One of my fellow teachers gave me a nickname this week and I think I like it. He called me “The Pied Piper of Pour Painting.” In the last three weeks I have taught the teachers at my school how to make pour paintings as well as 250 students and several parents. The grand total is over 300 people and close to 400 paintings. Needless to say I needed to develop a fail-proof system to teach so many people how to pour and more importantly, how to make a beautiful pour painting. This video is the summary of the system I came up with.
Supplies I Used:
- 8”x10”canvas (you can use other sized canvas but this ‘recipe’ makes enough paint to cover an 8”x10”
- Large Box Top (this will be your Pour Box and will hold your canvas and dripped paint)
- Craft paints in 2 oz bottles (This link is for the amazon version of the same brand I use)
- Silicone (I prefer the Silicone by 3-In-One in this link)
- Mixing Sticks
- 3 Oz cups(we call them ‘Dixie Cups’)
- Small 1 oz cups
- Floetrol (I buy it by the gallon)
- Clear Acrylic Spray to seal the painting once it has dried
- Pushpins are optional (you can use cups to hold up your canvas instead)
- Marker to put your name and date on the back
- Torch to help bring out cells
The set up shown in the video really works and it has worked each and every time I have used it. Out of over 300 pour paintings, only two did not turn out well.
Side note: don’t use orange, gray and white for your three colors. Otherwise this video shows you all the items you need to put together a great start up kit that you can use for yourself or for a larger group. The kit is extremely functional and economical.
As I taught the pouring lesson (over and over again) I made a few improvements/adjustments to the lesson. The main change being the amount of paint to put in the bottom of your three cups. In the video I say to fill the cup 1/3 full with your color. I changed that amount to “Add 1/2 inch of paint to each cup.” Once you add the floetrol to the cup then the cup will be 1/3 full. Another detail is to top off your last cup with paint before you do the flip. Three ounces of paint is the perfect amount for an 8”x10” canvas and if the cup is not quite full, add some white (or the color of your choice) to fill it up to the top. Finally, in the video I show how to use push pins to elevate your canvas but if you are working with children it is much easier to have them set up four cups to hold the canvas up off of the board. That’s it!
If you have been hesitant to try pour painting or if you have been wanting to share your passion for pour painting with friends—this video should give you the know-how and confidence to go for it!
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.