The Beauty of Water and Oil Abstract

Working with Oils and Water is a tricky process sometimes it works exactly how you want it to an other times it does not settle how you want or the bubbling only happens at the top. That is the beauty of Water and Oil abstract art it does not have to be perfect to be something that no one has ever seen before. I did several variations of water and oil, and I will post more of the photos of the best abstracts I got below this one. Some of the pros and cons that I discovered using this process are:

  1. You will never get it right on the first time!
  2. Water and Oil abstractions take many tries and the outcomes are always random and unique so you can do it as many times as you want and they will always look a little different
  3. You can create these with glue and glitter too ( I have that scheduled for the YouTube video attached to this blog)
  4. This is abstract so it does not have to perfectly in focus and bokeh is great to work in with this.
  5. Be careful with glitter and confetti it has a mind of its own.
  6. Baby oil is the best for this type of abstract work and it is a easy clean-up ( also if you get it on the floor you can get it up easily with dish soap)


In this set of photos I worked heavily with water,paints, confetti and small marbles. This was a complete experiment on my part as well as I have never done something like this, I took the 4th picture down (rocks being poured into a glass vase as a black and white because I believe that it added more drama to the photo as well as a creep factor. A lot of this work as well is highly changed by the type of lighting that you put on it, for these I had all about the same lighting set-up. I had one in the front shining on the bottom with the colouring and water, and then I had a spotlight set above my work space to shine down on my  subject ( this is called clam shell lighting).

The positive and negatives about these works were

  1. P : It is fun and a different look for every occasion and makes a great background.
  2. P: The lighting set-ups do not change very much from shoot to shoot
  3. N: Its a nasty clean-up as the glitter and confetti gets everywhere
  4. N: Make sure you do these types of photos on something that does not reflect a lot of light because glare is not a good for photos.
  5. N &P: While this is a bit of both one of the best things you can work into your abstract oil and water is to run oil or a clear glue on the sides of whatever you are using for your oil and water abstractions is to sprinkle glitter or confetti down the sides for a nice reflection.
Ink/water/food colouring

In this photo I worked with a 1/3 to 2/3rd’s ratio ( 1/3’s paint and the rest water to create the tinted water and then dropped in several drops of purple and black food colouring. After the food colouring I did a ten second continuous shoot with my Nikon D90 camera as the food colouring drifted through the water. This was one of the photos in the middle as I added some flower petals to add to the dramatic effect that the water has.


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