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Strainer Pour With a Twist: the Monsoon Blossom

Creating the ‘Monsoon Blossom’ with a twist, takes the strainer technique one step further. Some of the most beautiful paintings have been created by pouring over a strainer, colander or similar item. When mentioned to those outside the pouring community it may seem like we have lost our minds. It’s a beautiful kind of crazy. The amazing patterns that form as you slowly and methodically add color are the only thing needed to convert even the most cynical observer. Personally, I love that part!

Supplies I Used:


      • : Never mix your paints in cups that are coated in wax, you may end up with

wax chips in your painting

Preparing the Canvas

“Monsoon Blossom” starts with a black canvas covered in a thin layer of black paint. This was my first time using a black canvas, so I wanted to play it safe by only using a black liquid base—next time I will be braver. I picked these up at Michaels, a two pack of 12×16 Artist Loft Black Canvas for $10.99. I used what was officially called a can colander, but I just can’t seem to call something the size of a soup can, a colander, so it will be referred to as a strainer.

Starting the Pour

I placed the strainer right side up on the wet canvas—I had it in the middle, but that’s up to you. Next, add half an ounce to one ounce of Titanium White to the middle of the strainer. There should be just enough to cover the bottom of the strainer, that will then start to slide through the side openings. Paint to Floetrol ratios are listed in the supplies.

Pic 2 initial white

No Pour Cup Needed

Instead, pour each color (individually) into the strainer. After adding the first layer of white, I poured the remaining paints in the following order (I did not repeat the sequence):

  • One ounce of Fire Opal
  • Drizzle of Mars Black
  • Half an ounce of Unbleached Titanium
  • Half an ounce of Spanish Tile
  • Drizzle of Mars Black
  • Half an ounce of Titanium White
  • Half an ounce of Aquamarine Metalic (with four drops of silicone)
  • One inch puddle of Titanium White
  • Drizzle Mars Black
  • Half an ounce of Fire Opal

Pic 3 multiple layers

Silicone is used in the Aquamarine only, as you will have cells form with the Titanium White and Unbleached Titanium. Then the drizzling and use of varied weighted paints aides in the lacing throughout the piece.

Take a Moment

Let the pour sit and continue to ease out the sides of the strainer, creating the patterns, cells, and lacing. Wait until no more paint is coming through the sides. Don’t worry if there is still some paint in the bottom of the strainer.

The Twist

Now for the twist—make sure the strainer stays on the canvas while you turn it one full twist of the wrist, basically 180 degrees. Next, slowly lift straight up and place your hand under the strainer to catch any drips while removing from the canvas.

Pic 4 twist Example
Pic 5 after lifting

Tip: Place the strainer in water immediately for easier cleaning later.


Start tilting, being careful not to over stretch your cells or (if you want them) the petal forms.

Tip: tilt in a circular motion if you want to keep it more centered on the canvas.

Pic 6 lacing

I wanted some black negative space, but if you don’t, you can add more paint in your initial pours, increasing each by just a small amount, it won’t take much. This will change your final painting a bit, but as you know, nothing turns out exactly the same anyway. No worries, it will still be amazing, including tons of lacing and beautiful colors.

FeaturedImagePic 1 final

Beauty is created in all colors, and through experimenting with a variety of techniques. Never be afraid to try something new. Pour on, my friends!

7 thoughts on “Strainer Pour With a Twist: the Monsoon Blossom”

    1. Tina Swearingen

      I understand the articles format may not work for everyone, my appologies. 

      Here you go:

      The mixture for each paint is listed under supplies at the top:
      Artist Loft Titanium White and Mars Black 1:4 paint : Floetrol 
      Liquitex Basics Unbleached Titanium 1:4 paint : Floetrol
      Craftsmart Spanish Tile and Aquamarine Metallic 1:2 paint : Floetrol
      FolkArt Multi-Surface Fire Opal Metallic 1:2 paint : Floetrol

      Silicone 2-4 drops (preference) in Turquoise only.

      Your canvas is covered in black, place strainer on top of wet black canvas, add 1/2 oz white into strainer, then add the following individual paints in the amounts listed in the order listed.  Pour each in center of strainer.
      1 oz Fire Opal
      Drizzle of Mars Black
      1/2 oz Unbleached Titanium
      1/2 oz Spanish Tile
      Drizzle of Mars Black
      1/2 oz Titanium White
      1 oz Aquamarine Metalic (with 4 drops of silicone)
      1 inch puddle of Titanium White
      Drizzle Mars Black
      1/2 oz Fire Opal

      Once it’s run out of strainer, without lifting off canvas, twist strainer and lift off.

      Then tilt till you are happy with your painting.  Remember no two poured paintings will be the same, but it should be similar.

  1. Charlene Hudson

    I cannot find Metallic Fire Opal, Spanish Tile nor Aquamarine Metallic. I have searched for hours online, even going to their specific websites and there are no paints listed for those names. Please tell me where to find them.

    1. Tina Swearingen

      Charlene, I’m sorry you had difficulty finding the paints.

      All of these are available at Michaels.com, I just checked to be sure. I actually purchased them in the store.

      Craft smart Spanish Tile, it doesn’t come up by name when you search, but it does show on their website on the second selection of craftsmart colors.  It’s like barn red, or old Spanish Tile red. $0.99 2 oz

      Craft Smart Multi surface premium ultra bright metalic Aquamarine $1.99 2 oz

      I don’t see the fire opal any longer, but Liquitex Basics Copper will work the same. $4.99 4 oz

  2. I have several “strainers”, but none called “can colanders”. Where can you purchase this specific one. Loved your painting and the process AND you wonderful instructions. Thanks.

    1. Debbie Harback

      Brenda. I found the Dollar store a good place to find things like this. I think what it does is drain the water out of a can. You fit the opening on the can then turn it over while holding on to both. Good luck hunting.

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