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Art Project: Acrylic Paint Pouring

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Sometimes I feel like I missed my calling as an artist. I have always made lots of art and I love crafting like it’s nobody’s business. The thrill of deciding on a new project, experimenting and trying to figure it out, and working on it can feel addictive. In high school I went through a lot of crafting phases, and I remember staying up to watch Saturday Night Live while I tried to finish various projects (beading was big for me, and crochet).

Somehow I discovered acrylic paint pouring. I follow some artists on Instagram, and I saw a woman pouring paint all over her canvas. Upon stalking her hashtags, I discovered that this art technique is called paint pouring. Actually, I discovered resin pouring first, but that seemed to require a more expensive set up and proper ventilation.

My friend, Brandy, is an artist. She has really awesome art all through her house. Brandy sometimes hosts art parties at her house, so I thought I’d ask if she knew about this mysterious paint technique. We decided that this would be the perfect thing to try at an art party. If you’re interested, here’s a video where you can see paint pouring! I didn’t think to make a video myself!

Paint pouring is pretty much what it sounds like, with some preparation beforehand. First you need to thin the paint so that it’s more liquid, since acrylic paint is quite thick. There are a lot of ways to thin the paint, and we tried several methods. Brandy bought a pouring medium, and we also tried Mod Podge and water, and Elmer’s Glue and water. Then there are different additives that you can put in the paint, which cause little chemical reactions; I liked the silicone best. We tried a method called “dirty pour,” which basically means that you put all of your paint colors into one cup and dump it on your canvas. It sounds incredible that you could make art this way – really and truly it was so fun and cool, and our art was stunning.

Art makes me happy. Sometimes I get anxious and start to feel like my art has to be perfect or else I’m not really an artist. Maybe that’s part of why I love this technique so much – you can’t control it, really, and it’s a big mess, and it still makes something beautiful. Whoah… that’s like a metaphor for my life…

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  • Oh wow! I want to try this now!

    • Hannah Pearlman

      It’s SO fun. It’s a huge mess, but super fun! I bet you’d make some cool art!

  • This looks pretty awesome! 😀