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!

Frequently Asked Questions About Strainer Pour

1. What is a twisted strainer pour?

 A twisted strainer pour involves pouring paint through a twisted or rotating strainer to create unique patterns and designs.

2. Can any strainer be used for this technique?

 While many strainers can create interesting effects, experimenting with different ones will yield varying results.

3. Is the twisted strainer pour suitable for beginners?

 Yes, it is a fun and approachable technique for artists of all levels.

4. How can I prevent the paint from mixing too much in a twisted strainer pour?

 Pouring slowly and choosing colors that blend well can help prevent overmixing.

5. Can I use a pouring medium with a twisted strainer pour?

 Yes, a pouring medium can help achieve the desired consistency and flow.

6. How long will it take for a twisted strainer pour painting to dry?

 Typically, drying time is between 24 to 72 hours, depending on the thickness of the paint and environmental conditions.

7. Can I use silicone to create cells in a twisted strainer pour?

 Absolutely, adding silicone can help in the formation of cells.

10 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, 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.

  3. I really enjoyed your post. I especially appreciated the detail with which you described your process and the pictures of your progress. I have watched hundreds of videos, but find them difficult to follow. This lets me go at my own pace. And being able to copy/past the instructions is a bonus!
    Do you have more tutorials?

  4. I am a cancer fighter, just call me Warrior Woman, I’m in my third and final round of chemotherapy. I have the worst type and kind of Breast cancer to date. So I’d appreciate all of your prayers. Anyway I decided to give my care givers at the Cancer center an acrylic pour painting. There are around 25 to 30 nurses and doctors and receptionists and the insurance liaisons, the whole staff. Well,, I’ve spent around 500.00 of my very limited income ( I had to quit my job because of my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis a few years before the cancer diagnosis, so I’m on disability with little to no extra funds at the end of the month. But I’m going to do this for all of those beautiful and wonderful people who have got to know me asks care of me when I’m at the point of giving in to my illnesses for the plast 4 years. I’ve been watching videos of different techniques of pours. Sometimes I’m too sick and in to much pain to due too much. The chemotherapy and the medications makes my brain not function verywell. I’m like in a fog and can’t get the words or even the ability to problem solve anything. Then, the pain and fog will lift and I can function again. ( that’s part of my MS ,, Brain fog and when the pain level rises as the cancer is coursing through my body, the stress and fear of not giving a helping hand, or to put a smile on those that I loves face ,,from my coping with the pain, like I’m going through right this very minute,, well, my MS goes into hyperdrive and really does a number on me. I don’t know what’s worse…… the cancer or the MS. They are both working with Satan trying to bring me down…. But to the devils surprise, God won’t leave my side , or my heart. So too bad,, so sad ole Lucifer… you ain’t getting me. Anyway, I’ve made three tree ring pour paintings, and they just don’t turn out right. I’ve tried putting Dawn Dishwashing liquid in the cups of paint. ( one video said to use just 4 drops in each cup of paint. I’ll see very tiny cells ( maybe the size of a sesame seed, but no bigger. I’ve tried adding more of the dawn to the cups, but still get the same results. I want the big Cells winding I’m the swirls of the colors, not just in an random inch of color. This morning around 2:30,, I decided to do two quick squirts . There were more cells on this canvas, but when I started the swaying of the canvas, they just ran into each other and then the colors combined and that was the end of the cells. I ever so slowly move the canvas while the paint moves. What am I doing wrong?? The paintings still came out nice , but I want to show the cancer center staff some Pizzazz. Then I seen where you can use Alcohol to create cells. And yours were the perfect size. On someone else’s video, they said to use the 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, and then you wrote to use the 90%. Have you tried the 70%? How did that % turn out as well? I’m broke and I’ve only the low %. I need some help and accurate answers. I do know that you have to use the 4X strength Dawn.. I caught that on a previous persons video. Is that right?? Can you or Anyone help or explain the process quickly to me, before my meds kick in and I’ll be useless for a half day. And then, because of my age,, I’ll probably forget why and the reason that I’ve sent this comment to you!! Ha Ha!!, Hey in my situation,, it’s good to laugh at yourself.

  5. Hi Sara, so sorry to hear about your health, please take your time with the gifts, or have someone help you so you conserve your energy. In relation to your questions, I do not like to use the dawn dish soap as it doesn’t seem to work for me. I have used the 70% alcohol and yes it works, but for me the 90% seemed to create larger more stable cells. I’ve also known folks who just spray a couple squirts of WD40 into the cup with decent results. My favorite is an inexpensive product from Michaels. (Silicone Oil from Artists Loft for $4.49). Just add a couple of drops into the cup, and fold it in with (1) turn over of your spoon or stir stick. No matter what you use, never stir it in as this breaks up the silicone and creates tiny, or possibly no cells. Good luck and all my positive thoughts and prayers for improved health Sara.

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