Fellow artist Steve Ladd suggested buying in bulk or making your own paint from dried pigments and tubing your own paint. He places paint onto a piece of aluminum foil which he then rolls into a tube. The foil tube is then placed within the empty paint tube. A roller is then used to squeeze the paint from the foil into the tube (I use a brayer used in block printing). The slanted board helps the paint fill the tubes without bubbles but is not absolutely essential. I include some photos Steve made to illustrate his methods. (Click here for cheap tubes: Jack Richeson 150-Ml Empty Paint Tubes, Case of 144).
As mentioned in previous posts I’ve been buying paint in bulk from RGH Artists Oils. With my last order I ordered all pigments in pint jars (473 ml). I like the jars because it is easy to use a spatula to scrape the paint out. Using the spatula I can keep the surface of the remaining paint flat which dries slower. If I’m still worried about drying I can add a few drops of walnut oil to seal the top layer.
Photos of tubing process courtesy of and copyright by Steve Ladd © 2013