Thursday, March 15, 2012

A simple word, and some chemistry

A simple ATC Today
Bagged watercolour on heavy textured paper (from yesterday) glittery stickers (Bling) and a rub on word.

Yesterday, when I was playing with dropping the water onto the watercolour, I noticed this
See how the purple split into red and blue?  Well being a biochemist and a teacher, I decided to do an experiment I have often done on science nights, although for those experiments I usually use a black pen instead of paint - paper chromatography.
Different colour molecules are different sizes, and due to their size, they with move along a piece of paper wet at one end depending on their size.
I painted some of the paints I used yesterday at the bottom of a strip of paper, then stood the paper up in a tray with a quarter to a half inch of water in it.
The water will slowly soak up the paper taking the colour with it.
I was entranced at this stage, because it looked so like a little landscape with pine trees in front.
This was the result after an hour or so.  I won't bore you with the details, but say that I loved the blue and yellow bits at the top and the little smudge of red.  This one had a lot of black, so I re did it with a bit less
This one wasn't left so long, and the fluting at the top is more pronounced and interesting.
When I do this with children, as I said, the colour is usually a black ballpoint, because with  alcohol instead of water as I used here, the pen ink separates into different colours.  I was surprised that the black water coulour didn't separate, so...
I repeated it with alcohol (rubbing alcohol or methylated spirits)
The one on the left is pretty much the same as the first one with water and had similar colours.  It seemed like the black didn't separate, but when you compare it to the one on the right which was the same but no black, you can see that the black is contributing to the colours as this one doesn't have as much.  Also you can almost see some blue separating off the black on the left, if you look hard.

Anyway, thst was my experiment, and I am thinking about how I could make those fluted lines on a piece of fabric, by repeatedly drying and adding new colour to the bottom.  Of course this is only one brand of paint in a few limited colours, different brands will mix their pigments in different proportions.  I am pretty sure you could use dyes for this as well.

(I used digital images from DSE  from the text me series and from Ellie Lash's freebie Fridays