Also known as paint pouring, flow art, liquid art.etc.
Is a form of abstract art that uses acrylic paints with a runny (fluid)consistency. The acrylic paints react with each other when combined together to make interesting and visually organic motifs. This type of art is fun for all ages. Fluid acrylics can be used on many types of substrates and in many different forms such as pouring, dripping, swirling, glazing, dipping and many other effects. Fluid art opens up a lot of possibilities and is definitely worth exploring and adding to your artist tool belt. In this course I will teach you everything you will need to become a paint pouring artist. I will share with you:
I will show you how to properly handle and care for your art
I will show you how to protect your artwork
The bonus section will have plenty of resources to refer to with information about mixing ratios, paint density and more
Bonus Video footage of 16 minutes raw studio experiments with swipe technique!
Some of the videos are just me working with little or no talking. FYI
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First, we must talk about safety!
There are hazards involved with anything in life and most problems can be avoided with a little knowledge and common sense. This is also true when creating art. Most products you purchase for your paint pouring endeavor will include instructions and safety recommendations. Read the SDS (Safety Data Sheet). I would read and follow these thoroughly. Always use caution when using anything caustic and when using any type of flame. Be careful not to burn your canvas, paint or working area. Off-gassing [ the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other chemicals] is also hazardous. The silicone and all the stuff used in paint pouring wasn’t made to be heated up. Use caution! Workplace essentials Include the following:
Every endevour starts with a foundation. These are the essential elements needed to start paint pouring
A question that is often asked is- "What is pouring medium?" and "Why do I need it?" This chart will help explain:
Mixing Ratio Essentials
The consistency of all of your paints is the most essential element in assuring a successful pour. The ways of achieving the ideal consistency varies quite a bit from one artist to another. You may find that another artist's “recipe” suits you better. By all means search until you’re happy and get the results you are looking for.
I will show you how I personally achieve the proper fluidity that gives consistent results for me, for students in my classes, and countless other paint-pouring enthusiasts that I hear from daily. I recently released a video of an experiment where I spent, basically, ten dollars at a dollar store, came home, utilized my “mixology” and had amazing results. Give my “budget” mix a chance. It is easy to do and it doesn’t cost much money.
Refer to this video clip so you can compare your fluidity. This consistency is a must to get on going fabulous results.
Puddle pours are a layering color(s) on the canvas in one or more puddles that allow the paint to flow out and or into each other. When there is enough paint on the surface the canvas can be tipped and the colors will disperse and create designs and unique color combinations throughout the canvas depending on the degree of tilting. A variation of this technique is a puddle pour with void fill (a puddle pour with an added pour covering the blank spots of the canvas) Once the canvas is covered I touch up the sides with the paint run off. Once I have complete coverage and I’m happy with the composition of the painting, I will introduce heat by using a chef’s torch or a heat gun. The heat is what helps generate cellular activity in the work. The oils from the additives react with the heat and create “cells”. Always use caution when heating up your art. Please follow all of the safety recommendations discussed earlier in the book.
When I begin a dirty pour I usually start with white paint, adding a color or two, then I spray silicone in the cup , add more colors, add more white and so on. I average around 3 squirts of silicone per dirty pour cup separated by at least 2-3 colors. I stir the dirty pour cup very little if at all. I don’t stir too much because I want to maintain separation of the colors, not create mud.. Once you have all of your colors layered in a cup, you pour onto the substrate of choice. At this point you can move the substrate (for the remainder of the book I will refer to as “canvas”) Tipping the canvas and letting paint cover the whole surface and letting excess paint run over the edges gives the artwork a “flowing” appearance and there are many ways to manipulate the paint and get more design elements like scraping, swiping and skimming which I will cover later in this chapter.
Once the canvas is covered I touch up the sides with the paint run off. Once I have complete coverage and I’m happy with the composition of the painting, I will introduce heat by using a chef’s torch or a heat gun. The heat is what helps generate cellular activity in the work. The oils from the additives react with the heat and create “cells”. Always use caution when heating up your art. Please follow all of the safety recommendations discussed earlier
This is a technique I sometimes use prior to lifting a flip cup off the canvas. Basically I flip the cup onto the canvas, with the canvas sitting on the rack I simply slide the cup around the surface of the canvas making sure I get close to all four corners. My thought with this is that it will help with the flow of the paint upon lifting the cup.
The flip cup is prepared exactly like a dirty pour in terms of mixing and layering the paints into one dirty pour. The flip cup technique is more of a description of how you get the paint on the surface of your canvas. In short, you flip it over.
While holding the dirty pour cup (which is sitting on your work-space) with your left hand, pick up the canvas with your right hand and place the canvas face down over the cup opening. Then carefully (while holding the cup tightly against the canvas, flip them over to where now the canvas is on the work-space and the cup and the cup is sitting atop the canvas. I usually let the cup sit on the canvas for 20-30 seconds and allow the dirty pour contents to settle. Then with one motion I remove the cup from the canvas and all the paint pours out and onto the canvas. At this point I move and tilt the canvas around and get full canvas coverage. Once the top is covered I touch up the sides of the canvas with the paint run off. Once the canvas is covered I touch up the sides with the paint run off. Once I have complete coverage and I’m happy with the composition of the painting, I will introduce heat by using a chef’s torch or a heat gun. The heat is what helps generate cellular activity in the work. The oils from the additives react with the heat and create “cells”. Always use caution when heating up your art.
I pick 3-5 colors for the background colors. Mix them according to my “mixology” and put 1-2 squirts of silicone in each color. I pour the 3-5 colors on the canvas in a striped pattern occasionally crossing over each other but not too much. At this point I tip the canvas to spread all the paints out over the canvas. Once I have the canvas covered in my background colors I introduce the swipe-over color. I use either white or black to do the swipe over. I make sure that the swiping color is slightly thicker than the other paints. I do not add silicone to the swiping colors. I always start at the end that I like the least. I pour a strip of paint from corner to corner approx. 1-3 inches wide depending on size of canvas or another guide is cover 10%- 20% of one end of the canvas. Then I take heavy card stock or a 3 ml laminating sheet or something similar and begin swiping the white paint over the initial paints that were poured. I sometimes add more white and repeat the process throughout the whole canvas until I get the look I’m trying to achieve. Doing these swiping motions should generate many cells when done correctly. Getting a feel for the swipe is the key. You want to gently skim the heavy card stock or a 3 ml laminating sheet or something similar lightly over the paints. This takes practice but it is worth the time to get this right.
Multi-Layer (Pour Over)
Begin with picking out your colors then start layering colors in various patterns on top of each other keeping in mind not to pour too much paint on the surface (too much paint increases the chance of cracks to form). Once you have the whole canvas covered you then pour either a single color or a dirty pour directly on the pre-pourd canvas. I like to do this in a flowing swirling type pattern and just let the paint do it’s thing. Too much tipping and tilting of the canvas at this point will disapate what you have created with the over-pour. However, if you are unhappy with the results of that added layer, you can tip the canvas and let the paint off and try again. Or my go to solution when I’m just not happy with what I’m seeing. Swipe it!
The art below was made with a four color dirty pour followed by heating the surface to create the cells. Finished with another dirty cup pour with three colors.
Everything to start pouring is available at the dollar store!
Experimental Paint Pour Using Apple Barrel Paints. Dimethicone was added to one Color Only
Rick Cheadle is a mixed-media artist. Inspired by his longstanding fascination with Mid Century art and design compositions that he grew up with, Cheadle's expansive portfolio is collected world-wide and includes large-scale wall art pieces, commission works for The Johnny Cash Museum, wall sculptures, found objects mobiles, as well as a plethora of mixed media works.
(From the Publication Let's Make Stuff) Multilayered and full of vibrant colors, Rick Cheadle artwork weaves tales of a beloved era in design and a unique blend of modern techniques to reignite our senses and fill our lives with beautiful colorscapes.