When I first started making pour paintings I was so excited. Everyday I was experimenting with different techniques, trying new color combinations and finding different paint mixes. I was so busy moving up the learning curve that if someone had asked me for a particular type of pour painting, I probably would have put them on hold.
Some time has passed since I first started pouring and even though I’m still learning a lot, I’m much more comfortable with my own pouring style. Now I actually look forward to someone making a specific request. I find that it takes me out of my comfort zone and nudges me try things that I probably would not do on my own.
Supplies I Used
- Nasco Bulk-Krylic Mars Black, White, Gray, Pthalo Blue, dark purple
- Apple Barrel Turquoise
- Zinsser Paint Booster
- Spot On Treadmill Oil
- 24×20” canvas
My pour recipes:
Nasco Bulk-Krylic Mars Black – approx. 16 oz + 4 drops silicone + 1 tbsp Zinsser and water
Nasco Bulk-Krylic White – approx. 9 oz + 4 drops silicone + 1 tbsp Zinsser and water
Gray – approx. 3 oz were used. Paint mixed thin and squirt bottle contained 4 drops silicone + 1 tbsp Zinsser
Bulk-Krylic Pthalo Blue mixed with a dark purple – approx 3 oz were used. Paint mixed thin and squirt bottle contained 4 drops silicone + 1 tbsp Zinsser
Apple Barrel Turquoise 4-5 oz. used + 4 drops silicone + 1 tbsp Zinsser
*At the beginning of the video I talk about using a Platinum paint but I totally forgot to add it to the mix.
Rather than using Floetrol I often add water and Zinnser Paint Booster to my paints and mix them to the consistency I need. I’m sure Floetrol would work fine with these paint. The key would be to make sure the white paint and the black paint were about the thickness of honey – thick but pourable out of the cup. The turquoise was mixed to a medium thickness and both the blue and gray that were in the squirt bottles were mixed very thin.
In this video you will see me make a painting for the son of friend, Walter. Walter is fresh out of college and has his own place—with lots of bare walls. Previously I made a black and red Poinsettia pour for Walter and now he wants more art. I love it when that happens! He wants another painting but this time he wants something really dark and mysterious. After talking with him, I figured out that what Walter was describing was a Galaxy Pour. So I went to work.
I’m sure there is a more specific definition for a galaxy pour but to me, a galaxy pour is any painting where the main color is black. The painting can have other colors as well but they should appear to be floating in a sea of darkness. One way or another it should remind you of a dark beautiful nighttime sky.
This video should give you a pretty good idea of how to create your own Galaxy Pour. In the video I share a few tips, like using a level to make sure your beautiful painting doesn’t slide off one side of your canvas and how you can slide cardboard under the edges of your pour box if the canvas is too big to fit inside.
Another unique thing I did in this video was start out doing a flip cup but then do a dirty pour around the released paint. This technique was useful because adding the extra paint around the edges saved me from having to stretch the original puddle of paint out too far which can ruin some beautiful patterns.
One last suggestion for you. If someone does request a certain style or color combination, remember that people love having choices. Don’t make just one painting for them and hope they like it. Make two (or three)! You’ll be amazed at how often your client won’t be able to choose which is their favorite and will end up buying them both.
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.