Acrylic Pouring

PVA Liquitex Winsor & Newton PVA PVA Floetrol Floetrol PVA

A couple of months ago I accidentally stumbled upon the art technique while searching for something totally unrelated. I love how a little random finding can plant a seed that grows into something beautiful. Well, going back to YouTube … I was hooked. I must have watched hundreds and hundreds of videos. Different techniques, different mediums, doing it on a budget. You get the idea. I had to give it a try! So off I set, staff discount card in one hand, purse in the other and went shopping. I was quite disappointed I couldn’t get everything I needed, as I wanted desperately to try it that day, but with good old Amazon Prime the remainder was here the following day.

This is so simple that I promise you anyone can do it. If you’re going to let your child have a go please ensure you add the oil. The only other thing I can warn you about is the mess. You may want to wear gloves and protect your work area but above everything if you and your children are going to spend an arty day together I would recommend a plastic dustsheet. This tutorial is for those on a budget, for those who want to try with their children, or who want to try it before splashing out on the more professional products.

Please note, for the sake of this post white is my main colour. Wherever I state white , simply replace with the colour you have chosen to be your main. So far I have in my paintings either used white or black.

Equipment (budget):

Acrylic paints (B&M, £5.99 for 18pack or £1.49 each for large individual tubes) of varying colours and white (main colour)

Canvas (B&M, £3.99 for 4pack 20×20)

PVA Glue (B&M, £2.49 for 1L) – this is the pouring medium

Disposable cups (B&M, £1.99 for 20cups)

Silicone/Dimethicone – I use WD40 Silicone (not your regular WD40) but you can also use treadmill oil or coconut Milk Anti Breakage Serum. Yes, what you use on your hair!

Stirrers – I use lollipop sticks

Water

Heat gun or chef’s torch (optional)

Disposable gloves (optional)

Polythene dustsheet (B&M, £2.99 for 3pack)

Plenty of drying space

Method:

  • Cover your workspace with plastic sheeting. You could also, for minimum mess, use an old baking tray or an underbed storage box.
  • On the underside of the canvas, put a push pin in each of the corners. This is just to elevate the canvas slightly while it is drying.
  • Prepare your paints. You will need one cup for every colour you want, plus one extra. The ratio is one part paint to one part PVA. Add about a tablespoon dollop of paint and then add the same amount of PVA glue. Combine well. Now you want this to have the consistency of runny honey (that continuous trickle as you pour it off the spoon) so add a few drops of water and stir well. Keep adding the water until it is the correct consistency and has no lumps. For the white paint you will want to double the quantity, still retaining the 1:1 mix ratio. Then mix a drop of the serum or treadmill oil, or a short sharp spray of the WD40 into each cup except the white and gently stir to incorporate it. The purpose of the silicone is to create cells. This is when the top paint layer separates to allow the colours underneath to show through.
  • In an empty cup pour a substantial amount of the white paint. And now the rest is up to you. Pour a little of each colour into the cup you just added the white to. You can put them in any order, use a little for one layer and more for the next. You could add more white. You can pour from up high or pour from cup to cup. Just play around. Keep layering until you’re happy with the amount. Depending on the size of the canvas you are using you may not need to fill the cup. On a 20cmx20cm canvas I have found that just over half a cup is sufficient. End the cup with white. You could leave it like this or you could give it a quick, gentle swirl.
  • This is probably the hardest step … flipping the cup. It would be so easy to flip it upside down quickly on to the canvas. I haven’t risked that. Knowing me it would end up horizontal, or splashed up my wall. So think turning out a cake. That’s how I flip the cup. Place the canvas, right side down, on top of the cup. While holding the cup flush with the canvas quickly invert it. The cup should now be upside down on the canvas. There may be a little leakage but that’s nothing to be worried about. Place on the workspace and leave it for about thirty seconds. You could give it a tap but I prefer gravity to do its thing.
  • Remove the cup. Be prepared for the paint puddle and inevitable mess that will follow.
  • Gently tip the canvas so that the canvas, or the majority of it, is covered. Do not tip quickly or at a great angle as you may run the risk of losing any cells that have formed. Be aware that paint will run over the sides.
  • If there are any blank corners you could tip any remaining paint on to them. Feel free to give a gentle tip to incorporate. If you want the edges completely covered (it is more aesthetically pleasing) dab any of the runoff paint into the gaps using your fingers, a brush or a palette knife.
  • OPTIONAL:  this is the time where you would use a heat gun or chef’s torch should you wish to. This serves two purposes i) to pop air bubbles and ii) to encourage cell formation. Once you have heated the painting there is no going back. Quickly flash the heat across the canvas in side to side motion. Do not keep the heat source still. Any cells will appear instantly, and you will have little to no control over them.
  • Put the canvas down where you can safely leave it for at least 24 hours and walk away. As a heads up the canvas you put down may not look anything like that the following day.

I am very new to this myself and as yet have not produced any large cells. I have tried various pouring mediums and so far I am preferring the results I get with Floetrol. As you scroll over each of the images the caption will show which pouring medium I used.

I hope you try your hand at acrylic pouring and my step by step tutorial was easy to follow.

Look forward to sharing my art journey with you

 

Review: Dr Botanicals Eye Serum

I have recently become a Dr Botanicals product reviewer and so was thrilled when my first package arrived … Pomegranate Superfood Brightening Eye Serum. Being a night shift worker I hoped this little bottle was the answer to my prayers. Finally something to shift, or help to shift, my dark, tired looking eyes.

Dr Botanicals state all of their products are vegan, made totally from natural ingredients and are not tested on animals. However they do not have the Leaping Bunny logo. The active ingredients are pomegranate (full of antioxidants) and Vitamin E containing raspberry seed oil.

I’ve had this product for just over a month now. I wanted to allow the time to give it a fair review. It came packaged beautifully along with a kraft card full of info and a money off voucher. The serum is to be used on the eye area morning and night. I found it quite oily, even after massaging it well. I would recommend leaving it to soak into your skin for at least 15 minutes before attempting to apply makeup. Of course this is not an issue before bed.

After a month of using this I can say there is a very slight improvement to my dark under eye area. But I can happily say the skin round my eyes has never felt so soft! Overall, it’s a good little product for soft skin.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free after becoming a Dr Botanicals product reviewer. The only cost to me was the postage. In return I was to leave an honest review with Feefo. I have shared my honest opinions. I did not feel obliged to leave positive feedback, nor did I need to write a blog post.

Attitude is Everything – My Story

June 2010, aged 38. I knew what the diagnosis was before I even walked in to the waiting room. What I wasn’t prepared for was the whirlwind that would follow. That is honestly the only way I can describe it. With my faith 100% in the amazing medical team I had, I allowed myself to get fully caught up in that wind. And emotionally, I was steadfast and positive. Always positive. With those in place, I flicked the autopilot switch.

My medical team decided on surgery, 6 months chemotherapy (and a blood transfusion), 15 doses of radiotherapy, 2 years of monthly Goserelin injections into my stomach and 10 years of Tamoxifen. In all this I was diagnosed with lymphoedema. It’s only slight but noticeable all the same. I decided on prophylactic surgery as I sadly lost my mother to breast cancer when she was only 40. I had to do all I could possibly do to not allow history to repeat itself. My children needed me.

I don’t really know how to express it, and maybe it’s some sort of internal defence mechanism but I block (for want of a better word) anything negative or detrimental to me. I really did feel like I was on autopilot. It was all very surreal. I couldn’t allow myself to sit and think because then I might dwell, and dwelling would only bring doubt. I know it was hard for my family to watch me go through it. I know how scared my children were. I know how desperately sad my sister became. But I was in my own little bubble, doing what needed to be done without a second thought. In my bubble trying to ensure everyone was happy. In my bubble with 3 “lifesavers” – Darren Hayes, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Square Enix. I will be eternally grateful to these for helping me to get through in one piece. Just curious, aside from family, what has got you through your darkest days?

And then came the day when I got the all clear. That was the day I went home and sobbed. I could finally breathe. I could finally let go of everything that I had been keeping locked and buried deep inside. I cried some more.

Only now can I sit and think what I have actually gone through. I think of my Mom going through the same but losing her fight. I think how lucky I am. As I state in my bio, attitude is everything. I do strongly believe that. Not once did I allow negativity or depression to enter my thinking. I’ve always been an emotionally strong and positive person. I wasn’t going to let that change me. In fact I’ve come out of it more determined. There’s nothing like facing your own mortality to know what you want and to begin living your life the way you want to. Take those risks. Tick off those bucket list items. Life is far too precious and fragile to be down, to be unhappy, to worry. See the beauty and find strength in everything around you. I find the simple things now bring the most joy.

September 2017. It’s been a long time but I am finally reclaiming my femininity, learning to love the body that cancer left me with. My scars are my daily reminders of my strength and to live life to the fullest. My hair grew back naturally white after chemo. No way was that staying! It’s the inkiest blue black thanks to Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL 90 Cosmic Blue (me and my inner goth love you!). It is a journey, albeit an annoying one sometimes. Annoying in the sense of finding a beautiful, sleeved top only for my affected arm not to fit in it. Annoying in the sense of trying to find pretty, sexy, feminine bras as opposed to the hideous slingshots that apparently I should now be wearing. Oh, that’s a future blog post 😀

And on that note I shall stop with my rambling. I have never allowed myself to feel so vulnerable. I’ve shared my story in the hope that it encourages or inspires and gives hope to those who feel hopeless. You can get through it!

If there is anything you would like to see me feature or discuss on my blog please do get in touch.

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