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The Science of Frescoes

Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
Absorption, saturation
fresco example activity

Introduction

Have you ever looked at pictures of murals on buildings from hundreds of years ago and wondered how they were created? Fresco is a type of painting that has been used for thousands of years and involves painting on wet lime plaster. This activity explores one aspect of the science behind this unusual technique. See how science can help you become a more versatile artist!

Credits

Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Pie pan
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • Liquid food coloring or watercolor paint. One color is enough to do the activity, but several colors will yield a more colorful painting.
  • Small bowl to mix food coloring or paint with water, one for each color you use.
  • Paint brush(es)
  • A sheet of watercolor or construction paper, preferably a light color.
  • Cloth or paper towels
  • Optional: Sponge
  • Optional: Fork
    fresco science materials

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Active Time
30-45 minutes
Total Project Time
30-45 minutes
Key Concepts
Absorption, saturation