The Beginners Guide to Acrylic Pour and Fluid Art
Author: Dana McGorlick-Appelman Date Posted:30 October 2020
Fluid Art, which is also known as flow art, liquid art or acrylic paint pouring, is a fun and popular abstract painting technique that involves the use of fluid art mediums, such as free flowing acrylic, or very runny acrylics, powdered pigments or inks.
Acrylic Pouring and Fluid Art use these mediums to create gliding organic and hypnotic free flowing abstract compositions on canvas or art boards. The acrylic paint is often disrupted by the use of silicones that when combined together creates unique aesthetic reactions and achieves marbleized cells and structures. Acrylic pouring is a stunning technique that's accessible and easy for everyone, so you too can create beautiful fluid works in your very own home!
We’ve curated the must have guide to getting started with fluid art, including the tools you’ll need and how you can produce your very own unique and beautiful works of art with various magnificent marbled effects.
Not sure where to start?
Art Shed has you covered with all the Fluid Art Supplies you may need to create your own funky and vibrant abstract flow art.
These pre-mixed sets by Mont Marte are perfect for beginners, making your acrylic pours an absolute breeze. This ultra-flowy paint is pre-mixed for you so you don't need to focus on recipes and ratios and can get straight to creating. This easy-to-use product comes in a set of 4 highly-pigmented, bright colours so you can create stunning swirling effects, all you need to do is pour! The Mont Marte Acrylic Pour Fluid Paint Set is available in 60ml in Aurora, Celestial, Cosmic, Ethereal, Flamingo, Rainforest, Symphony and 120 ml Sets in Coral, Golden Beach, Metallic, and Marina.
Pouring Paints- Individual Colours
Premixed paints- individual colours
The creators at Mont Marte have done it again with their stunning range of Premium Pouring Acrylic Paint that will make creating your acrylic pours a breeze. This ultra-flowy paint is pre-mixed in a 240ml bottle for you so you don't need to focus on recipes and ratios and can get straight to creating! These larger individual bottles are great for creating larger scale works or for experimenting your own colour combinations. This easy-to-use product comes in a variety of bright, highly-pigmented colours and a lucid, easy-pour formula that flows seamlessly creating stunning marbled effects.
You can also mix other flowy acrylic paints with a pouring medium to create your own imaginative colour combinations.
Want to mix your own colours? We’ve also got a fantastic range of acrylic pouring mediums that can be combined with your favourite flowy acrylic paints.
Simply add this fluid medium to your acrylic paints to make them ultra-flowy for pouring or, add just a little to improve the flow of your paint in regular acrylic brush painting. This versatile medium goes on and dries clear so is suitable for any colour paint. Also available in a 1L bottle.
The Liquitex Pouring Medium is another great, easy to use choice for mixing with acrylic paints and pouring. It creates even puddles with ease and does not crack or hold bubbles, retaining an ultra-glossy, wet appearance when dry. This medium does not alter the colour or opacity of paints when mixed and is flexible, non-yellowing and water resistant. To use, simply mix with your acrylic paint of choice (we recommend a free-flowing one like Atelier Free Flow Acrylics) in the required amounts and pour!
Canvases and Boards
Acrylic pour can be done on a range of bases, but to get you started, we suggest trying these:
Canvas panels are great for starting out with acrylic pour.The Mont Marte Round Canvas Panels set are affordable,acid-free, lightweight, strong, non flexible, hardened card backed canvas, coated with acrylic primer so you can get painting on them straight out of the pack.!
The Mont Marte Premium Wooden Painting Board is the perfect support for a range of painting and mixed media art applications, made with a smooth, solid blonde coloured plywood panel with pine bracing ensuring a strong and warp resistant painting support, making them a particularly good choice for acrylic paint pouring and resin art. This Mont Marte Premium Wooden Painting Board is 12 x 12 inches (30.5 x 30.5cm) and is 19mm thick, with a plywood face and pine supports.
Mont Marte Professional Double Thick stretched canvases feature a 38mm deep frame that offers a contemporary clean, deeper edged look with no further framing required. These superior quality canvases provide a sturdy support for various media applications, and are commonly used for Acrylic Paintings as well as Oil. These canvases are triple coated with universal primer and are ready for pouring! The corners are neatly folded to gallery standards, and the corners of the stretcher frame have a superior strength.
Large Scale Round Canvas
For a larger, standout works, a larger scale round canvas such as the Mont Marte Round Canvas is a great option. Triple coated with universal primer and ready to use, this acid free large round canvas is 90cm wide and is made from eco-conscious, unbleached 380 premium high density cotton duck material. It's suitable for beginners, students, and experienced artists. For a smooth, even surface, this large round canvas is firmly stapled at the back. The primed surface is suitable for both oil and acrylic paints.
If you’re looking for something more specific, you can also shop our extensive range of fluid art canvases here.
How to create amazing cells and patterns
For creating unique and stunning pattern effects in your fluid works try adding some of this Mont Marte Acrylic Silicone Oil Medium. This premium oil medium creates cells and other stunning effects in acrylic paint so is the perfect thing to add that wow factor to your work. This Silicone Oil Medium is totally clear and transparent so won't alter the colours of your paint. The top of the 60ml bottle is fitted with an easy-pour nozzle for precise and controlled application. For best results, apply the heat of a blow torch or heat gun to your paint once the oil is mixed in and watch the patterns and cells form before your eyes.
Another fantastic silicone oil option is the Helmar Silicone Oil, a lubricant and dispersing agent that is widely used by artists to create cells in acrylic pouring and fluid art. This Silicone oil can be dropped into the paint before pouring or dropped onto the surface after the paint is applied to create interesting cellular details.
Boom Gel Fluid Art Cell Booster
The Boom Gel Fluid Art Cell Booster is an alcohol based additive which can be combined with your Boom Gel Stain to create and increase the formation of cells within an artwork. Combined with the Boom Gel Stain, it also creates amazing cells in fluid art.
How to varnish your new creation
To achieve a beautiful glass-like finish and make your artworks more durable, you’ll definitely want to add a high-quality gloss medium/varnish to your kit.
Add a stunning iridescent sheen to your works with just one coat of the Mont Marte Acrylic Iridescent Varnish. This varnish is the perfect shimmering luxe touch to give your painted works that wow factor. This easy-to-use varnish paints on smoothly and dries evenly and clearly so won't alter the colours of your paint but enhance with a touch of glimmer. Simply wait for you artwork to be completely dry to the touch, use a dry cloth to remove any dust from the surface, then lay the canvas on a horizontal, flat surface and apply the varnish with a soft taklon brush, working from side to side and slightly overlapping your last stroke to ensure an even coverage. Apply up to 4 coats to increase the sheen of the varnish, just make sure that each coat is fully dry first so you don't affect the texture.
This Liquitex Gloss varnish is low odor, permanent and durable. It dries clear, resists discolouring (so it wont yellow), and dirt and water resistant, so it will protect your acrylic colour from the elements.
The Boom Gel Gloss Sealer can be used as a final coat on your Boom Gel Stain Artworks - as a final varnish.
Create beautiful resin coated fluid artworks with this two part epoxy resin kit by Craft Smart. Craft Smart Liquid Gloss Resin kits create perfectly clear glass-like finishes over the top of paintings or when combined with paint or pigments - the finish is equal to many coats of traditional varnish applications. Just mix the two parts and pour or brush onto the surface.
There's also a variety of handy tools to add to your acrylic pour/ fluid art kit that can help you create stunning movements and patterns within your works, such as Squeezy bottles, Popsticks (which are great for mixing colours and creating shapes, or for mixing resin) and Droppers (which can be used for mixing, measuring and dispersing water based media, and are great for droppering inks for fluid art and cell creation).
Looking for more inspiration or specific information? Check out these blogs, including How to avoid Muddy Colours in your acrylic pour, How to create fluid art and make your own pouring medium , and How to create a string pull painting with chain for more fluid art techniques, tips and tricks.