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3D Acrylic Painting Techniques Blog

Blog > How to Set up a Poured Painting System

August 22, 2016 - by Ruth Collis

How to Set up a Poured Painting System

Poured paintings are a lot of fun in seeing fluid paint swirling around and can be an easy way to have some creative fun to inspire you past any Artist's Blocks. Changing mediums is just one way to do that to keep you fresh with ideas and fun all the time.

The Pouring Medium Setup for Poured Paintings, by Ruth Collis

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Simple Sculptural Rose

You can even save all the drips so no paint is wasted at all, by using a non-stick tarp underneath the area where you pour. Pouring paint can not be a wasteful style at all. In fact, pouring Medium is also a paint extender, which means it adds substance, more fluidity, and allows you to use less paint. 


Why use Pouring Medium and not water to make paint runny?

Because too much water will thin paint where it won't stick to the canvas and it also won't have as nice a flow, while Pouring Medium acts as not only glue, but adds a brilliant flow among other things. This is where you can push yourself to buy quality paints, improve the quality of your work, charge more, and get higher paying customers that appreciate quality, instead of being too cheap to grow and invest in yourself. It is a wonderful medium that will do a lot for you once you learn how to use it.


The Pouring Medium Setup

(Below is a little blurb taken from "The Cube Studio Setup" ebook.)


If you like to pour paint often, I have found is useful to have 3 bottles of pouring medium and a home-made pouring lid to fit.

It seems a small bottle is too small for most work, but good to have for touch-ups like gluing in hard-to-reach places. So for that it is good to have a squeeze bottle with a longer spout that can glue dried paint objects easier. Smaller bottles of Pouring Medium in the store don't come with a longer spout and kind of just drip everywhere instead of right where you want it in a detailed place, so that's why it's a good idea to get your own squeeze bottle for this use.

Here is a squeeze bottle used in a fluid painting to gain control of what color gets poured where. Drips on these 3D roses don't look that great, so a spout can glue in tight places and aid the design all around. After arranging these sculpted paint pieces of Ribbon Roses, instead of

Squeeze bottle used with Pouring Medium to glue sculpted paint pieces

arranging them all over again in the poured background, it was easier to pour the background around them and glue them in that way, which saved all kinds of time and turned out a neat swirly heart painting: Hearts of Swirly Roses. The medium quart sized bottle in the top picture above, is handy for most jobs but can drip everywhere if you're not careful since it does not have a good spout, and it is also heavy. Here is Pouring Medium in the medium sized container that is useful for larger areas like covering these dimensional abstract fish here. You can keep piling up clear layers until all the fish are covered, paint a little on each layer which will also add dimension, or cover it all and see the glass-like finish that looks like resin.

Pouring Medium covering as a clear layer over abstract fish.

Now a gallon of Pouring Medium is a good thing to have for backup, storage, cost savings, and making many paintings if you're really into this stuff, but is way heavy to use, and doesn't pour well, so I have found it's a good idea to pour this into the two smaller bottles for easier handling yet having the benefits of more volume as well.


But you will need a pouring lid now with a spout, an extra one... one to seal the gallon properly for storage, and one with a big hole in it for pouring. You can find a pouring spout at Home Depot but may need some adjusting to fit. I tell more details in "The Cube Studio Setup" ebook.


So ideally, it is good to have 3 bottles of pouring medium:


1. Small bottle with spout for more control in trickier places

2. Medium bottle to refill the little one or use with bigger works

3. Big gallon for cost savings, bulk supply, backup, refilling both smaller bottles, and to do your refilling less often by using the medium sized bottle more

What ways do you find helpful in your process with poured paintings?

Answer in the comments below.

Ruth Collis, Sculptural Painting Instructor

Ruth Collis

Sculptural Painting Instructor

See how to store these thick paint palettes in "The Cube Studio Setup" ebook that could still help more artist's organize than just the thick painter.

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