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Acrylic Pour Painting
I am always fascinated by all things fluid related. When I saw examples of paintings done with the acrylic pour technique I loved the fluid like results and had to have a go at acrylic pouring myself.

The process is relatively simple. If you are interested in trying it yourself see the numerous YouTube videos for examples, ideas and inspiration.

This page shows some of my results so far with the technique. The photos are not the best, but give an idea of what is possible with very little experience. I have also included some of my own tips for acrylic pouring at the end of this page.

Attempt #16
Acrylic Pour Paitning
40x40 canvas. Black and white paints. Only water as a medium.

Attempt #15
Acrylic Pour Paitning
40x30 canvas. Black, red and yellow paints. Only water as a medium.

Attempt #14
Acrylic Pour Paitning
30x30 canvas. Floetrol. These darker paintings are a pain to photograph. I did a bit of contrast and brightness tweaks to try and get this closer to the original look. After doing the recent larger canvases I don't want to go back to smaller sized canvases. The larger sizes are so much more impressive to see in person.

Attempt #13
Acrylic Pour Paitning
Huge 40x40 canvas. Floetrol. This is about the largest size canvas I can manipulate myself without help. This used 9 cups of paint. 5 black, 3 white and 1 red. Nicely fills a wall in my kitchen. The gloss varnish is a mistake in a brighter room though with too much reflection. I will be moving this to another spot without a bright window behind it and do another 40x40 and either leave it unvarnished or use a matt varnish for the same location.

Attempt #12
Acrylic Pour Paitning
20x30 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium and Floetrol. The hardware shop had a bunch of sample pots that nobody wanted for $1 each so I grabbed a few to experiment with. I poured this over a dried attempt #10 (not shown here as I didn't get a decent photo of it). This was the result using dark grey, baby pink and baby blue. Both the blue and pink were lumpy even after a lot of stirring. Having inconsistant paint thickness means certain areas flow faster than others. Thick lumps drag thinner paint over the canvas. This results in more of the jagged zig zag patterns. Still sort of interesting and I did end up varnishing it.

Attempt #11
Acrylic Pour Paitning
20x30 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium and Floetrol. One of the nicer results so far. Looks really nice after varnishing. This one is going on the wall.

Attempt #9
Acrylic Pour Paitning
11x14 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium. An attempt with black, red, blue, and yellow colors. Turned out a bit muddy. The brighter yellow streak was caused by a lump in the paint scraping the top layer of paint away as it flowed.

Attempt #8
Acrylic Pour Paitning
11x14 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium. This one looked like a nice space nebula when first put down to dry. Then the yellow cells exploded and took over the red area.

Attempt #7
Acrylic Pour Paitning
12x12 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium. This was the yellow in paintings #4 to #7 that were meant to be hung as a set of 4. The yellow I used in this painting mixed way too much with the black so the result is more green than yellow.

Attempt #6
Acrylic Pour Paitning
12x12 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium. This was the blue in paintings #4 to #7 that were meant to be hung as a set of 4. When I had finished moving the paint around the canvas this one had some really nice almost 3D looking clouds areas, but as the paint sat there and kept interacting the clouds faded and these white branch patterns appeared.

Attempt #5
Acrylic Pour Paitning
12x12 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium. This was the green in paintings #4 to #7 that were meant to be hung as a set of 4. This shows a symptom of not enough paint (always have more paint on the canvas than you think you need). I had filled the top corners and bottom right corner first with only the lower left corner to go. The cells were nicely spread over most of the canvas. Because there was not enough paint I had to hold and jiggle the canvas to get the remaining paint to flow into the lower left corner. The lack of paint meant the most of the nice cell structures got bunched up in zig zag patterns.

Attempt #4
Acrylic Pour Paitning
12x12 canvas. Liquitex Pouring Medium. This was the red in paintings #4 to #7 that were meant to be hung as a set of 4. When this pour had finished and put down it had a really nice red nebula like cloud through it. Acrylic pours will continue to change once you put the canvas down to dry. In this case the white paint rose up through the red creating the numerous cell shapes in the upper left area and wiped out most of the red. Just another part of the experimental nature of pour painting. You finish getting the paint to all corners of the painting, but you never really know how it will turn out until it is fully dry (or at least until an hour or so after you put the canvas down).

Attempt #3
Acrylic Pour Paitning
24x24 canvas. Larger canvas attempt. The orange color here took over all the gold and most of the silver colors. Some interesting areas but you have to be up close to notice them. Orange mess from a distance. Multiple "Puddle Pours" with Floetrol as the medium. This was my last puddle pour. From now on I stick with dirty pours.

Attempt #2
Acrylic Pour Paitning
9x12 canvas. This one used the "Puddle Pour" technique with Floetrol as the medium.

Attempt #1
Acrylic Pour Paitning
9x12 canvas. This one used the "Dirty Pour" technique with Floetrol as the medium.

Tips
Here are some quick tips I found so far from my experiments;

Mediums

For pour mediums I have used Liquitex Pouring Medium (tends to be expensive and is available from art supply shops) and Floetrol (cheaper in bulk from the hardware or paint shop). If your budget is tight go for the cheaper Floetrol. I could not tell any difference between the two.

A little bit of water comes in handy to balance the consistancy of paints once you add the mediums. Add the water in small amounts slowly. The best thickness of paint I would describe is unthickened cream. Not watery like water or milk, but not too thick like dense cream or custard.

Canvas Prep

To help the poured paint flow better over the canvas you can coat the canvas with a slick coating of whatever base color you like (usually white). I found a simpler technique is to spray the canvas surface and edges lightly with water using a mister bottle. The thin coat of water seems to be just as effective as a paint layer in helping the paint flow.

Paint

Mix and use more paint than you think you will need. Nothing worse than having 3/4 of your canvas filled and looking great and then not having enough paint to spread to that last corner. If you hold the canvas too long in one direction trying to get to that last corner it leads to the more jagged areas.

Use different brands of paints as they may react differently and give more unique effects. I use cheap student acrylics, house paint sample pots from the paint store and some artist grade acrylic tubes I had.

Mix the paints and mediums well. Spend 99% of your time in prepping the paints and that final 1% of the time moving the paint on the canvas. Lumps or inconsistant paint thickness can cause areas of your otherwise awesome looking painting to fail.

The consistancy of the paint is also very important. You don't want watery, but you don't want thickened cream either. Just experiment and see what works for you. Too thick means it will be harder to get it to flow to all the corners. Too watery means the colors will mix and intermingle too much to form muddy colors. Slightly (very slight) differences in density between the colors does help cells and other patterns form.

You will waste a lot of paint. If the thought of this worries you then acrylic pouring is not for you.

Cells

Many of the example pour movies will refer to adding silicon to get cells. I have not tried it yet, but have gotten plenty of cells from just Liquitex and Floetrol. I find the best way to get cells is just to have slightly different density paints. Also different brands of paints.

Other

I do use a blowtorch on the paint after pouring but prior to starting to move the paint around the canvas. I don't think it does anything but pop bubbles that may be in the paint. I bought the same hand held butane type you see in majority of acrylic pour videos. Don't bother if you are on a budget.

Black can be very powerful and overpowering. Use much less black to avoid the entire painting being dulled down.

Pour painting is kind of like a science experiment every time. You can never guarentee what result you will get. If you get a result you don't like you can always pour a new painting over it once it dries.