•This activity provides a fun way of examining the historic use of inorganic compounds as pigments. Students learn about some of the pigments used in paintings, optionally researching particular artworks that use these pigments, and then make and use paints based on these inorganic compounds. This is an excellent “last day of the semester” activity.
There will be nice slides of the structures of some of these pigments and slides of famous painting which use them as soon as I can figure out how to upload a 66 MB file!!!
Inorganic Chemistry and art:
Various inorganic compounds that are generally available in ores, or simply made from historically available ingredients. Some suggestions:
Celadonite or Glaucinite (often the geology department will have plenty of this to give you): K[(Al, Fe3+)(Fe2+,Mg)](AlSi3, Si4)O10(OH)2
This is a good opportunity to “use up” some of the ancient bottles of inorganic salts that are not used in any current experiment that are in your stockroom or dusty cabinets.
Materials and equipment
Mortars and pestles
Plastic or glass stirring rods (some metals will discolor the paints)
Small canvases (purchased at a craft or art supply store)
Inexpensive paint brushes, several sizes (purchased at a craft or art supply store)
Lots of newspaper to protect lab surfaces
Linseed oil (purchased at a craft or art supply store)