I got my tools ready. Nothing fancy, all that's needed is a muller, cold pressed linseed oil, a palette knife, a marble or glass slab, and pigment of choice. I remember the first color I ever ground in oil was Cadmium Brown, a color no longer being made at that time. What was wrong with me, messing with a toxic pigment for my first oil making session? Oh well, I survived.
After making a little mound of pigment and dropping a few drops of oil in the middle I start by mixing it with the palette knife, trying to get it to a pasty consistency. At times I have too much oil, that's when I start adding a little pigment here, a little pigment there. There are no exact measurements or proportions when it comes to mixing since different pigments behave and absorb oil differently. Everything is by eye balling and by feel, and if you are someone who has worked with oils for years then you know when you have the right body.
This is when I start mulling the mixture. The palette knife alone won't bind all the pigment particles, that's the purpose of the muller. By applying pressure and by stretching the paint thin on the flat surface the pigment and oil form a strong bind, this guarantees from the paint to crack and chip of from a final piece.
I proceed by gathering the paint into a pile and then re-mulling it, watching for the right consistency and adding the components as needed to get the best paint. After getting it right I gather all the paint and scrape it off the muller and marble. If a lot of paint is made you can store it in empty collapsible tubes, but for this nigth, I transfered it to my palette since I made eunough for the painting I was working on that night.