In the last video blog, I experimented with two different styles of pour painting—flip cup and freestyle. Using the same colors I created two paintings side-by-side to see which one would look better. Most people agreed that the freestyle was more appealing and I was intrigued.
This video captures my first real experience with freestyle pour painting and I have to tell you—It’s not as easy as it looks!
This is what I learned from the experience:
- Making a freestyle pour takes a lot longer than a regular pour.
- Color selection is very important. Make sure your colors work well together.
- It is really important to keep an open mind because there will be a lot of changes happening on your canvas.
- Switch into ‘Play’ mode if possible. It is easy to get sucked in and take this type of painting way too seriously.
- Your painting will go through an evolution and it is very hard to know when to stop. There is a much higher chance of ending up with a muddy canvas.
If I haven’t scared you away, I recommend you give it a try. For me, the guy who likes to flip the cup over and let the paint do the rest, this was an eye opening experience. I have so much more respect for artists who paint this way. It is difficult to know what colors to add, when to swipe, when to tilt, when to add more paint, etc.. But I also feel that if you did four or five of these paintings you would learn tons and your freestyle pours would get much better very quickly.
One other thought crossed my mind. Over the years I have gotten very good at letting go and allowing my pour paintings to be what they will be without exerting much control over them. I know that this form of letting go can be very frustrating for people who like having more control. For those people, freestyle might be the perfect thing for you! If you are tired of having people tell you to “let it go” then grab your paints and have at it. Use the freestyle method and find the balance between paint and artist that makes you happy. Either way when it comes to freestyle, I feel there is much to be learned about pour painting and about yourself. So grab a canvas, mix up some paints, and give it a try.
Note: I was amazed at all the transformations my painting went through over a 20 minute period. I went back through the video and found these “states.” I’m not sure which one is my favorite which makes it even more difficult to know when to stop.
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.