We have a nice dinner on Saturday night with Grace and Patrick Draven, and during it Grace mentioned the advice someone gave her. When your creative pursuit becomes a job and a primary source of income, you have to choose a new hobby without any pressure of making money attached to it.
I knit. I’ve come to realize that my fascination with yarn has a lot to do with all the pretty colors, so this weekend I tried my hand at acrylic pours. I had done it once before and didn’t care for the result, because I have artistic talent of a snail, but I had cleaned up my craft room so Kid 1 can resume her hobby of soap making, and I found some acrylics.
Here we go. Pictures were taken outside in a very bright sunlight, because they are still drying. Texas heat has to be good for something, right? Click the images to enlarge.
Kid 2 also made one, but she isn’t here so I don’t have permission to share.
For those interested, you need acrylics. Any acrylic paint would do, even the cheap kind. I used the ones from Arteza. You also need Floetrol. You can get a massive jug of it on Amazon or any paint supply store for like $30. You need little cups to mix things in, little wooden sticks or plastic utensils to stir the paint, canvases (again, I bought mine at Arteza), a hair dryer, and some plastic trash bags or paper to keep the mess under control.
Layer your work space with paper of plastic. Make sure it’s flat, since paint will run. Put canvas on the plastic bag.
I mix about 2 parts Floetrol, 1 part paint, and 1 part water. For the painting above I did white, blue, yellow, red, and purple. No green – that happened on canvas. Pour white paint on your canvas and kind of nudge it into place with a wooden stick, like frosting a cake. While the paint is wet, pick a corner or a side, and pour some blobs of paint, one on top of another. When you’ve made a sufficiently multicolored mess, turn your hair dryer on low and blow the paint across the canvas.
Leave it alone for 3 days to dry.
Here is an instructional video by a hilarious lady named Tammy.
The roadkill comment killed me.
Have fun painting!
They are lovely. Thank you for sharing. Also, Grace Draven is very wise in her advice.
Allen Haynes says
In the last one I see the Dragon from Sweep. Your talent may well have been hidden like Maud’s magic.
Ellen D says
Definitely see the dragon.
Very pretty! Artistic talent of a snail or no, I think you got awesome results. I’ve tried with resin but ended up with nothing but a mess, maybe I should give this a go.
Sis is already getting some of that stuff for us to make some. It’s so cool.
RJ Blain says
Hooray!! I’ve been painting with brushes, and it’s really soooo soooo relaxing. I’m glad to see you’re having fun with paints! :3
Yours are lovely. I absolutely adore the one on the left with the spider-webbing of red through the purple and blue. it’s spectacular!
Beautiful! It looks like what I’d imagine the sky/ ceiling of one of the rooms Dina would make for her guests.
Liv W says
My artistic development (such as it was) never advanced beyond the stick figure stage. “Behold! Liv the Stick Figure Arteeeeeste!” :-/ Also, my knitting ability is about on par with Grandma Frieda. Actually, I think I’m even less advanced than she is. 🙁
I love the combination of colors you chose! I’ve been wanting to try this for months! I too have zero artistic talent and haven’t worked up the courage to do it. I’m fairly certain mine would end up looking like poo.
Jenette Hendricks says
That’s interesting. I like the results. I’ll need to watch the video when I get home from work.
Those are really pretty. I watched the video too and also chuckled at the roadkill. The presenter is a hoot.
You made me realise that I don’t have a hobby anymore. I turned full time writer six months ago and it’s all I do, write, read, edit, and market books.
Thank you for making time see that. I’ll try to get some downtime into my routine now. Though I own a toddler so painting sounds high risk ?
Angela Shikany says
I like them. And my bona fides are I’ve been an artist all my life, including ten years as a tattooist and free lance photographer. I would encourage you to not denigrate your amount of artistic talent but to look at it as something within you that just needs to be nurtered. My mother would have agreed with Grace’s advice; for many years after she retired she taught free belly dance classes saying, “If they pay me, then it becomes work. I prefer to teach with an open hand.”
Pretty! I love those colors. Not in need of another hobby, so I will just admire yours.
Wow, really pretty! I have seen some people do this technique to paint rocks with old nail polish. They then hide the rocks for people to find for fun. I thinking finding something that is creative and you enjoy is very important. I hope you can refresh and refuel:)
I have been playing around with pours. I like the Dutch pour technique the best. Dirty pours always seem to be too muddy for me.
Cool! Very atmospheric. Remind me of aerial shots of deltas or the Monterey Bay, where I live.
Restaurant supply houses are good for the little cups and stir sticks. Besides using a blow dryer for spreading the paint, a straw is good for finer control, especially since they come in so many widths. (Blow painting is an actual “art” technique. See online.) Also, my artist daughter tells me supplies are probably on sale since it is back to school time. And, should you need it, I discovered there is a level (beam and bubble)on my phone (iPhone)behind the compass feature in the extras. I use it when hanging pictures.
As to the artistic talent of a snail? You must know some very gifted snails, because the art you share, besides your writing, all seems quite talented to me.
Those look like fun and are very pretty. Never heard of the technique, but then I have even less artistic talent in general, though I did like doing macrame once upon a time. Thanks for sharing!
So pretty! Loved the colors!!
We started doing acrylic pour painting last year and it’s such an easy and soothing hobby (except for mixing all the tiny paint cups OMG). The internet is full of tips and styles (we do “dirty pours”, flip cup style). I’ve seen examples using cake spatulas, blowing through straws, and pouring through colanders to create different effects. Endless creativity.
I wonder what would happen if one did this onto canvas, but then (after a long long drying period) cut the canvas out and attached it to the back of a denim jacket or a bag or something similar. I love attaching nice-looking things to clothing.
Would you have to use a canvas? Maybe heavy material?
Love your color choices! ?
I have found wire wrap Trees, lol
And Video games.
That looks like a LOT of fun! A chance to play with colors in a completely abstract way.
They came out great!
Patricia Schlorke says
Cool! I crochet afghans when it’s not over 100 degrees. Some I give to friends and family, some I keep. I use variegated yarn which creates not only a really cool pattern, but also a one of a kind blanket. There are times I will knit an afghan when I find yarn that would “look” good knitted.
A long time ago I got asked by someone if I sell afghans after seeing an afghan I made on a trip. I told the person no, and that I make them as a hobby. I saw the disappointment on her face.
Who knew snails were creative! They look great.
Yes! I love to watch the dirty pour videos with strainers, etc. So beautiful and mesmerizing to watch and, best of all, not that expensive to do. I did small pours with Christmas tree ornaments last year for my older three grandkids, they each get an ornament every year. Much fun to be had. Yogurt containers make great free mixing containers.
Ashleigh Kuhns says
YouTube has all sorts of acrylic paint videos. My favorite is when they later all the colors in one cup and pour it all in the center of the canvas. The artist I watch also tilts it to make sure it covers the entire canvas. The cells always turn out beautiful.
Try a pour with Dr. Martin’s dyes
Never heard of this before but the results are beautiful.
The colors are gorgeous! You did a great job, no matter what you think about having no talent! Good advice about the hobby ?
Lynn M says
I play with yarn colors as well but crochet. My current favorite pattern has dragonflies done as null space.
It’s amazing how different one afghan can look from another just by playing with yarn color.
Watch out, it is addicting and soon your clothes, hair, wall, floor, cat, dog, light switch, chair, hair dryer, heat gun, garbage can etc. will have paint on them. LOL
I especially like the one on the left. I think we tried something similar in art class once, long, long ago. Was interesting, but not really my thing. Which is good, because I need another hobby like I need my knees to face backwards, but I can’t help but want to try ALL OF THE THINGS.
I have this dream of a well-organized craft room, but any attempt at that quickly crash lands in “OH! I haven’t done this in a while!” and then eight hours later, it’s two in the morning, I’m elbow-deep in sawdust and clockwork and paint and glue and beetle carapaces and lord only knows what else, and my craft room is less organized than when I began.
ALL THE PRETTY COLORS! ZOMG! is an affliction I have as well. It took lots of fountain pen ink, yarn, make up, and pens (dear lord all the pens) to figure this out. Now that I know about it however, I’m much better at telling myself that I don’t actually need ALL the colors. 😀
“…because I have artistic talent of a snail,…” — I think you should rethink that feeling about yourself, they look really really nice. ?
The last one reminds me of a dragon pushing against an ice wall or something like that.
They are beautiful, great job. FYI, for anyone who does Acrylic Pours or any kind of painting for that matter. A video on how to safely dispose of your dirty painting water that does not hurt the environment. https://youtu.be/FBOux7J9Uvs
Thanks for sharing!
Sarah Gibbs says
Have you tried alcohol inks yet?
I’d caution against the cheap acyrlics, especially white, does not flow as well.
Love the pictures. I think being creative for fun is a good idea ?. The last week I have been helping my daughter with her idea for Halloween, she wants to be Mothra and is sewing a cape.
Have fun with the paints!
You can purchase a large pan that normally goes under water heaters to catch the run off. Saves on paper and plastic and hoses clean easily. My husband also says that they have big drip pans that are intended to go under cars that would save on time and effort when trying to protect floors and furniture.
Tim McCanna says
My ex did this too, I don’t know what acrylics or mix, but what I do know is that you can get different shaped canvases (cavasi? ?) such as ovals and circles…I’m actually thinking of doing it for wall pieces in my place…
Steve Lucas says
You have much more talent than me. Even my stick men look ridiculous. 🙂 Those are pretty, looks like you found a new hobby?
I had never heard of this. Thank you for sharing your creations and the video. I think what you made is beautiful!! Not only do I love all the colors, but I get to use my imagination identifying different things I see within the picture, i.e. a dragon in the picture on the right. I can see several different things in each picture, and I can just enjoy the pretty colors as well!
I have absolutely no artistic talent at all!! This is disappointing because my father is very talented in many artistic endeavors. He is also ambidextrous, and is equally talented with each hand!! I wish I had a fraction of his talent with one hand! He has an amazing singing voice (I am tone deaf), does exquisite calligraphy, stained glass, painting, drawings, carving, furniture building, murals, making jewelry, and well… pretty much most things you can think of. He can learn about something new (like your acrylic pour is new to me), and he instantly is able to produce something beautiful!! He is VERY right brain dominant, while I am exactly the opposite being very left brain dominant. I would love to have just a tiny smidge of his artistic talent. All of his artistic endeavors are just for pleasure, but he always has people asking if he will do something for them on commission when they see some of his creations. He usually agrees to make for them whatever it is they requested, but won’t accept any money or commission in return. He is just happy to be able to create and give someone something they will enjoy. I think he is disappointed that I don’t have ANY artistic talent. He has tried working with me, but everything turns out an utter mess! He finally came to realize that I am a complete failure artistically, and has stopped trying to find any artistic endeavors I might succeed in. ?
Seeing this video really makes me want to try it, but I would probably end up with the canvas looking like regurgitated roadkill, and with paint all over the walls, ceiling, and floor!! My dad told me that I should judge what I create by how I like it, rather than how other people react to it. The problem is, even I don’t find anything appealing about anything I have made. I also tried knitting and crocheting (taught by my mom), but managed to screw that up as well. Sigh! Two artistically talented parents, an artistically talented sister, and then there is me. ??♀️ The lone member of the family with no artistic talent at all. Oh well, I can appreciate and admire all the lovely things they create, and I just mouth the words when singing in church so as not to hurt the ears of anyone nearby. Of course my dad and sister are the two lead soloists in our church choir!
I sometimes think I must be adopted. ??
Gail G says
Unlike others in my family, I’m not an artist or a musician. But I decided long ago that I am an audience. Any artistic endeavor—from making a home, baking bread, listening to music, to painting, etc—needs someone to enjoy it. Or learn from it. Or wonder at it. I put books on shelves. My father came and moved them around, left some negative, breathing space, added some pottery or photographs and, voila! a lovely and peaceful scene. I admired…and piled the leftover books somewhere else. Some people put lovely platters of food together with thought and care. I bring the plates and silverware, thank you.
? Sounds exactly like me Gail!! I LOVE your comment about every artistic endeavor needing someone to enjoy it, etc., and your identification of yourself as the audience!! I never thought of looking at it that way, and I really like it!! I am audience also, and now thanks to you Gail, I have that positive way to view it! ?
Sue G says
Love the one on the top right! I watched that video, too. The woman was really funny. What’s with the blowtorch??? I know nothing about acrylic pours but it does look like messy fun. Good for you for trying something new!!
Jo S says
I haven’t done acrylic pours, but I know when working with resin a mini blowtorch is used to get rid of bubbles. I assume it was used for the same purpose here.
This is one I want to try. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anUxUZQVJ40
Thanks for sharing this, I’d never heard of this technique and its stunning…you get to see so many things the longer you look…what a great way to unwind and then you have these great pictures to keep afterwards. Again thanks for this…I feel the urge to have a go now x
I saw the one on the left and thought, oh, she has painted a Hiru
Oh wow, those look awesome. Not that you asked, but the first one looks like those floating mountains in China.
Google says Guilin. https://www.google.com/search?q=guilin+china&client=safari&hl=en-us&prmd=imnv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjpr7DJ_oDkAhXQK80KHdQfBzcQ_AUoAXoECBAQAQ&biw=414&bih=719
And the second looks like that Scream painting.
Suzann Schmid says
I love the colors! You are talented and just too harsh on yourself. Enjoy! Everyone something fun to destress.
I do acrylic pour too! Its really relaxing. Sadly, I have over 100 painting and have threatened my friends and family that they are getting them for Christmas.
Gloria Burroughs says
Thanks for the idea. I really need a new artistic outlet.
Thank you! I’m a teacher and mom always looking for new, creative ideas! This is fantastic — one reason why I love reading your blog is that I never ever know what I will find, it’s always new and different and frequently a source of inspiration!
Cheers and keep on pouring!