fluid painting

Fluid Painting – Your Complete Guide for All Fluid Art Techniques

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You always wanted to be creative and create your own artwork or painting, but you are afraid to make the effort? Or you are not really talented in classical painting or drawing? You also love surprises and the unpredictable? Then Fluid Painting could be just the right thing for you! What exactly this is and how it works, you will learn on this info website.



What is Fluid Painting?

Fluid Painting, the art of “liquid painting”, is as simple as it is fascinating: instead of working with classical tools, the artist applies the colors in a liquid state to the canvas. In doing so, he uses cups, squeeze-falses, pipettes or disposable syringes. The result is not only impressive, but above all one thing: quite unpredictable. This is what makes Fluid Painting so fascinating.
With this simple technique, even beginners can create beautiful works of art and you don’t need any artistic talent in the true sense of the word. Nevertheless, there are some things you should keep in mind. This information page about Fluid Painting will help you to be well prepared for your first own artwork.

There are three different Fluid Painting techniques: Acrylic Pouring, Resin Art and the Alcohol Ink technique:


Acrylic Pouring Technique​

This technique, also known as Pour Painting, means painting with liquid acrylic colors. However, the paint used must not be too liquid either. In addition, it should of course retain its luminosity. To achieve this, you dilute it in a certain ratio with a so-called pouring medium. In addition, this technique uses silicone oil to create fascinating cells.

The choice of the Pouring Medium used in Acrylic Pouring is primarily a question of personal taste and must be tried out quite simply. One type of pourer can cope with pouring mediums that do not produce the desired results in the other. Test different media and follow your personal preference. There are countless professional and alternative pouring media on the market.

fluid painting

Water for dilution should, in contrast to the classical acrylic painting, only be used to a small extent, because the color film can tear when drying and the colors can lose some of their intensity. The pigments of the paint are only insufficiently bound together by water. With the help of the pouring medium, however, not only are the flow properties of the ink positively influenced, but the ink also retains its luminosity and no cracks occur during drying.

The perfect mixing ratio is above all one thing: a matter of practice. Beginners can first mix ink and medium in a cup in a ratio of 1:1 and then approach the perfect consistency step by step. If the paint is not too liquid and flows sluggishly, like liquid honey, the ratio is correct.
 After mixing, the paint is applied to the canvas. Usually cups are used for this.
 Then the artist makes sure that the different shades of color flow into each other. For this purpose he moves the canvas and tilts it in different directions.


Spectacular Cell Formation

The special thing about this painting technique is the cell formation. Each mixed shade has its own density. This causes the colors to displace each other and cell patterns of different sizes are created when they meet. These are unpredictable and give each finished work of art its own fascination. To support the cell formation, you can add a little silicone oil to the colors and blow-dry them after application.

The result is phenomenal in any case and the design is very simple. The material and cost expenditure is also kept within limits.

acrylic fluid painting

The Materials for Acrylic Pouring

To get started, you should get all the materials you need. Running back and forth in the middle of it all because you’ve remembered that you want to torch the already spreading paint with the Torch is not much fun. Here is an overview of the most important materials for the acrylic flow technique:

  • Canvas or wood painting ground
  • Acrylic paintings
  • Pouring Medium
  • Silicone oil
  • mixing cup
  • Wooden spatula
  • Distilled water squeeze bottles
  • Torch or Hot air gun
  • Rubber gloves
  • Kitchen towel

Protect your workplace, if you do not have your own studio, with protective foil or thick newspaper. Ventilate the room well. Now you can start!


The most important Pouring Techniques

There are many different techniques for fluid painting with acrylic paints. Depending on which one you choose, completely different works of art are created. And each of them has its own special fascination. Here are the most important techniques briefly explained:


Flip Cup

For this technique you pour the colors on top of each other or one after the other into a cup. Optionally, you can add a few drops of silicone oil to the individual colors for better cell formation. Then you turn this layered cup over and pour the whole thing onto the painting ground at once. For simplicity, you can also place the painting ground on the cup and then turn them over together. Then lift the cup carefully and the paint will pour over your canvas. You can control the flow of paint by tilting the canvas.

fluid acrylic painting

Puddle pour

With Puddle Pour you do not pour the colors onto the painting ground at the same time, but one after the other and above all into each other. This creates, as the name suggests, a kind of puddle in the middle of the canvas. Then you let the colors glide over the painting according to your taste. If you have mixed silicone oil into the colors, fascinating cell effects are created.


Dirty Pour

Similar to the Flip Cup, the colors are put into a cup where they are layered on top of each other. The colors are stirred briefly, but never until they are completely mixed. You don’t turn the cup completely upside down like with the Flip Cup and thus pour the paint completely onto the painting ground, but slowly and carefully. In doing so the cup empties itself bit by bit.


Swirl Pour

Here you also mix the colors in a cup to pour them out with even and ring-shaped movements in the middle of the canvas. This creates exciting circular shapes. Since these are reminiscent of tree rings, this technique is also called Tree Ring Pour. A steady hand is indispensable. This method has something meditative about it and you should definitely take your time for it.



The Swipe technique is suitable for conjuring great cell effects, just like the Puddle Pour. First you bring your color-mixtures on the canvas as you like. At one end of the canvas you then spread white (or another color with lower density) in a line. This color is then carefully drawn across the canvas with the help of a wet kitchen paper, squeegee or painting knife. The great thing about this method is the fluid movement you can create. Usually silicone oil is used for the Swipe, because the most important thing besides the flowing look is the cell formation.

Air Swipe / Dutch Pour

With the Air Swipe the colors are spread over the canvas with the help of a hairdryer or a straw. The colors can be applied as FlipCup or Puddle Pour on the painting ground. A negative color (usually white or black) is then distributed around the upside-down cup. Afterwards the cup is moved slowly over the canvas and at the same time lifted gradually so that the colors can flow out. Finally, the colors are blown over the canvas with a hairdryer or straw – creating breathtaking patterns.



Resin Art Techniques​

Resin is also known as Epoxy Resin. The whole is a two-component system where resin and hardener are mixed. It is only through this mixture that the material can harden and become a solid plastic with a high-gloss, clear surface.


The Versatility of Epoxy Resin

The great advantage of Epoxy Resin is that it is extremely versatile. The material is quite robust and easy to clean. If it is mixed with color pigments or metallic pigments, you can create breathtaking works of art with an unmistakable brilliance and depth. Besides beautiful paintings, resin can also be used to create great unique pieces of art such as decorative pieces of all kinds, furniture such as Epoxy River Tables, pieces from Epoxy and wood or beautiful resin jewelry. Another application in resin art is the production of exciting Petri Dishes and sparkling geodes. But resin is not only used in art – it is also widely used in industry, handcraft, model making and boat building. Last but not least, epoxy resin can also be used to produce very modern and noble floor coverings.

fluid painting resin


Basics and Materials of Resin Art

For the Resin Art Technique you need different materials and equipment. What you need depends on what exactly you want to create. Making an epoxy table has a completely different starting point than making a painting. If you want to cast petri dishes or castings in general, you will need additional moulds made of silicone.

For resin artwork you need the following materials and equipment:

  • Resin or epoxy resin
  • Color pigments in liquid or powder form
  • Wood painting grounds
  • Mixing cup and spatula for stirring
  • Spatula or painting knife
  • Bunsen burner or hot air dryer
  • Isopropyl alcohol, silicone oil or Resi-Blast
  • Spirit level and household paper
  • masking tape and protective film
  • Nitrile gloves, safety goggles, breathing protection
how to do fluid art painting

You shouldn’t use canvases for the resin art. Canvases are not strong enough and too thin for the rather heavy resin and make sure that the resin would collect and sag in the middle. You should also not use a painting surface that could absorb the resin. The best choice is a painting ground made of wood. Of course it should be primed.

As colors you should only use suitable pigments for resin. With this technique it is also very important to protect your workplace and yourself. Because in a liquid state the material is relatively poisonous and therefore dangerous to health. When hardened, however, resin is completely harmless and most brands are even food safe.



Alcohol Ink Technique​

Like Acrylic Pouring, this technique originates from the Americas and is now becoming increasingly popular in Europe as well. The advantage of this method is that the alcohol contained in the colors evaporates very quickly, but new alcohol can be added again and again. Thus the applied colors can be changed again and again.


Basics and Materials for Working with Alcohol Ink

The materials needed for the Alcohol Ink technique are the following:

  • Alcohol Inks
  • Blending solution or isopropyl alcohol
  • Yupo paper or Stone Paper
  • Spray bottles
  • Drinking straws or borehole blowers
  • Hair dryer with cold setting
  • Permanent marker
  • Universal varnish
  • Rubber gloves and breathing protection

The Blending Solution is a specially developed solution for this technique, which allows you to use exciting color gradients and brightening. It is not a must, but it makes your artwork even more unique.

Yupo paper was also developed for this painting technique. It has a particularly smooth surface and is waterproof. These properties are very important for painting with alcohol colors. An alternative, especially for beginners, is the Stone Paper, which is produced ecologically and is cheaper. Another cheap alternative are ceramic tiles as painting ground. After your work of art has dried, you can add some details to it with the help of the permanent markers. This gives your painting an even stronger expressiveness.

fluid painting alcohol ink

If you use a hair dryer with cold setting as an aid, you can also create beautiful color gradients. You can also use a drill hole blower for this. For the beginning, however, a straw will also do. With spray bottles you can let off a little more steam. Remember to wear a breathing mask when using them!


The use of alcohol ink and blending solution

First you apply a few drops of Blending Solution or Isopropyl alcohol 99.9% on your painting ground. Now drip the alcohol ink onto it – just as you like. Try yourself and see how the result will look like. You can also apply the alcohol ink without Blending Solution directly onto the painting surface. Use several different colors and carefully place drops next to drops. These first spread out in a circle. If they touch each other, they run into each other, displace each other and always set new color accents. If you have used several colors, you can also apply some of the Blending Solution or alcohol again. This forms a colorless circle which displaces the ink. Continue until your artwork is complete.

This exciting painting technique lives from trying out. Without trying out, neither works of art nor new techniques are created. With our detailed instructions for the Alcohol Ink technique you can learn the basics of this fascinating art and give your creativity free rein. You will be amazed what incredible works of art you can create!


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