Have you watched some hypnotizing pouring videos on Youtube and now also want to do this magic? Great! Then it's time for some shopping! And in this article, I'm going to cover all the acrylic paint pouring supplies that you are going to need, and then some!
I'm sure you've seen different artists using different materials, and it can get quite confusing. What is essential and what is optional?
For a start, you need the following must-haves: paint, pouring medium, surface to pour on, cups to mix paint and medium together, and disposable gloves for hand's protection. All the other additives and tool are totally optional and are only meant for certain techniques and visual effects.
But even knowing what's essential, how to choose the right paint/medium/surface? Down below, I'll give you all my best recommendation and tips so you can make a confident choice knowing exactly what you need.
Alright, my artistic friends, let's get right into things!
There is no painting without the paint. What is the best paint for pouring technique? You need to use a soft body (low viscosity) paint. The reason is that you want your paint to be quite fluid so you don't need to mix it with water or stir too much with pouring medium trying to get nice even consistency. Medium body (for example Liquitex Basics line) is also ok.
What about the quality? You should buy the best quality you can afford. Ideally, you would want to get an artist-grade fluid acrylic paint, like Liquitex Soft Body or Golden High Flow. But realistically, those paints are very expensive, and if you are reading this article, chances are that you are a beginner who doesn't want to get a loan from the bank to be able to a start pouring experimenting. No worries! Here are some affordable, yet decent quality products that a perfect for beginners and even pros looking to experiment with something new:
Acrylic Pouring Medium is absolutely essential if you want to experiment with pouring technique. This medium decreasing the viscosity of the paint helping it flow more freely without the change in the colors.
Which acrylic pouring medium to choose? Three most popular products for pouring are Floetrol Flood, Liquitex Pouring Medium and Golden Gac 800. I have a very nice and detailed article with VIDEO comparison dedicated to this subject - Acrylic Pouring Medium – 3 Most Popular Brands, check it out to get info about each of those mediums.
If you live in the country where none of those available, start out with PVA glue. But don't buy the cheapest, find a decent quality, otherwise, it will crack over time.
Painting surface, also known as a painting support, is definitely necessary for painting and pouring.
What can you pour on? Generally, you can pour on anything that is not oily and not completely glass-smooth, otherwise dry coat of paint will peel right off. Also, the surface has to be sturdy (so, for example, canvas panel wouldn't work, as a paper panel in it will bend over time).
The best surfaces for pouring are canvas and wooden panel. Good quality panels are quite expensive, so the canvas is an absolute winner and the most popular among pros and beginners. You can read a super informative article Canvas for Painting – Types and Differences to find out all you need to know about this great support. Start with smaller sizes, learn to cover the whole surface, move on to bigger pieces.
Cups, jars, craft sticks
All those handy acrylic paint pouring supplies are needed for mixing paint and medium together. Get plastic cups rather than paper, and you would be able to wash and reuse them (especially if you are using Floetrol as a medium because it's pretty easy to wash), make sure to get several sizes.
Having some containers with tight lids is also very handy - you can preserve any extra paint you've mixed for the next pour. Also, it's a very good idea to have some squeeze sauce bottles on hand - you can create some very interesting effects using those.
You don't need to buy everything brand new all the time. Use anything from around the house, whatever you would normally throw in a recycle, like cups, jars, bottles, containers - give them a second life!
And craft sticks are all you need to stir paint and medium together.
You might be surprised to see gloves in this list, but actually, gloves are must have/use. First of all, for safety reasons, for instance, it's recommended to avoid skin contact with Floetrol. Second - ease of cleaning. Keep your hands clean and your manicure will thank you if you are not going to have paint stuck to your skin and under your nails every single time.
Also, Liquitex pouring medium is super hard to clean, so if this is your choice of medium, don't even think about using it without gloves. Get yourself a package of disposable gloves, and it will last you a while.
Extra love and additional acrylic paint pouring supplies
All the supplies I've listed above are necessary for pouring. In this section, I'm going to talk about extras that are great to experiment with to achieve some interesting effects.
A torch is great for two things:
1. Cells creation. And you can truly create some amazing cells effects, directing the heat of the torch to a spot where you need it. You can "break" the boring top layer of the paint to help the bottom layer pop up creating beautiful cells. Also, the torch is a must have if you are adding silicone to your paint (read below).
2. Air Bubbles elimination. You are supposed to let you paint+medium mixtures sit for like 30 min before pouring to let the air bubbles pop, but sometimes it's not enough, and this is when the torch also comes in handy.
I don't recommend you to buy a big one. There is a variety of small and handy torches that are called culinary, chefs, craft, micro etc. I personally have this Micro Torch. It has a nice small stand and is easy and safe to use. I love using the torch and do it pretty much all the time. Also, get butane fuel for the refill.
Additives for Cells:
1. Silicone: You can get enough cells with just a pouring medium, but silicone oil is used as an additive that helps in the creation of ultimate dynamic cells. Adding just a few drops to your paint+medium mixture can make a huge difference.
It's recommended to use pure 100% silicone rather than the one in a spray. The reason is that the last one has a lot of additives that can affect the longevity of your painting, besides it's messy to use and it smells.
Note: you have to use a torch when using a silicone to encourage the oil to rise from the bottom up to the surface of the painting.
Dimethicone is used in personal lubricants and beauty products, for example, this Coconut Milk for hair. This milk is a great additive for cells and it's used by many pouring artists. It does the job because it contains dimethicone. But pure stuff works even better if you can find it.
Supplies for different techniques:
1. Straw: you would need a couple of regular straws, and all you do is blow on the paint through the straw to create some magnificent wavy effects. I don't want to talk about it here too much, because shortly I'm going to post a detailed explanation of this technique and many other ones with videos, so stay tuned!
2. Measure cup with needle nose: this one isn't used as much for measuring, but it's super handy for a technique called '"ring pour". Just get it and you'll see how awesome it is! Videos coming soon! 🙂
3. Spatula, painting knife, paper towels: this is something you would need for a "swipe" technique.
4. Funnel: another great tool for a certain dirty pour technique.
Pouring Art is not a science, and you can measure everything approximately. But sometimes when you need to know the exact proportion or recreate a certain recipe, it's nice to have those on hand.
One Last Tip
I hope this article helps, and now you know exactly what kind of acrylic paint pouring supplies you need for a start and down the art journey.
One last tip: don't buy pouring mediums in the small size - get at least 32 ounces! You have no idea how much you are going to love to pour, and you'll need a lot of product! Same applies to canvases and paints (especially black and white colors)! This type of art is super rewarding, so don't underestimate how many pours you are going to create in a first day/week/month! 🙂
That is it for today, my friends. I would love to hear from you! What are the supplies that you use the most? What would you like me to talk about that is not on this list? Let me know!