Updated: Oct 4, 2022
By. Kayla Acevedo
Beginners Guide, Pouring Medium, How-to
So one of the most common questions I get when it comes to how I do my fluid art paintings is…
“What do you use to make the paints flow like that?”
Or some variation of that question…And the answer to that always is a good pouring medium.
But, then almost always the next question after that is… “What the hell is a pouring medium!?” And to answer that question once and for all, I decided to write this blog on the “Beginners Guide to Pouring Medium”
In this guide I will give you my measurements, pictures, and tools that I use to make my pouring medium come out perfect EVERYTIME. Also I will give you a wide array of options you can use as a pouring medium, because it really should not be an extravagant task to pour some paint!
Lastly, my goal for this article is to give beginners a non-intimidating resource on how they can cheaply get started on making fluid art. When I first started pouring paints I bought one of those kits that you can buy from Micheals or Arteza where the the paints are pre mixed and ready to pour. I am not shitting on those! They are great for first-timers who have never experimented with fluid paints. HOWEVER, buying those every time will cost you way more money over time opposed to making a small investment in making your own pouring medium. You will have way more freedom and versatility if you make your own pouring medium especially if you plan on making fluid art paintings on a larger scale.
This is what I use to make my pouring medium based off of my research and experience. I am no fluid art expert (I don’t think there is anyone who is an expert in this) but, I think this is a helpful tool to someone who is starting out and wants to know what I do to achieve my results.
Pouring Medium Ingredients
All of these ingredients will have links to them where you can go and buy them if you wish.
Non-Essential Ingredients (but highly reccomended)
Optional (If you want to get fancy)
When it comes to doing Fluid Art, or any art that requires a lot of materials, it is important to measure out your materials.
Because you don’t want to waste $$
Having proper measurements are not only going to help guarantee that you get consistent results, but they will ensure that you are not wasting additional product if you don’t have to. This is super important when it comes to the pouring medium because this is what helps you get the right consistency for your paints.
With that out of the way, the way you choose to measure your materials are up to you. I am going to just keep it simple and use a 1 quart container that is measured in fluid ounces. But another way I have seen people out their measure the materials is using a scale. Just be sure wheat ever form of measurement you decide to use you stick with it, throughout the process.
For a basic pouring medium with nothing fancy used. You can simply just use water. Keep in mind that water will thin out your paints drastically so use it sparingly.
I would add a little bit as I go just a few drops really. And add more up until you get the desired consistency.
I like adding water to get that splatter effect. It really helps thin out the paints quickly and makes it light enough where you can get different shapes easily by splattering it.
-4 oz of paint
-1 oz of water
Floetrol/ Glue Recipe
When I use Floetrol and glue I almost always do a 1:1 recipe, however, if you want to add any of the additional (optional) ingredients I suggested then leave room to add that.
After I add in the 1:1 Floetrol and glue then I add in the additional optional ingredients like the GAC 800, Polymer Gloss Medium & Varnish. I add this at my discretion and don't have specific amount that I put into my recipe. You can watch my videos for a reference and make a decision for yourself if that is the consistency you are looking for. This recipe will give you a consistency similar to nectar.
So no matter how big or little you want your batch to be I always do one part glue all to one part floetrol.
Floetrol (12 oz)
Glue All (24 0z)
Gac 800 (About 1 oz)
Polymer Gloss Medium & Varnish
(About 1 oz)
Side Note: I did not add silicone oil to this batch, but before you mix, that would be the time to add the silicone oil. For this batch I would have probably put two full drops from the dropper that it comes with. Silicone oil is great for creating the cells that you see in fluid art but be aware to not put too much, because I have had oily paintings after they dry. Use this to your desecration depending on the effect you are trying to achieve. Don't forget to experiment with different ratios that suit your needs!
Overall, making your pouring medium does not have to be a complicated process. You can follow what I use to make my pouring medium, or you can take certain steps or products away/replace them. The overall goal of this process, is to get your paints to be a certain consistency so they will be easier to work with and pour. I think what has helped my pours exponentially for the style that I hope to achieve, is adding the floetrol and glue. Those two alone have gotten my paints to be very workable for how I want to manipulate them. So, with all of that being said, just experiment, see what you like and go from there. Good Luck!
About The Author
Kayla Acevedo otherwise known as @SanctuarySketches on various social media platforms, is a Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist that resides in Middletown, New York. She uses various mediums to create her art work such as Acrylic paint, , Epoxy Resin, and Digital art. Acevedo started painting with acrylics as a form of therapeutic relief in the year of 2016, but didn’t start publicly showing her art until 2020.