Introduction: Fluid Art
This colorful Instructable is about how to do Fluid art using various techniques. Its really cool way to play with colors even though you are an amateur or you don't like paint in conventional method using a brush or any hand tool. Just pour the colors together and be curious to know what you get as result.
Little theory about fluid art, this technique is also known as Pouring theory or art therapy. It soothes your mind, when the color gets to flow in different direction, its relaxes you. Beauty part is when you do same technique with different colors you get a different outcome, even slight changes in pattern will be there like human finger prints, looks same but everything will be unique in its own way.
Let the fun begin
Step 1: Supplies
1) Canvas Board (6"x 6") - 6 Nos
you can also use wood, acrylic or even coasters.
2) Fluid art acrylic colours - As per your choice
I have taken White, Red, black, yellow, Neon yellow, Neon green, Neon Pink and Neon Orange
3) Pouring medium
Recommended brands are Brustro, Liquitex
4) Paper cups (150 ml , 75 ml size)
5) Hand gloves
6) Apron to cover your dress as acrylic colour will stain your fabric, or wear old clothes while performing this art
7) Weighing machine (not mandatory) for beginners
Step 2: Make Mess But on Plastic Sheet
Spread news paper on your desk and cover it will plastic sheet, plastic sheet are enough and once dried, you can peel off your earlier poured acrylic or even resin. But my plastic sheet was not big enough so, i added newspaper below. since this is 6 inch x 6 inch canvas board, so one paper cup will be enough to hold it in air. Set up all the six canvas board with sufficient distance between them.
Step 3: Make It Fluid
There is difference between acrylic colour and fluid acrylic colours, for fluid art obviously you need fluid acrylic colours as they will have better flow rate, in order to make it more smooth flow, pouring medium is added. Clearly see your fluid color instruction. Certain acrylic fluid (brand) doesn't require pouring medium, they are thin and flow is smooth, adding pouring medium to it will spoil your paint as it be like water paint consistency.
So its important to know whether your brand requires it or not, then if it requires what is the ratio. for eg., my acrylic colour required pouring medium, their ratio where 2:1 for paint and pouring medium.
After combining, you should have consistency that paint shouldn't drip like water nor like honey, somewhere in the middle. Consistency of fluid acrylic is the key to achieve best flow.
Step 4: Prime Your Canvas
Priming up your surface means, you are gonna make your surface ready for art therapy, it will really help allowing to flow the paint in the direction you want. Usually surface will be primed with white acrylic paint, you can choose your preferred color blue ,red, even pink totally your choice. If you wanna do professionally then you can use professional primer available in market. apply on the surface and leave it for 24 hours.
Step 5: Smash Technique
Trust me, this is one of the lazy as well cool technique, all you have to do is pour your colours on a cardboard enough to fill your canvas board. Take your primed canvas board and SMASH it. 3rd image is what left in cardboard after removing canvas board.
Step 6: Your First Technique
Even i didn't expect beautiful 3D branch results in pink colour, cool orange rose at the right top corner. It happened when i tried to pull it up. That's the beauty of this technique, you can create something without even seeing it.
Step 7: Dirty Cup Mixing
Add your first colour (red) and in side, touching the ends of cup add another colour (yellow)
Tip: Connecting cup and pouring in the wall of the cup helps in reduction of bubble creation, Bubbles are enemy of your art here. As they will be intact and blows up before drying and creates a dent.
Step 8: Dirty Pour Technique
Take your final colour and place the cup ulta on the canvas board, let it lie for few seconds, take it the colour will take the course when you start tilting it
Step 9: Rotate
Rotate directions in such a way that it covers the entire canvas board.
Tip to remember: Whatever colour your pouring first in your cup will be your canvas centre colour.
In this i added first red and too combination is 60% red & 40% yellow , so red is dominating. Remember to put your dark colour less than your light colours,
its should have been 70% yellow and 30% red, i might even have got orange out of it.
Step 10: Tree Ring Technique
Do you know how this technique got this name, when pour on board, it will be similar to tree's ring. In this i have taken yellow as first colour, then pink, black, red and white.
Prep your canvas board with white paint, now hold your paper cup like a beaker and start pouring by rotating in circular motion. This is the reason why paper cup is preferred over plastic cup, to get a sharp beaker like position.
Step 11: Tilting Is an Art
Once you have created your tree ring on the canvas board. now start tilting your canvas, Beautiful rings will spread out, Don't force everything to one corner as it will shrunk the ring, spread it nice and easy. I loved the outcome of this.
Step 12: Dutch Pour Technique
Dutch pour technique is more like blow other people minds by blowing your painting. Here i'm not gonna mix colours in cup, you'll be adding colours directly on the primed canvas board.
Pour a colour at your center, well mine is not exactly at centre though Neon pink, above it add another colour yellow followed by red, neon yellow and black
Step 13: Repeat It
Again start with pink and repeat the pattern once more add white as finishing. Once finished start blow your painting either directly or using straw for concentrated point flow or can use hair dryer. But this is small canvas board, you don't want your board to fly off. so direct blow will be good enough.
See white has mixed with other colours and gave new colours which i didn't use like grey (white + black), orange (yellow + red).
Fluid art is all about experimenting
Step 14: Dirty Cup 2
I wanted to used only neon colours in this art, so i used neon of pink, green, orange and yellow. This time primed the surface with black colours as all these colours are bright.
Made the cup upside down and pulled up and started rotating in opposite directions
Step 15: Ugh Aww
While rotating only i understand that i committed a big mistake, do you know what ? there was no enough paint , so it was not running smooth when it was suppose to cover remaining two ends of the board. There also no mixture left, so that's it, it was not moving.
Always do a little calculation before pouring whether it enough, to cover the canvas board size, you can adjust by adding second time, it may not be the same as you started first
Step 16: Scrap It Off
One more thing about fluid art, if you don't like it or for practicing purpose you can use the same board again and again. Here is immediately scraped off my neon dirty cup and it was new as before.
Step 17: Tree Ring 2
Now again let's see about my favorite technique, this time with bright neon colors. Pour colours as shown in first tree ring technique, start swirling around the canvas board.
See the difference between, 3rd image and 4th image , initally green is not visible, but when start titling you'll get to see the details of the colours added
Step 18: Left, Right, Left and Right
Again starting tilting your canvas board and let the bright neon follow to fulfill their destiny. It side way image 2 looks like undiscovered planet in galaxy.
To my bad luck, there is some particle in the painting which rolled away as the paint did, it create some kind of line in painting
Step 19: Dutch Pour 2
Add green on your primed surface followed by orange, yellow, red, neon yellow.
Step 20: Repeat and Blow
Repeat the pattern and blow using straw in out ward direction in all direction by rotating the canvas board. as green was added first, canvas has green in centre and covered with other colours on top of it.
It gave quite sunrise theme but in that case green colour is standing out.
Step 21: Wait for 24 Hours
Generally acrylic paints are quick in drying, but fluid art requires 24 hours drying time to dry completely.
Step 22: Yayy!! They Are Dry
These photos where taken after drying, check out each photo for their textures and pattern created.
Step 23: Keep Your Art Work Safe
Even though you are making it for fun or for your own use, protect your artwork by adding layer of varnish or resin. For protection given by resin i have shown in separate instructable
General method is apply a coating of varnish to give a glossy finish and wipe off any dust settlement after it.
Line up your work, read your varnish spray instruction and follow the same, my instruction to keep it at a distance of 25-30 cms away from the work to give a even spread. Also if your using spray, cover your nose and mouth.
See image 4, how glossy it is after varnish coating
Step 24: Thank You
Add double sided tape and arrange them as home decor as per your desire. You can even add wooden frames to make professional look.
Always separate two dark colours by a light colour to avoid your painting to turn muddy.
Never stop experimenting with colours, adding white overall increases the picture brightness.
Colour combination is very important for fluid art, Don't mix two dark colours together as their is more chance they end up muddy (undesirable colour outcome) never hesitate to add white if it happens so, it will change the overall outcome
Hope you had fun reading this, do try these techniques and post pics
Let me know your suggestions and thoughts in comment section.
Runner Up in the
2 years ago
*Just wanted to add, different techniques require different consistency in the paints.
*"Open Cup Pours" are fun, too.
*And if Liquitex isn't really in your budget, another great alternative is Floetrol and/or Elmer's Glue-All.
2 years ago
Very nice. I did something a bit the same with two pieces of glass, with the ink poured on one, then the second laid on top. This way you can see the paint moving in the space between the glass. Removing the top piece changes the pattern again. I took photos of the results as transferring from the glass to paper/card etc. is possible, but was not my aim.
Reply 2 years ago
Sounds like beautiful idea. Would like to see it 🙂
2 years ago
Thank u very much ☺️
2 years ago
Very fun and colorful! I like the smash one :)
Reply 2 years ago
Thank you, I like tree ring 1 😃