Stunning Low Cost Acrylic Pouring Recipe with Lots of Cells

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After the success of a previous acrylic pouring recipe from Danny Clark that yielded a ton of great cells there were a lot of requests to use tube paint as the medium, it took some doing but this low cost acrylic pouring recipe with tube acrylic paint is a hit! 

Supplies I Used: 

First things first, this recipe has one huge difference from the original: it is based on weight. Because tube paint is thicker than a standard fluid acrylic out of a bottle, we can’t just use a 1:1 ratio of volume, we must use weight. Everything has to be done by weight to make sure the texture and consistency will be on par with the original. Unlike the original recipe, which contained GAC100, this recipe uses mainly household products. 

 

Using the video recipe:

Mix your colors by weight at a 1:1. (If you use half an ounce of paint, you should use half an ounce of all other ingredients.)

Prep your canvas for pouring, either by putting it on top of cups in your pour basin or putting thumbtacks in the wooden border to elevate it off your spill tray. 

Begin combing your flip cup by adding blue, pink, and green paint to your white cup. Swirl gently to mingle colors. 

Hold your flip cup in your dominant hand. With your nondominant hand take the canvas and put it, canvas side down, over the mouth of flip cup. Holding the two together, place the canvas back into your pouring area, careful to keep the cup balanced on top. Let rest for a few seconds. 

Next, stabilizing your canvas with one hand, pull the cup up and off the canvas. Tilt the canvas to distribute paint over the surface, allowing excess to run off the sides. 

Cells will appear on the canvas as you tilt, continue to do so until satisfied with the painting. 

 

A quick additive break down

 

More often than not, the key to creating cells in an acrylic pour is silicone. Silicone is what reacts with the paint and mediums to create the little cells in your paintings, it’s also what pops on the canvas when you run a torch over a fresh pour. Silicone comes in a ton of different standard household items, from WD40 to rubbing alcohol and personal lubricant. 

When you’re shopping around for the right kind of silicone based additive there are several things to keep in mind, but the main bit is to read the label. For items like WD40, treadmill lubricant, and other products that are generally used on machinery, be sure that the label indicates there is in fact silicone present in the formula. Also make sure that your additive will not change the color of your paints. A lot of canned chemicals do not spray clean and can yellow or muddy your paint color. 

Hair serums and personal lubricants, like Coconut Milk Ogx and KY, have become some of the most tried and true cell additives, but they can be tricky if you don’t get the recipe right. Adding too much can leave your canvas slick and with patches of unpainted canvas. 

 

The recipe above uses alcohol to create cells, which is the perfect alternative for those who would rather not use an oil or harsh chemical in their pour. Which alcohol might not always produce cells as well as an oil it will not leave residue on your canvas, contain a lasting harsh smell, or alter the color of your paints. Rubbing alcohol is arguably the safest and cheapest alternative to creating cells in a pour, but do some experimenting of your own to see what works best for you and your art!

 

A cell recipe with dimethicone

Dimethicone is a common ingredient in a lot of different household objects, mainly hair serums and lubricants. As we mentioned before, be cautious when using dimethicone additives, if used too heavily it can leave your canvas with spots of oil and bald spots. For this recipe we used Coconut Milk anti-breakage serum by Ogx with a flip cup technique. 

Mix your paint, either at a 1:1 for volume or weight depending on the natural thickness of your paint. 

When paint is ready, add one to three drops of the Ogx serum depending on the amount of paint you’ve used. Do not pump the spout down all the way, drops are best achieved through applying light pressure to the spout. 

Prepare your flip cup, using an empty cup layer your paints as you choose.

Hold your flip cup in your dominant hand. With your nondominant hand take the canvas and put it, canvas side down, over the mouth of flip cup. Holding the two together, place the canvas back into your pouring area, careful to keep the cup balanced on top. Let rest for a few seconds.

Next, stabilizing your canvas with one hand, pull the cup up and off the canvas. Tilt the canvas to distribute paint over the surface, allowing excess to run off the sides. 

Cells will appear on the canvas as you tilt, continue to do so until satisfied with the painting. 

Optional: torching a painting will also promote cell creation, but it is not necessary in creating cells on a painting. 

Dimethicone and alcohol both create lovely cells and are great options for those creating low cost acrylic pouring recipes with lots of cells. 

 

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