It’s January. It’s cold. But sometimes the sun still shines — brightly. Actually, the sun is closer to the earth during the winter months than during the summer. The angle of the sun’s rays is different though, but that’s neither here nor there.
I love feeling the sun’s warmth streaming through the windows, and I love the bright, bold colors of sunlight. I rarely use them in my landscape paintings, so when I recently did an acrylic pour, I decided to pull out different citrus colors.
Once I’d poured this painting, I couldn’t keep from singing about “bright, sun shiny” days. That’s a lyric from “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff. It’s a fun song, a song that sings about the dark days being in the past, about obstacles being gone, about looking toward the future and, yes, seeing bright days ahead.
As 2021 gets underway, maybe we will find brighter days coming our way.
I’m definitely having more fun now with my acrylic pourings. I’m getting a better idea of how much paint to use, understanding a little more about creating designs that work, and using various tools and techniques.
This pour — Citrus and Sunshine — began with white gesso applied liberally across the surface. I then poured on “puddles” of paint. Each cup had been mixed with flow medium and a few drops of silicon oil. I used White Linen and Pure Sunshine from Dylusions, along with Pale Daffodil from Apple Barrel.
A note about paints. As with all other supplies in art, quality varies from one brand to another and from one price range to another. The Dylusions paints I used — made by Ranger — are much better quality and a bit more pricey than the very inexpensive Apple Barrel acrylics I’ve used for most of my pouring projects. I could definitely tell a difference! The colors remained true, even as the pouring dried, and during the pour, the paints moved more easily over the canvas surface. This painting was done on a 10 x 10 stretched canvas.
If you’re wanting to play with acrylic pouring, by all means pay a visit to Wal-Mart and pick up a variety of Apple Barrel paints. They come in a wide range of colors and cost very little. At our local store they sell for fifty cents for a two-ounce bottle. You can also order these from Amazon. A set of eighteen costs about $20.00 and will give you a good variety for your pourings.
Once you’ve developed a good understanding of paint flow, viscosity, and various methods for pouring, you’ll probably want to move up in grade a bit. Many manufacturers make acrylic paints, so check out Liquitex, Arteza, Sargent Art, and Blick Studio Acrylics. Some brands also make metallic acrylics. I haven’t used metallics much yet in my pourings, but I plan to do that soon.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong with mixing paints from different brands, as I did with my pouring here. Some acrylics may be thicker than others, but you can bring them all to a good pouring consistency with your pouring medium, and/or a little water. Finding the right consistency and preparing the right amount of paint were the two most difficult aspects for me to learn. While there are lots of sites with lots of information online, I think the skill develops mostly through practice.
Once I had poured my paint puddles on the canvas, I simply tilted my painting rack this way and that, watching the paint flow, and “guiding” it into what I felt was a pleasing composition. I then used a small butane torch to “heat finish” the pouring.
While I’m certainly not an accomplished artist yet when it comes to acrylic pouring, I’m becoming much more comfortable with this fluid-art form, and I’m having fun exploring the medium. I’m collecting various “tools” I can use for pouring, thinking of different ways to add texture, dreaming up color combinations I’d like to try.
Having a “pouring station” set up in my studio makes it very easy. If I had to dig out supplies and set up an area to work in each day. I’d probably not do much — if any — acrylic pouring. So, if you have a place in your basement or garage where you can “set up shop” and leave your basic pouring supplies out, I would definitely advise doing so.
Pouring is fun, especially when the colors are bright and beautiful, so if you haven’t yet tried acrylic fluid art, maybe it’s time. And maybe you’ll find yourself singing along about bright, sunshiny days ahead.