Free Green: A Simple Flip Cup Pour Using Just Two Colors

One of the many things I love about making acrylic pour paintings is how one idea leads to another. In this case I had previously created a pour using just the primary colors, red, yellow, and blue. I used the three colors in roughly equal amounts and the painting turned out lovely, but I was shocked by how little of the yellow showed up.

Instantly I began planning my next pour! One thing led to another, and I decided to eliminate the red altogether and just use yellow and blue. I was intrigued by the idea of using these two primary colors, because I knew they should produce the secondary color green. It would be three for the price of two—or as I dubbed it, Free Green!


Quick Links
For your convenience, here are store links to items we mentioned in this article.
Bulk-Krylic by Nasco
Silicone by 3in1
Lubricates, waterproofs and protects under extreme conditions
Zinsser Paint Booster
Extends open time to work with water-base coatings by 10-15 minutes making painting easier
Chef's Torch
Art By Steve Shaw

Supplies I Used

  • BULK-KRYLIC paint made by Nasco. The two colors are:
    • Phthalo Blue
    • Chrome Yellow
  • Silicone by 3in1 (That really is the name of the company that makes it, they also make a three-in-one oil.)
  • Zinsser Paint Booster (a.k.a., Zinsser Flow Control Additive)
  • Water (In Atlanta, I use the water right out of the faucet, but I’m told that in a lot of areas of the country you need to use bottled water.)

In this pour I continue to use the new-to-me brand of paint Bulk-Krylic by Nasco (available on Amazon). The paint is nice and thick, which required me to thin it out with water. And I like to add a shot of Zinsser Paint Booster to help it flow even better.

I also added some silicone to both colors to increase the number of cells. Equally important is what I left out of the painting: I did not use any white or black paint. This is truly a two-color pour. The pour was done on a 12-by-12-inch canvas.

I was thrilled with the result! The paint mixed beautifully. There were strong areas of both blue and yellow, plus the blue and yellow also blended to create a lovely “garden green.” The flip cup technique provided instant gratification. As I lifted the cup up, a perfectly round world of color exploded on the canvas.

The first three to four seconds after the cup is lifted are always my favorite part of a pour. At that moment, I imagine that I somehow have the perfect view of a new world being created. I feel both proud and humbled as I watch the colors that I prepared just moments before take on a life of their own.

This acrylic pour was a huge success and seemed to form more quickly and easily than most. I used a torch, but it probably wasn’t needed because large beautiful cells appeared from the very beginning.

I hope you enjoy watching the “birth” of this painting as much as I enjoyed making it. If you would like to see more of my work, please visit my Esty store. Use this link or go to Etsy.com and search for “Art By Steve Shaw.”

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