Experimenting With a Dirty Pour and my First Sale

Last summer I saw some videos on YouTube showing acrylic pouring. I found the videos fascinating to watch and really wanted to try a pour.

Unfortunately, I have been short on time, money, and space to do it. I did try it for the first time in November at the end of my maternity leave and gave four small canvases away as Christmas gifts, even though they weren’t that great. I have been itching to try it again and finally picked up some supplies a few days ago.

I decided to try what is called a “dirty pour,” which is basically adding multiple colors of paint into a cup before pouring it onto something.

For this painting, I used black, red, white, purple, and green acrylic paint. I mixed it with Flood Floetrol, a substance which can be added to paint to reduce brush marks. I used it to make the paint a runnier consistency. For fun and curiosity, I also used some gritty, sand-like acrylic extender in the purple paint, so you might notice it has a bumpier texture than The other colors.The label has worn off, so I can’t tell you what kind.

After mixing the individual colors with Floetrol to get the desired consistency, I poured a small amount of each into one cup. The black had the least amount of additive, so it is heavier and mostly went to the bottom. The other colors layered and slightly mixed. I took a blank white gessoed 16×20 canvas and placed it upside down on top of the cup, then flipped it over. I let the cup sit for a while and then slowly picked it up. The paint began to spread. To aid the spread I tilted the canvas in different directions.

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I like the colors, but looking back, I think I would have done a few things differently. I meant to buy some silicone, which some people add to the paint to encourage the development of “cells” or little pockets of colors that open up and display the colors beneath. Since I didn’t use silicone I didn’t get any cells, other than the few that occurred naturally. I think I would have also used two cups, rather than one, to cover the canvas a little easier. Next time I will also use a bit more Floetrol or water to make the paint just a bit thinner.

The colors of this painting are actually quite vivid, but even though I took the photo in sunlight, it is hard to see the definition and irridescence of some of the paint. I couldn’t get a good angle that wouldn’t catch a glare from the light.

I showed this painting to only a few people and to my surprise, one asked to buy it. She even took a photo of it and used it as a wallpaper for her smartphone.

Have you ever tried pour painting? Do you have any tips or tricks from your experience that you would like to share? I would love to hear from you.


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