How do you get that cool effect? Contemporary paintings are notorious for sporting a wide variety of special effects, especially when the imagery is abstract. Most of these effects, I have found, are obtained by pouring. Pouring is a simple concept. It’s a way of applying paint without using brushes, knives or other application tools. Just grab a large container of acrylic medium and pour it out onto a surface. Simple? Yes. Messy? Yes. Easy? Often, no.
Pouring is most commonly used to get a “surfboard finish”; a super glossy, brushless and smooth rich layer of color or clear coating on a painting. This is often obtained by using toxic resins. However, there are ways to get the same results with non-toxic acrylic.
In addition to the surfboard finish, pouring can offer some new and unusual special effects to your work. With pouring its easy to think of Jackson Pollock. It can be a great way to add some fun into your painting process, smooth out unwanted texture on your surface, get marbleized effects, and rich colored glazes.
Here are some basic tips from my DVD to get a flawless “surfboard finish”:
(1) Use a rigid surface to keep from buckling while drying.
(2) Use a medium that is made specifically for pouring, like Golden’s GAC800. If using other fluid mediums, such as Clear Tar Gel or Self-Leveling Gel, dilute up to 40% with water and spread thinly to avoid crevicing.
(3) Apply a stain sealer, then prime the surface before pouring to keep stains from coming through the surface into the poured medium.
(4) Pour on a surface that is level, so while it dries it won’t shift.
(5) Immediately spray with alcohol after pouring and spreading to eliminate bubbles.
(6) For deep pours apply duct tape around the edges like a wall, seal the seam with a gel, then pour as deep as you want using GAC800. This is the only medium that I know of that can be poured deeper than ¼” without crevicing.
Other techniques covered in the DVD: Smoothing out a textured surface; Deep pouring & embedding; Transparent and Opaque Colored Pours; Poured Collage Shapes; “Dirty Mix” Pours; Jackson Pollock Drizzle Pours; Marbleized Pours
For more information, I produced a 70 minute video available for sale called Secret Tricks to Pouring Acrylic, click here to purchase.