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  • Writer's pictureDiane M Kellogg

The Art of Pouring

by Margaret Riley

Curious about the art of pouring? Have you seen it on the internet? I finally played with this art technique and enjoyed doing it. I did the easy way and used three different techniques. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will educate you to allow you to decide what way you want to use in a fun-type of creation.

I saw my first pouring at a national painting convention by Plaid. How easy was this!!! They had the medium already in the paint. All you had to do was layer the paint in a cup and pour it onto your chosen surface with some movement to create a “run-together” design. OR you could just squeeze the 2-ounce bottle of Marbling paint onto a flat surface and tip/roll/move the surface to move the paint around. Easy-peasy!

(The flower on the left is done with Plaid’s Marbling and the one on the right is done with DecoArt’s Americana and their Pouring Medium).

Next, I saw the pouring done at a painting convention in Las Vegas by DecoArt. You can use your own acrylic paint and just add a medium to it. Directions are clearly stated on the pouring medium bottle how to do the mixing or you can watch a video on YouTube. They were demonstrating on various surfaces: figurines, canvas, cups, and more. Very educational!

Lastly, I had someone tell me that you could use a white glue in place of a pouring medium. I searched the internet and couldn’t find a tutorial on it. This was where my creativity kicked in. I purchased Elmer’s Multi-Purpose Glue (it is thicker than generic). I mixed one-part glue with two parts acrylic paint (the brand is up to you). With each color, I layered them into a larger disposable plastic cup. I poured this onto a flower pot and a canvas.

I brushed some glitter over the canvas once it was dry (takes overnight) as well as the flower pot done with the glue/paint. Stunning! On the canvas, you could paint some flowers in one corner over this pour when it is totally dry. I added a cut-out of a retro RV that I painted to coordinate with colors in our motor home. Any dimensional items added would be stunning on the poured background: old buttons, seashells, wood flat miniatures painted, and more. Be creative!

That tells you about the paints. To get started, you’ll need a large aluminum disposable pan, such as a turkey roasting pan. You might want to cover your surface with plastic or old newspapers to protect your surface. You’ll need cups to layer your paint in, popsicle/craft sticks for stirring if you use a pouring medium, disposable cups that will hold your project up off the pan, your project piece to be “re-purposed”, paper towels, and disposable gloves (and dress for mess!). Figure out which company’s products will be best suited for you. Follow the directions on the bottles or find a demo on YouTube or the company’s website.

When you are finished, DecoArt has a Pouring Sealer that gives your surface a very high gloss finish. Mind you…if you live in an area that has high humidity, it will take a long time to totally dry. And you’ll want to wait until the paint pouring is totally dry before applying the sealer. You can use a non-yellowing varnish on your surface. With this type of varnish, you can use choose a matte or gloss finish. I put the project up on cups to keep the bottom from sticking to my surface while drying.

I will share with you that I bought the flower pots from Oriental Trading (ordered them on-line). They are glazed on the inside and are non-glazed on the outside making them porous for paint to adhere nicely.

This is a great project for kids (and seniors, too)! Can’t wait to show the grandchildren how to do it! We’ll do it out under a shade tree on a picnic table. Be a good time to have homemade ice cream after the project, don’t you think?

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