For this post I will be doing a demo of the Dutch pour. It’s a very popular technique. Man we live in some crazy times. I was thinking a little more fluid painting might cheer me up. Anyone else relate to this feeling? That’s why painting is such great therapy!
And for all of you interested in learning new paint pour methods, this is the Dutch pour and I think you’re going to love it. For three reasons. If you are drawn to art with a lot of “negative space” (a lot of white or another light color in the background) This one uses less paint than other techniques. Third, you’ll get to use an instrument that produces air to make this work.
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Sounds great? Well, I have to give credit where it is due, the original spearheader of this technique, Rinske Douna (and yes, she is from the Netherlands. Hence the Dutch pour) You will not be needing oil for this one, as we’re not going to be creating cells. The aim is to spread the paint around in a unique way to create movement and beautiful patterns.
I will be using a 11 x 14 canvas, white base coat paint, and 4 colors (Yellow, aqua, blue, green)., I will also use a blow dryer and straw. I’ll be mixing water and paint, and Floetrol.
From what I have read about the Dutch pour technique (and videos I’ve watched…) I will tell you several things:
It is all about distributing the paint around with air. There are several ways to do this….One is via a blow dryer, which everyone usually has access to. Some dryers come with attachments, mine does not. Another is that product you may be familiar with known as “canned air” or better yet “computer duster”. I usually have on e of these around, but I think mine is tapped out now. I’m not sure if this is the best way as the burst of air is pretty forceful. You might blow the paint somewhere you don’t want. lol.
The second way is a drinking straw. Yep, you read that right. Last way is through an air compressor. Not everybody of course has access to one of these.
So I have mixed up my paints, and I have kind of used a smaller amount compared to the other paintings I did. Then I applied the white base coat (I used a palette knife)I’m going very generously with the white paint on the canvas.
Next I’m going to almost dribble the paint, I’m using alternating drips with each color. Since I’m using a rectangular canvas, I think a diagonal pattern is a good approach. If I had a square canvas I might do the ring approach as I think that would be the most harmonious. Now to proceed with the paint pour. I’m slowly dispensing small drips of color in order like this.
I’m also alternating between colors too (blue, aqua, yellow, green, repeat)
Can you tell it’s early evening when I started to make some progress here. Just to give you an indication that there’s a lot of prep work involved with doing paint pours. Now to get the blow dryer. I’m beginning with a low setting and going for about twenty-thirty seconds. Very little happened, so I switched to the high setting and that was when I saw some lifting of the paint…
I’ve never been one to blow on a painting. It always struck me as kind of amateurish, but here I go. I realize that one big part of art is letting go of preconceived ideas. As I proceeded to do this, the paint kind of “rippled” a little like small puddles.
The trick, I think, is to blow the paint in different directions. The part in the top corner, I tried to blow “up” and the bottom corner, I attempted to blow down. This is to give the resulting pattern some movement so it won’t look like it’s just stuck there. This is what resulted.
Wow….this was harder than it looks. I kind of wish I hadn’t chosen those colors, too, the idea I had was to use those that would match my office as I planned to hang it in there (I’m kinda in the process of doing a fluid painting for every room, so I’m trying to match the colors to the overall room color scheme)
I added a few more drips of paint here and there on the white/negative space….I really hate stark looking objects. I did come away rethinking…from what I read previously, the aforementioned Douna said she didn’t even use a painting medium for this…just thinned down the paint with water. I might give this another go but if that’s the case I might as well just get some squirt bottles, fill them up with paint and water and bypass all that other stuff.
At that point I decided to just collect what was left of the paint and fill in the negative/white spaces – just kind of shore it up with a more “traditional” paint-pour approach. Sometimes you may find yourself doing that. When a painting disappoints you, don’t let it get you down. There’s always something you can do. I can tell you this from firsthand experience. The final result:
I’m still a traditionalist at heart, but I did want to try this out. Although it didn’t go as well as I planned, I’m not licked yet. What about you?