You will need:
- A piece of paper
- Cream of tartar
- Oil paints
- A bucket or old container
- A stick to stir with
What to do:
- Put three liters of water into a bucket or other container. A wide shallow
container is best. You will need enough room to lie your piece of paper on top of
- Put 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar into the water and stir it in. Leave for 30
- Drop a small amount of oil paint into the water. Does it spread out across the
surface without clinging to the sides of the container? If so, that's great news.
It means you have the right amount of cream of tartar for the water in your region.
Go to step 4. If the paint did not spread out across the water, you need to
add a bit more cream of tartar. Add a generous pinch of cream of tartar, stir it in,
wait 30 minutes and then test the water again. If the paint spread right to the
sides of the container and then stayed there, you probably have too much cream of tartar
for the water where you live. Add a cup of water and then test the water again.
If the paint still clings to the sides, add more water and keep testing until the
paint spreads out smoothly across the water without sticking too much to the sides.
- Drop small amounts of oil paint into the water. Use different colors and place
drops all around the surface of the water. Use a stick to very gently stir the drops
so that they make nice patterns on the water. Don't stir too much though, or you
might ruin the effect. When the surface of the water is pretty much coated with
paint, lay a sheet of paper on top of the water, then lift it out. WOW! You
should have an amazing marble-effect painting like the one pictured at the top of this
This page was last updated on 08/05/98.