Using Transparent Paints for Acrylic Pouring (Experiment)

You may have heard that in order to create cells, or in order to get a good poured painting, that you need to use a balanced mix of opaque and transparent paints. Is that true? Let’s try it out and see.

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Using all transparent paints in an acrylic pour painting - video of what might happen. Fluid acrylic painting experiment on video using only transparent paints.

I was always such a difficult child. If I was told that you have to do things a certain way, I would always question it. Why does it have to be done that way? Are you sure that’s the best way or the only way? Have you tried it? So much is hearsay these days, so I like to challenge the established ‘rules’ and try things out for myself. Sometimes, of course, I only prove that the rule is true – but what about this one? Do we need to use a balance of opaque and transparent paints – and why?

In this painting I am using:
Art Alternatives acrylic paints – all transparent except for the white
10 inch economy canvas from value pack
KY True Feel dimethicone oil

My paint recipe:
1 part Floetrol
2 parts paint
water as needed to get the right consistency
a couple of drops of dimethicone in the white only
some of the other pre-mixed paints may already include a few drops of treadmill oil

So there you have it. As we know, acrylic paints do usually dry darker than when we use them wet, and we can see that happening in my painting. But there was no great change, no big disaster that proved that using transparent paints was going to make a big mess in any way. On the contrary, I think it came out pretty well considering we had a lot of quite dark colors on there to start with!  Shame about the mess up with the cloth stuck to the varnish. I learned my lesson about hanging cloths above wet paintings.

What is your experience? Do you always mix a balance of paints? Do you find it makes a difference in your paintings or in how your paint creates cells perhaps? I’d love to know more about what you have tried. Come and join us in the Facebook group to chat.

As usual, here is the slideshow of the picture for this painting, both wet and dry, and closeups of the details. Enjoy 🙂

6 thoughts on “Using Transparent Paints for Acrylic Pouring (Experiment)”

    1. I tried it Lynette and it didn’t go well. There was too much air and it blew the paint around too much. Ideally you just need the heat from a torch without all that air flow. Any one of these would do the trick.

  1. Hi Deby, I was wondering what might happen if you tried to do this with transparent paints on a clear piece of plexiglass or clear acrylic sheet, or even glass. I have a window that I wanted to paint with faux stained glass paint or something like that. While researching I came across the acrylic pour painting method, which I’d never seen before, and think this style would be really cool with sunlight coming through it in a window. Do you think something like I’m describing would be possible? Have you ever tried it? Thanks for any reply.

    1. I’m going to try tomorrow. I have a gallon of clear elmers glue, mica powder, acrylic paints, and alcohol inks. I’m going to experiment with it on some flexible plastic sheeting. See if I can’t make something that I can peel off and apply to a window or lamp shade or free form it somehow.

  2. I was wondering the same thing, Dave. I see that you asked this question only a couple days ago without any reply yet. I’m curious, too. 😀

  3. I’m a beginner and am very excited to doing more pours. I’m going to give it a try. Also do you ever use glitters in any levels of filling a cup?
    I’ve sprinkled some on my 1st one and love it. But I’m sure I didn’t follow the rules.
    Also the torch …I think mine came without butane. When I fill it how do I know when there is enough in the torch? I see no lines on either the can of gas nor the torch.
    Do you torch the transparent pour?

    I’m excited to try this.

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