It is widely accepted that viscosity plays a crucial role in current printing and coating industries. In a very similar way, viscosity has a strong influence on the texture of artistic paintings. Textures may not be as obvious as colors in a painting, but it can be just as important in conveying the artist’s idea or concept behind it.
A good example is Jackson Pollock’s expressionist painting. Some of his masterpieces display astonishing techniques, such as his unique drip technique, that have captivated many in love with his artwork. Scientists from Mexico City University have been captivated by Pollock’s work from a fluid dynamics perspective. They have created a technique to generate drippings in a controlled manner and study how fluid properties such as viscosity can affect the final texture in the print.
The rheological properties of a paint or ink will depend on its ingredients and concentration. When a fluid viscosity depends on shear rate, it is classified as non-Newtonian. In this case the fluid can exhibit very different flow behavior between the application process and the settling and drying processes in a painting. The broad spectra in fluid complexity allows artists to create paintings of unique complexity and depth!