One of the many things I love about acrylic pouring is that there are so many ways to do it! I haven’t been pouring for very long, but I have discovered that making pour paintings is a journey.
Because there are so many different styles and techniques, I’m not sure if you can ever master this art form. While that might be intimidating for some folks, I actually like the idea that there is always something new waiting around the next acrylic pouring corner. This video is about one of those “connect-the-dots” moments in my acrylic pouring journey.
Supplies I Used
- Paint by Apple Barrel in 5 colors: Real Red,Real Yellow, Bright Blue, Black, and White.
- Silicone by 3in1 (The same company that makes 3in1 oil)
- Zinsser Paint Booster (a.k.a., Zinsser Flow Control Additive)
- Water (In Atlanta, I use the water right out of the faucet, but you may need to use bottled water.)
- 16×20 inch canvas
I tend to mix and pour less paint than most people, and as a result, I sometimes have a hard time getting the paint to flow to the edges of my canvas—especially when doing a flip cup.
As I was thinking about that issue, I had an idea: What if I poured a line of paint around the edge of the canvas before I did the flip cup? That way the paint wouldn’t have to flow so far, I would definitely get all corners of the canvas covered, and I might get some interesting patterns where the poured paint and the flipped paint met.
Then I realized that if the paint I used around the outer edge of the canvas was thick enough, I could actually do a swipe with the edge color over the paint that flowed from the flip cup! And the swipe could be made from any of the four sides of the canvas. “Brilliant!” I thought.
Suddenly my new goal was to connect all of these ideas and create my first flip cup–swipe on an edged canvas. I had to spend few minutes working out the sequence of things, and realized I would need to flip the cup onto the canvas before doing the edging to avoid making a huge mess.
You can see in the video that once I made the flip, I left the cup untouched as I poured a thick line of dark blue paint around all four sides of the canvas.
Once the cup was lifted and the colors moved across the canvas it was really interesting to see how the blue paint actually acted as a dam to hold the paint in. The paint from the flip cup made a lovely pattern on the canvas but also came to a stop when it met the thick paint of the edging.
After the flip cup paint settled in, I did a swipe pulling the blue across the red paint which allowed a few good cells to pop up. But the real action occurred when I broke out the torch. The added heat caused numerous cells to pop up, which I think really enhanced the beauty of the piece.
This pour was definitely a learning experience and something of a mental exercise as I figured out to connect all the idea dots. In the future I plan to try this technique again, probably with lighter colors now that I know it will work.
If you decide to try this at home, let us know how it goes!
Steve Shaw is an artist and teacher living in Atlanta, Georgia. His days are spent in the classroom teaching his students the basics of art and self-expression. In the evenings and weekends, he paints. Steve has shown his work in several galleries in the Southeast and has illustrated three children’s books. Recently Steve has discovered acrylic pour painting and is putting all his other projects on hold while he journeys down this artistic road.