A Beginner's Easy-To-Follow Guide on How to Start Acrylic Pouring

Acrylic pouring is a fairly recent social media craze, but it's actually a technique that has been around since the 1930s, discovered by the Mexican social realist painter David Alfaro Siqueiros. 

The technique and the artwork created using it have mixed views in the art world. Critics often state that "anyone can pour acrylic paint," signifying that it takes no special talent. As easy as pouring can be, as this guide will show you, ignore the haters because there are elements to Acrylic pouring that are unique to each creator. Whether it be through the use of color theory, or by the means in how you create the piece (many different methods will be listed), i.e. no two works are the same.

1. Gather Your Materials

As the name implies, the medium of choice for these projects is Acrylic paint. You can use any brand, but depending on the initial thickness, you may need to add water (dutch pouring) or you can use the paints straight out of the bottle (thin paint like Apple Barrell may suffice, or you can buy paint pouring kits like the one from the popular name brand Arteza or from the lesser-known TMOL on Amazon) 

You also need a canvas to work on, a heat gun, a hairdryer, and something to catch the leftover paint that falls from the canvas, like a trash bag or maybe even a piece of plexiglass. Other materials you need depend on the technique you're trying to achieve. Cups are the most popular but you can use just about anything.

Here are just a few things you can use:

  • funnel
  • shot glasses
  • dustpan
  • sink stopper
  • cookie cutter
2. Set Up Your Work Space

Once you have your materials, it's just about doing the artwork. Follow these simple steps to get going:

    a. set your trash bag on the floor or desk you'll be using and tape the edges down so that it stays in place.
    b. find something to prop your canvas on if you'd like for the paint to drip over the canvas sides' onto the bag (keeping the back of the canvas clean). Think: drying rack, or canvas stands.
    c. prime the canvas for pouring with either white or black acrylic paint, allowing it to drip off the sides if necessary. 
    d. use your [specified material] by adding colors into colors, creating layers that you then:
    e. pour onto the canvas. 

3. Experiment

Remember, there is no "absolute" technique that you must follow to create your artwork, but you can do a number of things to prepare like:
  • research techniques
  • understand color theory 
  • find inspiration
Check out the video below to see 20 different pouring techniques:

Use a hair dryer or blow on the paint to move the colors around. Use the heat gun to make bubbles into the paint. These are just a couple things you can do, but experiment with anything you'd like. It's as easy as you allow it to be and as complicated as you want it to be. YOU are the artist, and what you say goes. 

There will always be critics and their negative bias, "anyone can do it," but honestly, that's the beauty of Acrylic Pouring: anyone can be an artist using this way of creating. So tell me, what will you manifest onto canvas?

-tag me on insta with your creations @skysartbucket or @art.by.fib to be featured! 


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