Acrylic Flow Experiment: Take 3



Oh my goodness!  If you have been following the past 2 days, you know that I have been experimenting with acrylic flow painting and the possible pour mediums that can be used.  On Day 1 I used a 50/50 blend of Mod Podge/paint plus a little water.  It was obviously to thick because I ended up with pieces that looks more rocky terrain than beautiful flow.


Day 2 I changed the ratio by blending Mod Podge first with water (2/3 MP-1/3water).  This “base” was then blended 2/3paint – 1/3base.  Again I did my pours and was thrilled with the results!!  Only problem that I encountered was “crazing” in most of the pieces.  Was this caused by the fact that I used a heat gun over the surface to coax “cells” to the surface??  Did I burn the paint?  Did the Mod Podge dry quickly?  Personally I thought the “crazing”  was kind of a cool effect


That brings us to day 3. Armed with thoughts and suggestions from my very knowledgeable network of friends and art teachers I decided to change my base mix to use a product called “Floetrol”, a paint additive designed specifically for smoothing brushstrokes.  Once again I “researched” various base mixes and ratios. I decided to go with the following recipe: 50% Floetrol + 25% water + 25% paint.  The mix sounded awfully thin to me, but given the fact that my first 2 experiments were probably too thick I jumped in with both feet, mixed up a batch of 6 colors, and headed outside.


Anxious to start I grabbed a cup and started layering the colors.  White, blue, green, and  then a squirt of silicone.


I continued with 2 more sets of layers, then cut into the layers with a plastic knife (remember not to stir/mix the colors, just cut into them).  Time for the flip….and breath holding…and a small prayer (PLEASE let this work!)  WAHOOOOOO!!


Oh my goodness, from the get go Cell’s were forming in multiples! Time for tilting and spreading the paint. I let it sit for a minute or two while I ran to grab a straw (remember no heat gun today), then began to tilt. The mix  moved a lot faster than in previous experiments. That either means that the mix is TOO thin or I finally have the right balance of paint to base ( only time will tell).  Either way the cells were popping, creating amazing results!


Holy Cannoli!!! That is gorgeous!  I jumped to grab another canvas and repeated the process, layering paints in a different order.  Cut, flip, pull the cup….WOW!


Oh my goodness this is fun! Magical unicorn fun!!  I grabbed a third…IMG_0440

Ok it works on canvas.  I wondered what would happen on wood. I have a huge stash of materials in my studio, so I grabbed 2 long skinny trays that I picked up “ just because”.  Finally something to do with them!

I layered the paints and silicone just as before. This time I decided to pour the paint rather than flip, mainly because of how long the trays were.  I poured and held my breath…WOWSER! I think this is my favorite so far ( yes I know I’ve said that before).  The cells began popping out. I gently blew on them with a straw and it brought more to the surface. I quickly learned how much force was needed since too much air created muddied areas rather than beauty.


While working on the first tray I glanced at the canvases and noticed areas where the canvas seemed to resist the paint! That’s what I get for using bargain canvases from Ross.  Or perhaps the paint mix was too thin and it all ran off? Either way I used the plastic knife to scoop up paint from the tablecover and drizzle it over the “naked” areas. It seemed to do the trick, but I won’t actually know until the canvases dry.


My table was soon filled and all of the paint mixes had been used. I let everything sit outside in the sun hoping it would accelerate the drying process. One issue with drying outside? Tiny flying creatures thought the paintings were beautiful too. In some cases they ventured in a bit too close and (well) gave their all to art 😂.  Thankfully I was able to remove any “inclusions” from the paint with a toothpick, barely disturbing the surface.


Next day notes:

  1. All of the pieces have had a day to dry inside.  The canvases look like they are dry, but step away from the desire to touch or you may add some “lovely” fingerprints to the center of your artwork (trust me, I have done the testing for you)!  Thankfully I only tested 1 (I’m a quick learner).
  2. The edges that appeared to resist the paint have now blended in with the painted areas and have taken on the appearance of softer cells.  While not perfect, not as bad as they could have been.
  3. The wood pieces will take much longer for the paint to cure than the canvases.  Obviously the canvas allowed the paint to run off and thin while on the tray the paint leveled out, being held in by the sides.  Given the fingerprint lesson I think I will allow the 2 wood trays to cure for a week before touching…carefully.


I hope you have enjoyed the past 3 days.  Come visit again.  Tomorrow I plan to take some of the canvases from the first day (my rocky terrain pieces) and soften them with Creative PaperClay embellishments.  Check them out at

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