The art of acrylic pouring made simple. The best way to learn is to try it out.
I bet you have seen loads of tutorial and photos and if you have not so far you certainly will by the time you are through with this article. How can I be certain? you ask, well its the magic of acrylic pouring that is magnetic. You will be drawn into the beautiful world of "pouring". Yes, that's right, "pouring" is the term used for the name of this art form and also because of the process involved.
Before we get to the process lets take a look at some of the basics of pouring.
1. Work Area
Acrylic paints are difficult to clean and in most cases cannot be completely removed. Identify an area to work and this can even mean a large table with all your art supplies stacked/boxed underneath it. Make sure that this place is well lit and not too hot.
The table or work area must be covered with plastic sheets to protect the surface. Further more you can even use aluminium foil containers (very large size) to act as a receptacle for all the paint that pours off. A pair of disposable gloves and an apron would be nice to make sure that you do not get any paint or medium on yourself.
3. Art Supplies
Acrylic Paint - Its preferable to buy very large sized containers/bottles of color (500 ml and more) of the key colors including the primary colors and more of white or black depending on the type/style of the pour you undertake. For a beginner even 3 colors and a white (double the quantity) would be a good start
There is a big Hoo-ha in the pouring circles about which brand of pouring medium is better than the next but truth be told some pours have come out beautifully even with out pouring mediums and just a minimal quantity of water. Experimentation is the key and once you find what works best for yu you can stick with that.
Cells! Cells! Cells! OH yes you will hear all about the cells that were formed on the pours. The ingredient that does the trick is silicone oil and this can be picked up from a hardware store, on line or even in the beauty department as hair serum which is oil based works as well!
While canvas especially the stretched canvas can be more expensive that even cardboard or MDF cut to shapes, you do not necessarily need to start with canvas. An old wooden coaster, a vase, a box, well you can try pouring on other surfaces too but bear in mind that the surface needs to be firm and not plastic.
Paper Cups, Popsicle Sticks et al
Purchasing paper cups in bulk along with bunches/ packs of Popsicle sticks are a good way to start especially since you will be requiring the cups to individually mix & prep your paints. The Popsicle sticks are perfect for mixing your paints and mediums. If you you wish to take up pouring actively its best to invest in squeeze bottles with a tight lid so that you can store your prepped paints for a couple of weeks. The shelf life of your prepped paints will depend on the type of pouring medium you use and the quantity of it too.
Wet wipes, tissues, rags, rubbing alcohol etc
What you see in the image below are the items we used when doing the pours in our Studio, namely
- Small stretched canvas (6 inch diameter)
- Acrylic Paints 500 ml bottles
- Pouring Medium
- Silicone oil
- Paper Cups
- Popsicle Sticks
To all of the above add a healthy dose of adventure and then dive right in.
4. Choice of Colors
The colors used were navy blue, deep pink, sunny yellow and a lot of white. The reason you see four colors are because we wanted to have all our colors prepped and ready.
KNOWING YOUR COLORS IS AS IMPORTANT AS KNOWING THE PROCESS OF POURING
The reason I stress on knowing colors are quite honestly to stop you from wasting a pour because the color looked muddy when the pour was done. This is very likely to occur with the incorrect combination of colors.
5. Prepping of paint
The standard ratio is 2 parts paint: 4 parts pouring medium but I did not prep my paints with that ratio for the first pour. I mixed 2 parts paint to 2 parts pouring medium, I added 1/2 a teaspoon of water and 2 silicone oil drops for each color. Each cup was given a stir and the required colors were brought forward for my first pour.
THE FIRST POUR
I tried the flip cup method and the clip below shows you the process while the photograph taken after a couple of hours after the pour show you what the end product looked like
The Flip Cup Method of Pouring, using colors dark pink, sunny yellow and white resulted in this image, as seen below
THE SECOND POUR
I tried my hand at another method which involved pouring the colors alternatively across the canvas and the clip below shows you the process while the photograph taken after a couple of hours after the pour show you what the end product looked like
The colors used were navy blue, sunny yellow and white resulted in this image, as seen below
THE THIRD POUR
Farhin tried her hand at yet another method which involved pouring the colors from the center outwards across the canvas and the clip below shows you the process while the photograph taken after a couple of hours after the pour show you what the end product looked like
The colors used by Farhin were navy blue, sunny yellow, dark pink and white resulted in this image, as seen below
To sum up I request you to carefully watch the video clips to see how and where the paint was poured and how that varied the end result.
Acrylic Pouring is not a cheap hobby. When you fall in love with it its a challenge to not pour however the cost of materials can be a deterrent. Smart use of materials can make a lot of difference. So do not limit yourself when there is so much to be learnt, experienced and gained from this art.
I will sign off now by wishing you a fun time with Acrylic Pouring. I would love to hear from you especially the pours that you have created.