Slick art

Slick art


You may have heard the old saying "oil and water don't mix," and while that may be true, when you combine the two, some pretty and interesting images can be the result. In a wildlife setting, oil spills can upset the natural balance of an environment and cause a lot of trouble for the animals and plants that call a habitat home. So it's probably best that the combination of the two should stay on the crafts table—and out of nature!


Photo of materials you need
  • White construction paper
  • Aluminum roasting pan (like the ones they sell in grocery stores)
  • A fork
  • Measuring spoons
  • 3 plastic cups
  • Cooking oil
  • Food coloring
  • An apron or old shirt to protect your clothing
  • Newspaper
Pan with water, cups with food coloring


Measure one tablespoon of cooking oil into each plastic cup. Choose three different colors of food coloring, and measure one teaspoon of each color into its own cup (each cup will have one color in it). Stir the mixture in each cup with the fork (wipe it off between colors) until the food coloring is well mixed.

Construction paper on top of artwork


Put layers of newspaper under the aluminum pan to catch any water that splashes. Fill the pan with water, but not all the way to the top. Pour a little bit of one colored oil mixture onto one area of the pan. Then repeat this with the other two colors, on different areas of the pan. What happens? Why do you think this occurs?

To make your own artwork, lay a piece of construction paper on top of the water. After 30 seconds, carefully lift it off and see the effect of the colors on the paper.

Colors on paper


Carefully remove your artwork from the mixture in the pan. Lay the wet paper flat on some newspaper, so the colors won't run, and allow it to dry overnight. You can then use your artwork as a greeting card, wrapping paper, or to decorate your walls.