Acrylic Pouring – the dirty pour

Date: March 9, 2020
Author: Raini Armstrong

Acrylic pouring has become so popular that you have probably seen a version of it in every member's gallery, big or small. There are almost twenty different pouring techniques, many that are similar enough they could and probably should be grouped together. I am not an expert by any means, I hope to share a bit of information, and after the demonstration offered by Beverly Schmuckle, I can impart at least a little of that information.

Beverly demonstrated the 'dirty pour' technique of the Acrylic Pouring method. With the aid of two volunteers, she was able to provide examples of three versions of the similarly grouped techniques involved in the dirty pour. A dirty pour refers to the process of pre-mixing individual colors, layering them together in a vessel, and then the pouring of these colors onto a surface. Dirty pours are considered the most common acrylic pour methods.

Many tools and techniques can be used to then vary the results of this type of pour. Beverly first demonstrated the flip-cup technique to apply paint to the canvas and then she demonstrated the string pull technique. Raini volunteered to show a pattern pour technique. Nancy volunteered to illustrate the use of a tool during the pour - a sieve that would create a design as the paint transferred through it.

Beverly shared that many available sources on the internet that demonstrate and teach Acrylic Pouring. She urged the group to visit YouTube and become more familiar with the acrylic pour method but also urged everyone to be safe when watching and following these online sources. One particular technique that Beverly does not recommend is the fire method - lighting the acrylic paint on fire during a pour - this is a highly dangerous method without proper precaution and safety gear in place. She also does not recommend using bookbinding glue during the process of any pour because the adhesive remains tacky for a long time.

Beverly creates beautiful scenes with her acrylic pours. Her interest seems to be in the search for how a pour can somehow signify a known scene or animal, with as few alterations as possible. Some artists revel in, and accentuate, the odd and morphing qualities of their pours, preferring the naturally abstract nature of the finished product. Others use the poured result purely as a backdrop to their object of interest, adding more detail paint to represent their primary focus. And then others, like Beverly, exercise their powers of imagination by studying the result of their dried pour and searching for a scene that speaks to them. She will go into her pour and add small amounts of paint to accentuate a landscape or creature, drawing the viewer's attention to the finished product.  

The demonstration given by Beverly Schmuckle was very informative. She offered a printed walk-through to help those interested in repeating the processes, and she brought in a number of examples of her own acrylic pours.