For this poured landscape, my 6th in the series, my goal was simple. I wanted to make sure I could find some level of consistency with the techniques I’ve been developing. With repetition comes confidence. When you are confident in what you are doing you spend less time second-guessing yourself and more time focused on the painting itself. This painting wasn’t a huge break through but it did prove to me that the techniques that I have slowly developed over the last several weeks, actually work and can be recreated with some consistency—or at least with as much consistency as one can hope for when pour painting.
My goal from the very beginning of this project has been to figure out how to use acrylic pouring techniques to create paintings that retain the beautiful unpredictability of a pour, but at the same time are recognizable as a landscape.
Here is an outline of what has been working for me:
Whatever size canvas you decide to use, decide if you want the majority of the canvas to be sky or land. Once you make that decision use a ruler to draw your horizon line 1/3 of the way from the top (this will give you mostly land) or 1/3 of the way from the bottom (this will give you mostly sky).
Cover the land area with blue painters tape.
Have your sky colors and land colors already pick out and mixed before you begin. I usually add some water, Floetrol, and a few drops of silicone to all of my colors.
Pour the sky first by layering your colors in your cup. I’m sure you could do a flip cup for the sky but I prefer a straight pour with some tilting and torching.
Once satisfied with the sky, remove the blue tape. If a large amount of paint is flowing over your pre-drawn horizon line you might want to use a craft stick to scrape the excess paint off the canvas before adding the ground colors.
Pour horizontal lines of your paint from one side of the canvas to the other making sure to leave a small puddle of paint where you will start your swipe.
Use your favorite swiping technique to swipe the paint across the canvas to create all of your beautiful cells and colors. Minimal tilting if possible.
Create your horizon line by using a craft stick dipped in a dark colored paint and drag that paint across the canvas. This may need to be repeated several times.
Add trees, mountains, etc. by adding more paint along the horizon line and manipulating the paint with a brush, pallet knife, or craft stick. I wish I could give you more detailed instructions on how to create trees but at this point, I’m still working on that myself.
Finally, once you have gotten your painting in a form that you like, keep an eye on it. Some settling will occur as the painting dries so check on it frequently during the first few hours of drying time. If your horizon line shifts, simply grab a craft stick and “draw” it again— several times if necessary.
I don’t claim to be an expert— I’m simply an artist who is willing to film his creations so you can learn from my mistakes and successes. Watch the video, see how I do things, and try it for yourself. Good luck!
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.