so always feel free to ask if you have any questions.

The instructor, Natsumi Yamasato, is looking forward to meeting and talking with you at the workshop.

I’m so glad that I can ask anything even the tiny doubts that I had been wondering about.

The more I painted, the more I was fascinated by the vibrant colors of the mineral pigments and made me want to paint more!

Time flew by as the workshop went on, we listened to the instructor, asked questions, and painted in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

After the workshop, you can take your painted work home, so you can hang it on the wall or give it as a gift to your loved ones.

For me, I gave it to my mother, who loves flowers a lot, as a Mother's Day gift. I colored them to show my appreciation and love to my mother, whom I don't get to see very often now.

The workshop might be a wonderful opportunity for you to focus on expressing yourself through color and by using beautiful line drawings with carefully selected Japanese art materials. You can also consider it as a luxurious moment with the company of art.

For more information on our regular workshops, please refer to the following feature article.


Let’s Have Fun with Art at PIGMENT WORKSHOP this coming Spring

WORKSHOP “Creating Original Paints”

You would never know what you might discover about your inner self through art materials and by creating the one and only painting in the world you might have an unforgettable experience. So, why not spend a holiday like this once in a while to refresh and recharge our soul and mind?


Art Materials Expert at PIGMENT TOKYO


Art Materials Expert at PIGMENT TOKYO Graduated from the Textile Design at Tama Art University. While she works as an art material expert at PIGMENT, she also continues her career as an artist of original paper, Japanese paper and calligraphy.

Art Materials Expert at PIGMENT TOKYO Graduated from the Textile Design at Tama Art University. While she works as an art material expert at PIGMENT, she also continues her career as an artist of original paper, Japanese paper and calligraphy.