How to create a string pull painting with chain - fluid art technique

Author: Art Shed Tom  

Create mesmerising effects with fluid acrylic and the chain pulling technique


When experimenting with painting techniques it can be an interesting excercise to manipulate paint with different implements. You might find mesmerising effects and images can be formed if you think outside the box.


As Fluid Acrylic paint is free flowing in its consistency it can be poured, swiped and dragged to form interesting Fluid Art Techniques.


This Fluid Art method uses ordinary curtain chain which you can buy at a hardware store. 


The technique is really simple, and can be used to create a fluid acrylic background, and floral like forms by simply dragging the chain through the paint.


We will run through the simple steps below - or take a look at this great video showcasing this painting technique.



Supplies you will need:


Simple Steps:

Step 1 - 
Mix Titanium white acrylic paint with pouring medium, and apply an even coat of paint to the chosen canvas or surface.

You can spread the paint with a palette knife or tilt the canvas and let the paint flow to the edges.



Step 2 -

Dip the curtain chain in acrylic paint pre-mixed with pouring medium. 

Drape the chain in a curling motion/form onto the canvas.

Pull the chain horizontally off the canvas, the chain will leave interesting forms in its path.


Step 3 -

Continue the process, try pulling from different directions to create more visual interest.

Also, try dipping in multiple colours as it gives a sense of depth to the forms.



Comments (7)

Base coat for chain pulling painting

I'm wondering if the base coat should be dry or still wet for the pulling the chains? Thank you

Hey Gary, thanks for checking out our blog! Great question, the base coat should be still wet, you can see the white has blended slightly with the colours as the chain is pulled through.

Chain Pull

How much chain do you need? Thank you

Thanks for your question, it really depends on the size of your artwork, but to create the painting in our blog you could start with about 40-50cms and experiment with different lengths and sizes. Let us know how it goes! Sarah :)

Glue for acrylic paint

Why do I need glue for an acrylic chain pull? I found acrylic pour paint which is already thinned out. Do I still add glue? Sarah

Hi Sarah! If you are using pre-mixed pouring paints you won't need glue. The glue is used to create a DIY pouring medium, however pre-mixed pouring paints already have this included. I hope this helps! Dana :)

Great instruction and Great result

I can’t wait to try this with my grandchildren. Thanks for sharing the technique.


Hi as you are aware canvas squares are fairly expensive. It there a cheaper material you can use for paint pouring. Thanks Jenny

Hi Jenny, Thank you for contacting us! A great alternative to canvas is board, we have a range of Fluid Art Panels or alternatively, you can use the Signature Canvas Panels which are cardboard backed and primed ready to use.

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up