Confessions of an Acrylic Pour Addict

I love creating art systematically and methodically…I can proudly claim that when it comes to creating an artwork, my patience knows no bounds and I can go to great lengths to incorporate the tinniest detail in my work. I love playing around with my art supplies and always endeavor to produce something new and distinctive. This means frequent trips to art stores which I absolutely love!! Let me loose in one and I am like a little child who has just found his favorite toy!
But hold on! Being methodical doesn’t mean I can’t be messy!! I love experimenting with new techniques and mediums as much as I love bearing my quintessential oil paints onto a blank canvas. It was on one such exploratory journeys that I stumbled upon the fascinating world of ACRYLIC POURING. It felt as if I had walked into a whole new domain of artistry, like a Pandora’s Box with tons of possibilities, through which I could create divine magic on the canvas!! Even though it meant a lot of experimentation, trial and error, muddled up canvases and wasted art material, it was all worth it as it gave me a deeper insight into art and boosted my confidence tremendously as an artist. And hey! As I said before, when creating art, my patience is limitless!
When it comes to acrylic pouring, I have secrets aplenty to share with those who wish to explore this beautiful technique. So I hope these fun and interesting facts inspire you all to create your own magic with acrylic pours.
What is Acrylic Pouring?
Also called paint pouring, fluid art, flow art, liquid art, etc., it is a form of abstract art that uses acrylic paints with a runny (fluid) consistency. This technique can achieve stunning marbleized effects that are totally abstract in nature. They also add glaze to your artwork and smooth out unwanted textures, if any. In order to make acrylic paints runny, a “pouring medium” is added to them. This not only makes the paints flow more smoothly, but also improves their consistency and overall integrity, so that they dry and finish without cracking, separating or fading. Some examples of pouring mediums are Liquitex pouring medium, Floetrol, PVA Glue and GAC800. Apart from Liquitex, I am yet to try the rest.
Besides the marbleized effect, another aspect to acrylic pouring is the creation of “cells”. The best additive to use for this effect is Silicone oil. It works very well with almost all pouring mediums and makes cells with most paints. Some other alternatives for silicone oil are Dimethicone, Treadmill Belt lubricant and Coconut oil. I find silicone oil the most suitable as it creates perfect cells.
So, I hope I have covered the basics of acrylic pouring. Now for some fun facts!
You can make your pour look like an oil painting!
Want your acrylic pour to have the glossy shine that oil paintings have? You can achieve this by using a Coated Pour! This is the classic acrylic pour, where acrylic paint is combined with pouring medium and depending upon the amount of pouring medium used, the flow will be viscous or thin, thereby affecting the overall look of the painting. The paint creates a fluid shape that sits on top of the painting surface. Another version of this method is the Pour and Swipe, where the pouring concoction is poured onto the canvas and then swiped with a swiping tool in a particular direction.
• Watercolor effects!
Like the effect of watercolor paintings, but your heart still lies in acrylic pouring? Well, the good news is, you can achieve both with the Wash Pouring technique! Instead of using the pouring medium, dilute your paint with water in a 1:1 ratio before you perform the pour. The effect will vary depending on what surface you are painting. If it’s glossy, the wash pour will break up into funky shapes and if it’s matte, the paint will soak into the surface, just like watercolors.
• Get dirty!
Ever heard of a Dirty pour? Well, contrary to the name, it’s just a pour that is performed when the colors are mixed together. Just pick the colors you want to use and mix then into your pouring container. As you pour, the paints mix further, thereby creating interesting patterns and designs. You can create more eye-catching patterns by tilting the canvas around.
• Bottoms up!
Nope! It has nothing to do with drinking!! I am talking about another cool technique of acrylic pouring, the Flip cup. It involves putting different colored paints into separate cups along with water or pouring medium, then layering them one on top of the other in one cup and finally flipping it upside down onto your canvas in one swift stroke. Careful not to spill! Thereafter, slowly lift the cup and watch the paint do its magic as you tilt the canvas. So bottoms up!!
• Straight pour
This may sound boring after all the exciting techniques listed above, but trust me, it isn’t, as it produces equally cool effects! Starting with the darkest color and working to the lightest, pour the paints into the centre of the canvas. The colors spread outwards to the edge of the canvas with each layer, creating small or big circles, depending on the amount of paint poured. The end result is totally psychedelic and funky!!

Sounds fun doesn’t it? So delve into this fascinating realm of acrylic painting and take your compositions to a new level! The possibilities with acrylic pouring are endless and each time the same technique will result in a totally different look. Sharing with you all, images of some of my acrylic pour compositions, which are also part of my ongoing Dragon Series. Each one of them is an unforeseeable aspect of the dragon’s personality, hence the human mind. I have experimented with different acrylic pour techniques in each artwork, at the same time, added a personal twist to them. I shall take them up individually when I get to them…. So watch this space for more!

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