So now I am finally going to do my first official fluid (or “pour” painting.) Yay me! And yay you, if you’re looking to do the same!
I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile now and kind of put it off because, well, life, but that’s OK, We’re ready and that’s what counts. So pull up a chair and follow along as I carry out my first “debut”.
I’m working on my desk, I have it covered up with protective paper since this will be a messy endeavor. I also have spread out a few trash bags over it as I’m thinking that any paint runoff could be used to create another painting, and since paint will just bead off of something like plastic trash bags, there you go. These are all my materials. Refer to my supply list from earlier so you don’t miss anything.
First take your canvas and insert a pushpin or thumbtack on the bottom corners, like this. This will elevate the painting since the wet paint will run over the sides (which we DO want, by the way and that will permit it easily.) If you don’t have thumbtacks you could elevate the canvas with additional Dixie cups.
Start with about 3-5 colors. Also you need to include white and black paint in the entourage. I’m using warm tones in red, orange, a yellow orange and yellow. I had to narrow it down a little and eliminate a couple of the light oranges as I was a little concerned that the color blend would be too similar.
Mixing the Colors
Now comes the preliminary step – mixing the paint with the painting medium to make it the right consistency for spreading out in all of the unique patterns.
First off….the color ratios. One part paint – One part of the painting medium – One half part water.
Now we’re going to start by pouring a little of the painting medium into the first cup …I’m using Floetrol. This part is not totally necessary, but you can use your scale to be sure amounts are approximate. That’s why it would be a good idea to use transparent cups or containers so you can see if they are all evenly distributed. I’m using a postal scale, even though a kitchen one would be more apropos, but it’s what I’ve got at the moment.
Dispense a little of the first color in one of the cups you’ve set up.Stir with the blending stick.
Add the small amount of water I mentioned earlier. Commence stirring again, and now to test for the right consistency. To do this take your stick and let some of the paint run down to the end and fall back into the cup, if it does so without creating a mound, it’s just right.
Now we are going to add a few drops of the oil which will help to create the “cells” in the final work. Only add about 4-5 drops. Stir again. Now repeat these steps with each of the other colors, don’t forget the white and black too.
The result should look something like this…
One more final step before we begin, and that is to prime our canvas. Take the white paint mixture and brush on a coat. This will make the blending and movement of the paint easier.
Starting the Pour!
Ok, we’re finally ready to make some magic happen!
We’re going to start with the “straight pour” approach. There are a number of different techniques out there with fluid painting and I should be going over them in subsequent posts but for this we’ll begin with the simplest approach.
Start pouring your paint directly from each cup, try to adhere to a pattern, you can do something like stripes of alternating colors, or circular drops. Now take the black (or another contrasting color that is much darker than the others) and go over it with thinner drips in the opposite direction:
This will make it look more interesting. add it in smaller increments so as not to ruin the effect.It does look kind of blobby, but as you’re about to see the effects will be great.
Tilt your canvas sideways and long.When you are satisfied with how it looks…also let it run down the sides too, use your knife and scrape any loose paint that runs off the bottom, and if any paint is need to cover any white spots left behind.
Since I’ve got a long canvas (12″ x 20″ I think) I had to balance between tilting in lengthwise and width-wise. Here it is, at least…
Use the Runoff Paint to Create More Art!
If you’ve got paint drippings left behind, don’t waste that stuff! Paint’s not cheap peeps! What I’m going to do is get my small canvases (8 x 10 size) and turn them upside down and push them into the runoff, and create an offshoot mini-masterpiece from that paint left behind. Now I’ve got 2 for the price of 1!
Letting Your Fluid Paintings Dry
It may take as long as 24-48 hours for it to dry. So you will need to find a safe place to keep it in the meantime. Definitely keep something like wax paper under it if any more drips fall in the interim. During that time I can’t take a chance that one of my mischievous cats may defile it, so I’m hiding it in the safest place I can think of to dry undisturbed. Which is on top of the refrigerator. Uhh, scratch that. The cats do get on top of that, too. Or at least they have before.
My “debut” painting will go right in the closet…It may smell it up a little but I want it to be safe.
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Well, that went better than expected. A few takeaways for next time….
I need to spread out the paint closer to the edge as it didn’t spread out all the way like it should have.
Very little development of cells….Don’t know if that is because I didn’t use true silicone oil (although I have heard that other oils still work)
Well I hope this post has been helpful for you if you’re ready to do your first paint pour. Good luck to you, and godspeed, and don’t forget to let me know how it goes!