There is a quite a difference between ochre produced Aboriginal Paintings as compared to the contemporary medium form of acrylic paints.
Ochre is the traditional medium used by Aboriginals dating back 60,000 years. Today there are some rock paintings still quite recognizable from at least 40 to 50,000 years ago showing that the ochre has incredible longevity.
Ochre used in Aboriginal paintings are mined from places with a kind of soft colourful stone with natural pigments. There are a variety of colours that can be extracted and then mixed with other pigments to create colours that range from reds, varying shades of brown, greys, sandy yellows, soft pinks, whites, purples and greens.
Aboriginal Art will continue to evolve with exciting new styles and forms using modern mediums to tell ancient stories in a contemporary form. The introduction of acrylic paints on canvas from the Western Desert, have only been practised since the early 1970’s and became more popular in the 1980s and dominate to this day.This has made painting for Aboriginal artists easier and given a far wider colour variation, and enthusiasm to the industry.
Ochre has a much thicker and sometimes rougher texture than acrylic paint. Aboriginal people use it when painting on rocks and in caves and applied to their body for cultural ceremonial purposes.