Hematite and oil on canvas. Hematite is an iron oxide and takes its name from the Greek word for blood. Fine grained hematite is responsible for Mars's red hue. I grind my own to make paint. It is a fairly soft rock and breaks down into a very highly pigmented powder. A process called levigation was then used (suspending in water so the heavy particles sink, then pour off the water containing the fine particles) and once completely dry I had a very fine powder. Hematite powder binds very well with oil, creating a very strong deep red paint immediately reminiscent of the rusty planet. It mixes wonderfully well with browns and oranges helping to produce the full tonal range of Mars.