Acrylic Pouring Art is getting more and more popular every day. And if you want to give it a try, you need to get an Acrylic Pouring Medium! To find out what are the other materials that you need to do a pour, check out this post - Acrylic Paint Pouring Supplies – Essentials and Fancy Add-ons.
There are few Pouring Mediums to choose from, and the most popular ones are Floetrol Flood, Liquitex Pouring Medium, and Golden Gac-800. What is the difference between the three and which one to choose?
In this article, I'm going to give you the information about each medium, and to show you the difference most visually, I'm going to create 3 different paintings using each medium in the same technique & colors, so you can see the difference in both application an final results.
Experiment: for this small comparative experiment, I'm going to use three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and white along with each acrylic poring medium. Normally, I wouldn't use this color combination in a pouring technique, because it's too contrasty, but today, I wanted to see how each color retains its clarity, combines with white, as well as creates secondary colors (orange, purple, green) intermixing with the other two.
Without further ado, let's get right into the comparison!
Floetrol by Flood is not technically an acrylic pouring medium. It's a paint additive designed to reduce brush marks and to improve the flow and performance of the paint. Initially, it was and still is used for exterior and interior painting, and not for art painting.
I don't know who came up with the idea of using this additive as a pouring medium, but I'm sending my love and gratitude to this person because Floetrol Flood WORKS JUST AMAZING.
• this additive is almost 4 times cheaper (!) than a professional product. The average price is around $7 per 32 fl oz (946 ml), and Amazon is the cheapest place to buy it - check it out here. This price makes it perfect for all the pouring medium beginners because you don't need to worry about wasting expensive fancy product on your experiment, trials, and fails.
• it performs almost as good as any professional pouring medium. You can achieve pretty much all the effects including paint flow, color transitions, and cells.
• it is super easy to clean - all you need is some soap and water.
• it dries matte, making colors look a little dull. Which is why varnishing is a must.
• sometimes Floetrol liquid has small particles in a mixture that are pretty noticeable when the painting is dry. BUT you can eliminate this problem with a simple use of pantyhose stretched over the top of the Floetrol bottle. It might not be perfect, but it's still great for practicing.
Liquitex Acrylic Pouring Medium
Liquitex Pouring Medium is a professional and the most popular acrylic pouring medium on the market. This artist grade fluid medium is incorporating an acrylic polymer with high resin solids and designed especially for pouring technique.
Why would you want to use this medium instead of Floetrol? Well, think of it as of Student and Artist Grade - Floetrol is good for practicing and experimenting, but you wouldn't get the same results as with Liquitex Pouring Medium.
• the dry painting has a beautiful gloss almost a resin-like finish. And this is my favorite thing about this pouring medium. And you don't have to varnish the finished painting if you don't want to.
• colors retain bright and saturated.
• this pouring medium is flexible when dry and it doesn't craze.
• it's not as affordable as Floetrol - average price is $26 per 32 fl oz (946 ml) - what a difference compared to $7? 🙁
• hard to clean once dry, which is why make sure to put gloves on when working with this medium.
Golden Gac-800 Medium
Golden Gac-800 is another professional grade acrylic pouring medium. In a nutshell, it has the same properties and works almost the same way as a Liquitex medium, but it's even more expensive (just like most Golden Products). The price of this one is $32+ per 32 fl oz.
It also has a glossy resin-like finish.
I don't see the point of paying extra just for a brand, which is why I normally don't buy this medium. But for today's experiment, I couldn't pass by this product, because it's still pretty popular and takes a safe place on the market.
Now to experiment!
Watch this video to see all these three mediums in action:
You have seen each acrylic pouring medium during the application. All the paintings look so different even though I used the same colors in the same proportion with the same technique. But this is the beauty of Pouring Art and Flow Art in general - each painting is absolutely unique and one of a kind! Plus, we see that different mediums act completely different.
Paintings are dry now - let's compare results!
Well, overall I very impressed with Floetrol! Even though it wasn't the first time I've used it, and I know how great it works, I still didn't expect much in this experiment comparing to Liquitex and Golden.
By all means, Floetrol did great:
1. Colors are nice and saturated. This painting is the brightest out of three.
2. Primaries retained their clarity + I've got some nice secondary colors.
3. Lots and lots of cells.
4. No air bubbles retained.
The only downside for me personally is that the surface of the dried painting is matte (or maybe matte-satin, and I like it glossy) and it's still not perfectly smooth, especially compared to Liquitex painting (even though I've poured my Floetrol through the pantyhose).
I'm pretty happy with this Liquitex painting too. It definitely looks and acts completely different than Floetrol, but also has some benefits.
1. Colors are saturated (even though I've got lot's of white on top).
2. Got some secondaries as well.
3. The average amount of cells, but It's compensated by the beautiful color transitions, which Floetrol didn't have.
4. No air bubbles retained as well.
5. Beautiful, even, glossy, resin-like finish! I'm just in love with it.
This pour painting is probably not my favorite in terms of its design, but it showed me everything I wanted to see, and I'm happy with the results! I love the cells and appearance of Floetrol painting and the finish of Liquitex one.
Now to Golden Gac 800. I'm quite disappointed overall. Especially considering the price.
1. This medium is much more liquid than the other 2. Which is why paints intermixed right in a cup, creating all kinds of shades of gray. Definitely, this is not the best medium for flip-cup technique. Although, I think it would work very well for pouring nice even puddles.
2. Colors are dim. Some secondaries have appeared, but also dull.
3. LOTS of air bubbles. I let the mixtures sit for 1 hour before I did the pour (and normally I'm not so patient - 30 min max!) and I still had so many. And they dried creating small holes in the paint.
4. The dried painting is glossy (a little less glossy than Liquitex).
5. Color transitions are nice, I really liked that part actually. Little to no cells.
• If you are an acrylic pouring beginner or an intermediate that is looking to practice and to experiment, there is nothing better and cheaper that Floetrol. Besides, you can achieve some incredible result with it! You can get more information or order this product here.
And if you will like it (which I'm sure you will) you can save even more by buying it in a 1-gallon size - Flood Paint Conditioner, 1-Gallon. This is the size that I buy it in - 1 full gallon of goodness! Really, you can't go wrong with it. And don't forget about the pantyhose over the top of the bottle. 🙂
• Once you are feeling more confident about different techniques and getting along with your flow art, give Liquitex a try. You will love how smooth and shiny your painting will look! Although this product is expensive, I do believe that it definitely worth a try, especially if you know what you are doing and ready to create paintings for gift/sale/presentation. Click here to get more info and to read the reviews about this pouring medium.
By the way, this product is also available in 1-gallon size, which also helps to save a couple $$ (when I buy this medium, I usually get 1-gallon and just refill the smaller size bottle for the ease of use).
Pour, Pour, Pour
Well, that was a long article and lots of info! But I hope now you have a much better idea about acrylic pouring medium in general and about there three bad boys in particular. Now time to practice and do lots of pourrrrrrs! 🙂 Check out some really awesome tips that I've learned during my pouring experiments here - Acrylic Pour Painting – Tips and Tricks You Need to Know.
If you have any more questions, please leave me a comment below. And if you would like to find out about other acrylic paint mediums, click here.