Pouring Paint


Last spring, while browsing through a craft store, I saw an end cap display on paint pouring.  The display highlighted a nifty scene of marbleized paint swirled and set firmly onto a canvas.  When I touched the canvas, the paint felt hard like plastic.  The color combinations were so vivid and attractive; the finished surface was so smooth. I noticed the craft store was selling pouring medium and acrylic paints and canvasses to complete the project.  After looking over the display and what was involved, I decided, “I can do this.”

So, over the next couple of months, I rounded up all the materials to pour paint:  an old disposable aluminum serving dish, some left over paints from a room décor project, some canvasses I’d been holding onto for a couple of years and a pair of latex gloves.  Every day, I said to myself, “this is a good day to try the paint pouring.”  And, every day ended up NOT being a good day to do the project.  I invited a friend over to do it with me and that didn’t work either.  At one point, I had everything out on the counter, paints, canvasses, cups and then the Kavanaugh hearings came on.  I figured I could make the art and watch the hearings at the same time.  Not!  Instead, I was riveted to the screen.  A fire could’ve been burning in the other room and I wouldn’t have noticed.  So, the art project sat a couple more weeks.

Finally, on a whim, I decided to put all the paint pouring materials into my truck. “Maybe, I’ll have time to do this while I’m waiting on a kid to finish baseball or jazz practice or something,” I thought.  I put everything into the aluminum tray and it sat in the back of my truck for another week.  Then, while my trombone player was at an evening practice across town, a free moment emerged.

“Oh my gosh!  I have a spare 20 minutes.  I think I’ll try that paint pouring project right now.” I seriously said this.

Out came the paints, a canvas, plastic cups, some paper towels and the medium right in the parking lot. Thankfully, there was a small plot of grass near the truck. Gabe was busy walking around taking photographs of cars.  So, with Gabe busy and a few extra minutes for myself, this parking lot is the place I first discovered my new art obsession.

Paint pouring is absolutely the most satisfying art experience in the world.  You get to pour paints (previously mixed with pouring medium) into a cup just like a kid at camp.  You pour the paints from a distance of about 6 – 8 inches; the higher the better co-mingling that occurs in the cup.  Once you have all the colors in your cup, you lift the cup and slightly flick your hand so as to merge the paints without actually blending the colors.

Now for the pouring magic! Once you have the mixed cup of paint, the canvas ready in hand, and some paper towels nearby, you pour the contents of the cup right onto the canvas, preferably in the center of the surface.

The paint mixture is very thick at this point because it has been blended with the pouring medium and is beginning to set.  Tilting the canvas down, will help the paint to envelope the canvas.  Once one side is completely covered, then you tilt the canvas in the other direction until the whole surface is coated.

In just a few short hours, the canvas dries, and…Wallah!!  You have a marvelous abstract of coalescent colors.

The next day, after I completed my parking lot paint pour, I recruited a few folks around the house to try out the technique.  Of course, we were home on the picnic table, which made this a lot quieter.

You can tell these recruits enjoyed combining paints and tilting their canvasses to create beautiful masterpieces.

I’ve completed this project a few times now and still, my best pour painting occurred right out in the parking lot.  I guess there’s a certain artistic benefit that is derived from spontaneity.

If you want to give paint pouring a try, go to this link for detailed instructions:  https://acrylicpouring.com/beginners-acrylic-pouring-tips/



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