When you decide to get started to do some acrylic pours, you might alternately get inspired and then overwhelmed by the amount of talented and creative people out there. You might have trouble figuring out precise recipes and what basics you really need to get started. STOP! Beautiful acrylic pours are in your horizon, and it is easy. I started from watching one YouTube video, kept watching one after another, and experimenting. Now I find myself surrounded with beautiful art, selling my art, and sharing my love for art and acrylic pouring with others.
Start with a basic recipe of about 3 parts Floetrol to one part paint. Add in a couple of drops of silicone. Have lots of disposable gloves, cups, popsicle sticks, straws, and a blow dryer handy. Also, a torch is really cool and very helpful. It is cheap and really worth it. Have a space designated for mess. I use disposable plastic tablecloths for easy(er) clean-up.
Pushpins! Some people use a cooling rack to allow for the paint to drip off, but I found that once I have paint mixed, I end up doing many more canvasses than I originally intended, and I don’t have enough cooling racks. I like having multiple canvases ready, with pushpins in the back of each canvas so that the paint can drip off happily without drying to the table surface. Small containers for extra paint mixtures are also very helpful, so that you can save some valuable extras for another time.
The quality of the paint does matter, but in the beginning getting a basic variety of colors is necessary, and you will need lots and lots of black and white to experiment with negative space and for the background colors. You might want to pick up some metallic paint or fine glitter, which is easily available in Walmart or on Amazon .
The clearance at Michael’s. I have found beautiful odds and ends that I have used as embellishments or inspirations for pieces. I also have found great deals on select high quality paints or random paints (liquid acrylics, airbrush paints) that were very lucky finds and ended up really jazzing up my art.
Keep trying out new ideas and using a variety of surfaces and sizes. “The more you work, the luckier you get” definitely applies to acrylic pouring. There were many times that I had a wonderful plan and it flopped. Then, on a whim, I tried something else, just for fun, and that became my new favorite. Any tool or household item can and will be the next coolest thing in acrylic pouring. You can be the one to introduce that next thing as long as you keep playing around.
Keep watching, and learning, but keep experimenting. Always have something on your “I can’t wait to do” list. It’s easy to be an observer but much more invigorating to be a creator. Also, don’t be afraid of honest feedback. I ask my teenage daughters, they want me to succeed and they are brutally honest. I love it!
Have fun and the wonder of acrylic pouring will never end!
Eeta Travis is a Baltimore artist, elementary school teacher and mom of four teenage daughters.