Live and Learn, Any Day Given

Acrylic pours

A few weeks ago I finally tried my hands on *drumroll* dirty pour! *badums!*  This was a year in the making.

I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I love browsing and getting ideas on what I can do; I hate it when I keep procrastinating. When I see fashion posts, mostly it’s like “wah nice”. Then there’s food posts. I am strangely addicted to videos of people eating and/or cooking. Like I really have an odd fascination with cooking videos and I get some strange satisfaction out of it. I was addicted to cake posts. You know those OTT cakes laden with edible flowers/popcorn/macaroons/chocolate sails etc? I actually tried recreating them – I made chocolate sails (which is really melted chocolate shaped to look like crumpled sail pressed into the cake). It was fun but tiring. The washing up was hell.

But artwork, oh artwork. Those are my biggest weakness. Generally I am drawn to creation posts. Mindless OOTDs don’t do it for me. I just don’t care how “on point” one’s makeup is or how “on fleek” an outfit is. So my latest craze? DIRTY POURS😍

I love painting. Doesn’t mean I’m any good. I’m sorry but I’m not used to self-promotion, especially when I’ve met many who are better than I am and a few of my closest friends are artists/designers/architects. These people have mad skills. Maybe if I were more egoistical I’d make a vlog and list out my awesomeness but I can’t. Geli much 🤢

So, dirty pours. It is so easy! All you need is a canvas, acrylic paints, floetrol, water. 

What is floetrol? Basically it’s to make the paint flow easier. I THINK. My sister got it off Amazon and I think its about US$15. The texture is a bit like PVA glue and when you mix it with your paint, it acts like white paint in that it lightens the paint colour. However, unlike white paint, too much of it dilutes your paint and makes it too runny/transparent when dry. You will see that later on. There are stains all over because there is no way you could keep your hands clean while trying to guide the flow of the paint.

This was my very first pour and I loved how it dried. It actually dried rather glossy (I don’t know how I did it!) but…. when moving it, the newspaper underneath flapped onto the canvas and there’s now an oddly shaped hole in the bottom right corner 😭😭😭😭😭

The thing about acrylic paint is that it dries matte. There is the glossy range but since I’m still in my trial and error stage with painting, I go for more economically priced paints. You will see a comparison later on.

Oh, and you need lots of newspapers/cloths or anything you can find to cover your work area unless you want paint stains on your carpet *wails* I don’t read newspapers so I usually head to Chinatown and get these free weekly papers *yay*

This was my second pour. I wanted a dark blue and gold but it’s more black than blue with no gold in sight. At this stage I was still unsure about the qualities of floetrol and how it’d blend. Also, I was a tad lazy and squeezed the gold paint into the cups so it came up in lumps instead. So don’t be lazy like that! This too, unfortunately, suffered the wrath of the newspaper. If you look closely you could see there’s a hint of pink peeking out from the centre – yes, this was a recycled canvas too. I know, I have too many failed paintings🙈 but! I already have an idea on how to save this *fkngers crossed*🤞

These two are the before and after, my third pour. The top was taken during the day, under natural lighting when it was just poured, looking all glossy; and the bottom was taken at night when it’s dried – rather dull. This is what I mean about acrylic paint. It doesn’t have the gloss of oil paints. But oil paints is a whole other level for me. It is very beautiful in the sense that the paint dries the same, it doesn’t lose its gloss but its so messy. I bought some oil paints last year so .. that is a skill I’m hoping to pick up soon. Okay soon-ish.

These two were my fourth and final pours. They were poured onto used canvases/failed paintings. From the bottom one, you can see a bit of purple peeking out from the original painting. This is what happens when there’s too much floetrol/water and not enough paint. And also the original painting was simply too thick💆🏻‍♀️ But I really do like the colour combination and how it turned out.

For me it’s really a trial and error on how much floetrol/water to use. I tend to use more paint, drops of water and floetrol sparingly. My sister had a disastrous try because her colours blended together when dry, so she didn’t get those fine lines. And also, she said never ever dry with a hairdryer because it would cause the paint to crack. Best to leave it to dry naturally, but be prepared for dust/hair etc to settle on the wet paint. I’m lucky I didn’t get any.  I think this is really a summertime project because it takes aaaaages to dry.

Anyways, I hope anyone who is keen find this somewhat useful! It is super fun and the results are always so unexpected😊

p/s: and the paint I used was Liquitex Basics that sells for about $11 for 118ml. I’ve tried Reeves acrylics which is a lot cheaper so it’s good for those starting out and I think it’s just as good. I’m only a hobbyist so I tend to go for the cheapest as I practice✌️

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