Saturday, May 5, 2018

Acrylic Pours

I have been watching a few different acrylic pour techniques but never tried it myself.  I had the opportunity to get my hands dirty when I signed up for an acrylic pour class at a local craft store. 

We used a variety of materials in the class. To start, we used a mix of Liquitex professional ink with pouring medium.  The class had pre-prepared a different squeeze bottle for each color.  Just by eyeballing it, the bottle was 3/4 full of pouring medium and about 2-3 dropperfuls of ink was added. You can add more ink for a more intense color, but the volume comes from the pouring medium which is not cheap.

Our work stations were equipped with a shallow box (large enough to hold your canvas) lined with parchment or wax paper.  And gloves.  And an apron.

For the first piece, we proceeded to squirt our canvas with different colors.  You can see I used magenta, turquoise and gold.  Once the color is on the canvas, you tip and turn the canvas to move the color on the surface.  Gravity takes over.  Where the turquoise and gold ran together, it created a green color.  I kept trying to get complete coverage but the way I was squirting the mixture and/or the amount I was applying left these openings exposing the canvas below.  The design sort of began to grown on me and I figured I could always go back and fill the space with another medium (ink pen doodles or glitter accents?)

For the second piece, we did the "dump" technique.  This is where you take a cup (we used 7 oz dixie cups since this was a larger canvas) and start to layer your colors for the pour.  We used a combination of Liquitex Professional inks and Color Shift acrylic paint for our colors. As with the inks, pouring medium is added to the acrylic paint.  It was roughly one part acrylic paint to 4 parts pouring medium.  I started with the black acrylic/pouring medium as my base color.  A little goes a LONG way with black, so I tried to use it sparingly.  To the base color, we added about 8 drops of liquid silicone.  Instead of buying liquid silicone, you can take a can of silicone spray and spray it into a non-porous container.  Stir.  I had heard that the more you stir, the smaller the cells.  The less you stir, the larger the cells.

Then you to add your colors into the cup right on top of the base color/silicone mixture, one at a time.  I added a metallic lime green (acrylic paint), turquoise and gold (inks).  This is called a "dirty" pour because it contains a mixture of inks and acrylic paints. 

We inserted push pins on the back of the canvas frame.  This lifts the canvas off the box and allows the paint to drip down the sides.  To start, place the canvas face down on top of the cup and flip over.  Remove the cup and watch the paint start to flow.  We tipped and turned our canvases to stretch the different colors and create new patterns.  I scooped up some of the excess paint and applied it to the empty parts of the canvas for more coverage.

As time went on, bubbles started to appear.  This is the effect of the silicone.  We experimented by quickly passing a heat gun over the surface to further activate the silicone and create more cells.  I don't know why I did not get too many cells.  Maybe I needed more silicone, because even after applying a fair amount of heat, I still but didn't get too many cells.

I found the process very relaxing and hope to be able to try it again--the next time with glitter!


  1. I love your description of the process with the guestimates of how much ink and liquid. I haven't tried this--I just haven't wanted to buy any more supplies!! But I would love to try it--will have to check and see if there is a class at one of the craft stores here.

  2. That is a real interesting account Lorena. I see pouring paint in the Dick Blick catalog and there are a few blogs about it so it was interesting to find out just how to use it.