The Old Masters would go to the markets to find rich colored gems and rocks, crush them to a fine powder and add linseed oil or egg tempra to create their paint. That was a lot of work.
Today all you have to do is go to an art supply store and buy a tube of paint. But did you know that in today's world pigment for paint is still being made from rocks and minerals and in many cases the same way as it was in ancient times?
In the photo I posted for this blog, you see a display stand with rocks and vials of pigment my mother created and a chart of rocks and minerals. I use these two visual displays as teaching guides during my color wheel class. I have found them to be very effective in teaching new students. It gives them a better understanding of how paint is made and why it can be expensive to buy.
There are different levels of quality paint in today's market. Student grade paint is cheap to buy but has very little pigment in it to produce a fine quality painting. Often times you end up using more paint and it will cost more in the long run.
Professional Artist quality paint cost a lot more but you use a lot less to get the rich colors you're looking for.
The difference between the two qualities is the amount of pigment used with the binder of the paint. I highly recommend buying the higher quality paint. It's tough enough to get good results when learning to paint without giving yourself a further handicap by using inferior paint. Buying cheap is a false economy and is likely to set you up for frustration and disappointment.