Comstock ISD students mixed ocher pigments with fat, soap, and water to make their own paint using a recipe similar to the one used by ancient rock art artists. They discovered that ancient paint-makers were actually chemists, combining elements that would create a paint that was rich in color, smooth in application and long-lasting.
As they experimented with their own concoctions, the students learned that fat serves as a binder to hold the pigment particles together and water is a vehicle that spreads the paint over a surface. However, fat and water do not naturally mix. They separate into individual layers. The paint requires an emulsifier to suspend the fat, pigment and water together to make a fluid paint.