Virtual Museum – Creative Control Study


Create a control study using watercolor paint and other materials to inform further art making and experimentation.


  • watercolor paper or thick paper
  • liquid watercolors (3 colors)
  • paint brushes
  • paint containers
  • vinegar (1 tablespoon)
  • salt (1 teaspoon)
  • baking soda (1 tablespoon)
  • oil pastel/crayon
  • black permanent marker


  1. Divide your paper into a grid by drawing 6 spaces with your black permanent marker.
  2. Create a drawing with your permanent marker in each space.
  3. Label each space with permanent marker:
    1. Control. Materials: watercolor
    2. Salt. Materials: watercolor + salt
    3. Oil pastel/crayon. Materials: watercolor + oil pastel. Tip: draw with oil pastel/crayon before applying paint
    4. Baking soda. Materials: watercolor + baking soda. Tip: sprinkle baking soda on top of watercolor paint
    5. Vinegar. Materials: watercolor + vinegar. Tip: use paintbrush to drop vinegar on top of watercolor paint
    6. Baking Soda + Vinegar. Materials: watercolor + baking soda + vinegar.
  4. One at a time, paint each space with watercolor paint and designated material for that space.


  • What did you notice?
  • What were you surprised by?
  • What do you think will happen when…?
  • What was your favorite interaction?


  • Introduction to artistic and scientific processes of experimentation and observation.
  • Introduction to chemical changes (e.g. baking soda, vinegar, watercolor).


Apply Your Learnings! What were your favorite paint and material interactions? Create a mixed media artwork using the materials you just experimented with!

  • Experiment with Other Materials. What other materials could you experiment with in combination with watercolors?
  • Create New Paint. Combine watercolors and baking soda to make a fun thick paint. Combine watercolors, baking soda, and vinegar to create foamy paint. Experiment and adjust until you get the consistency you want.