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

Experimenting with Acrylic Flow and Mod Podge: Part 2

Untitled design (1)

Let the Acrylic Flow experiments continue!  The results from my first experiment yielded “interesting” results, but not at all what I was wanting in terms of flow and the gorgeous POP of cells.


For my second experiment I reworked the base ratio of Mod Podge to paint to water.  In the first experiment I went with a 50/50 ratio of MP to acrylic paint and then thinned it to what I thought was a good flow consistency.  Sadly the paint was too thick and I ended up with rocky terrain paintings rather than the gorgeous flow that I wanted.  I headed back to YouTube to research “recipes” and consulted with my knowledgeable friends.  Then I decided upon the formula: 2/3 Mod Podge to 1/3 water (mix thoroughly) for the pouring base.  2/3 paint to 1/3 base + 3 drops of silicone (mix thoroughly).  Additional water can be added if needed to create the “perfect” flow.  Armed with this formula I once again gathered my cups and set to work mixing paint!

I decided to use neons for this batch.  Of course purple is in the mix (big surprise, right guys?).  My blue was created from 3 different paints (Apple Barrel, Folk Art, and a shimmery one that I can remember the brand) since there wasn’t enough of any one of them to mix.  I also made 2 cups of white this time and left out the black (it seemed to muddy the colors in my first experiment).  NOTE: Clear plastic cups allow you to see if all of the components have been mixed together.  Time to paint!!  YIPPEE

I began layering the colors in a new cup (see experiment one for photos if needed).  White went in first, then purple, then pink.  a small squirt of silicone (sorry there is no exact measurement for a “squirt”).  3 more paints followed by another squirt and then finally 3 more layers of paint (alternating colors as you go) and a final squirt of silicone.  I used a plastic knife to “cut” into the paint mix…please note DO NOT MIX or STIR!  Simply cut through the paint layers 2-3 times and then set the knife aside (I scraped the excess off on the side of the cup).  Time to do the flip: Place the canvas on top of the cup, hold both components and FLIP!  Let the cup rest for a minute or 2.  This allows the paint layers to flow down.  When you can no longer wait to see….(drum roll) lift the cup (OOOOOOO…AAAAAAAAAA)

The colors were amazing!  And right away I begna to see the magical cells forming.  WooHoo!!  Tilting the canvas up and down, side to side, corner to corner and the paint filled the canvas surface stretching the color and cells at the same time.  I was mezmerized by the freeform nature of the technique…and could hardly wait to try a second one.

Before I moved onto a new one I pulled out the heat gun and ran it over the surface, tempting out any hidden cells.  NOTE:  I learned after the fact that using a heat gun may actually bake the surface, forming a film.  I also learned that it can “burn” the paint.  A better choice for coaxing out the hidden cells is to blow lightly over the surface using a straw.

Next up, using the colander.  As I said before, I watched a lot of YouTube videos with various techniques and tools.  One that caught my eye involved pouring the paint into a colander and lifting.  The paint flows through the holes in the colander and forms a chrysanthemum looking design.  Not sure if I did it correctly, but mine DID NOT come out that way (ooops).

I poured the paint into the colander, waited a moment for it to flow through, and then lifted to reveal…..mush.

Hmmmm, not what I was expecting.  I think more experimentation with the colander might be beneficial, but not right now.  Back to the gorgeous pour for the next canvas…

I found a 2pk of inexpensive journals at Ross and decided to pick them up along with some more canvases.  I used painters tape to shield the pages from the pour.

Ready to pour…

Bolstered by the results on the first, I decided to do the second one.  It turned out even prettier than the first!  The yellow and pink paints blended nicely together and formed an orange that didn’t come through on any of the otehr pieces.

By now the sun was hot and I was running out of things to paint.  I decided to use all of the leftover paint and pour the paint onto the canvases rather than lifting the cup.  I filled the cup with layers just as before, set my last 2 canvases on the table and began to pour…

The results were just as beautiful as the other.  Cells began to form once the canvases were tilted and the paint spread.  this process yielded one of my favorites of the day!IMG_0426

Of course as I said before all of the pieces I painted on this day had the heat gun applied over the surface.  I noticed the next day that many of the pieces had a crackled look to them…kind of cool (I think), but not what I thought was going to happen.  So I turned it over to my panel of experts and here are their takes:

  1. It’s called “crazing” and it happens when your pouring medium is too thick.  Good to know…I guess the pour that I thought was thin enough wasn’t.  Note to self: make sure it pours off the spoon in a thin stream
  2.  It was suggested that the heat gun dried the Mod Podge too quickly and lead to crazing.  It was also suggested that any glue-like product may add to the crazing as it dries.
  3. OR some white paints craze when heated.  It was suggested to use a kitchen torch instead of a heat gun.  38472430_842294499491777_48135390703386624_nMy heat gun is now safely tucked away, but this is still my favorite from the day.

I had multiple friends weigh in with using Floetrol as a flow medium rather than the Mod Podge.  In the fairness of experimenting, Floetrol will be in my next post.  Keep watch for the next post as well as my next Creative PaperClay blogspot ( where I plan to use one of my acrylic flow canvases as a base for a mixed media piece.

Until then, thanks for visiting.