Preserving Pigments from Fungi and Lichen | General Natural Resources for Pigments for Paint/Ink

Good morning! I was wondering if anyone has any information, or references to preserving pigments from fungi/lichen? I am particularly interested in the Indigo Milkcap at the moment, and preserving the blue color it extrudes when cut. Also welcoming any good references for other plants/geology that would be good for pigment creating for paints/ink, as opposed to natural dying - as there is a plethora of info on that and much less for paints/ink. Many thanks in advance for any assistance and information - I look forward to connecting!

Also - I am located in the Upstate, NY area with regards to localized resources :)

Dried, or fresh-frozen mushrooms often work just as well as fresh mushrooms for dyeing. Freezing will cause some chemical changes though that may affect the color (e.g. reds turning violet or blue). I realize that’s not exactly what you asked, however. It sounds like you’re more interested in extracting the dye to use as an ink. To actually extract the azulene compounds (which are what give Indigo Milkcap its blue color), you would probably need to do chromatography, which requires a chemistry lab. You could try to preserve just the latex, but its color will fade to green after it’s exposed to the air. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you. Maybe some of the resident mushroom experts will know more. Good luck!


Thank you so much for the information! I really appreciate any and all info! I was able to extract the latex from the Milkcap and bottled it, it is still retaining it’s blue color - slightly more greenish today, but curious to see what happens when put to paper. I added glycerine, honey and some clove oil to preserve. Also dried the remaining mushroom to crush into powder and add watercolor medium to for creating a paint - will see what color comes of that as well :) Keeping track of the process with different flora and minerals if anyone is interested im happy to share my findings :)


That’s really cool! I would love to know how they turn out. Seems like a fun science experiment.

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