Learning to trust my process with paint pouring.

Mar 10, 2019 | My Creative Play and Process

This is a close up detail of one of my early successful pour experiments. I tried to repeat the result, but I couldn’t for some reason. I used rubbing alcohol instead of silicone oil for this one. As much as I don’t like having to wash oil off the painting after, the oil works better. Also, I find that dragging the pour across the surface with the spatula works best which is how I created this one.

It’s been awhile since my last blog post because I have been spending a lot of time doing a lot of experiments with acrylic paint pouring. I don’t want to use the common methods being used with this type of painting because I really just want to create a unique look for the backgrounds of my Dream Wall series art. I want to enhance the magical dreamy feeling of my work. So this post is my part one reflection on my process and progress so far.

I recently started playing with acrylic pour painting because I like the cell-like forms one can get with this method. Paint pouring itself has become almost too popular in and of itself and I always like to think outside the box and make my work original and different than what is more commonly seen.  It is always the aim of most artists to create work that is as unique to them as their personality. So, in order to reach that point, it takes many years of experimenting with and exploring different styles of art and materials (media).

Paint pouring is done by blending various colours of acrylic paint with acrylic flow aids along with silicone oil to produce random cell-like formations. One can produce very whimsical effects with this technique. I am still trying to find my way with it in order to make it as whimsical and dreamy as possible.

Paint, paint and more paint. It’s really hard and a bit stressful to sacrifice costly paint in order to find a method of paint pouring and a distinct style that works for me, but it is a necessary part of the creative process.  I like to think outside the box, so my photos with captions below will show examples of some of the many experiments I have been playing with over the past several weeks. Paint pouring is very random and one can’t know how it is going to turn out, so I really have to trust in the process. I am used to almost overworking or over planning my art, so that this has been quite the challenge for me. But it’s important as an artist to always stretch myself. Anyway, since this is one element of my current “Splorch” imaginary animal piece, I will be able to embellish and tweak my pours after.  That will be when I feel like my process becomes really fun because that’s when I will start to see all the parts of my artwork come together. Fingers crossed this new way of creating my backgrounds will work out. The backgrounds of my art tend to be the most challenging part to create. I want it to add to the look, feel and meaning of the piece without being too distracting or overpowering.

Anyway, here are some examples of my more successful experiments. I am making them as acrylic skins which means I pour onto a plastic surface so that I can peel them off after they dry and then collage them into an artwork. It’s been a frustrating process to get the paint to do what I want, but I think I am getting closer.

Stay tuned for part two where I’ll share my progress with my “Splorch” animal piece and how I bring it all together with the paint pouring for the background.  I will be posting part two under my Social Media Highlights blog category. You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

I tried many different pour cups and tools to see what worked for me. I made a spatula out of an old gift card and a lip from hot glue to contain the paint. I might continue to use it along with a little cup. One can either flip the cup or drag and open bottom cup.

This is my very first pour test. It really was beginners luck with it. Part of trusting this process is accepting that no two pours will ever behave or look the same.

I didn’t use any silicone oil in these pour test. Silicone oil is what creates those great cell effects. In this pour I used rubbing alcohol and poured onto a scrap piece of fine art paper. I think the surface one does the pour on may also affect the results.

When I just did my paint pours on a rectangular base I found I would lose my nice cell designs as the paint flowed. So, I made these forms with a glue gun to get a more controlled shape with the pours and to help preserve the cells that formed from due to the silicon oil drops in the paint.

This was my first experiment using the stencil I made with a glue gun. I find this is the best method I’ve tried so far. The image on the top is a close up so you can see the cells I got this time. I added some drops of silicone oil to the paint to help create the cells. Before I can collage the acrylic skins into my work I have to wash off the oil. I think I’ll save this for a future art project.

This is another test I did after I took off the glue stencil. I make the glue gun stencil on parchment paper and then added some stickiness to the back to hold it down for the pours.  I want to make the skins thinner. This one is a bit thick, but I’ll also save it to use in another future mixed media piece.

Stay tuned for part-two of my reflections on my process. I will be adding photos on my Instagram and a blog post to my Social Media Highlights category here on my website.


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