Paint Pour

Paint Pour workshop

On 15 July 2020 Emma Morrissey will be running a Paint Pour workshop for us. It will be messy so I thought I would have a go and pass on any useful tips that I can.

A ‘sensible’ basic kit is as follows:

  • A plastic table cloth or similar (to protect the table)
  • A tray or other low sided container covered in paper and/or plastic(this needs to be big enough to fit your canvas with room to spare
  • Canvas, board or whatever surface you want to paint onto
  • Acrylic paints
  • Containers for mixing paints
  • Something to stir the paint with e.g. wooden paddles
  • Latex gloves
  • Glue
  • Optional other items such as string, strainers etc for creating patterns
  • So, first let’s get all the items we need (the glue is missing from the photo and I show more colours than I actually used):


    You will see later how incredibly different the pictures can be when using exactly the same colours! The paint colours I used were:

  • Cerulean blue
  • Primary yellow
  • Titanium white
  • Primary magenta
  • Now it’s time to mix the paint. As a rough guide, if you measure your canvas in centimeters and do this sum, you will get a good guide to how many millilitres of paint you need to cover the canvas:

    (length x width x 1.5) / 10

    At this stage put each colour you want to use into separate containers and mix with the glue.

    The proportions of paint to glue is trial and error but I used approximately 5ml paint to 30ml glue to get a good, runny consistency.

    Here my paints are mixed and ready to be used. Note the addition of a larger glass container, some strips of string and a second canvas.


      My First Picture – Very Colourful!

    First I poured my white paint onto the canvas and moved the canvas from side to side until the whole surface was covered. I then immediately poured each of the other colours in turn onto the canvas in random places and with random designs. I then tilted the canvas from side to side until the whole surface was covered and then dragged a piece of string across it in places. It now has to be left to dry. Here’s the result:


      My Second Picture – Much More Subdued Colouring

    For this picture I mixed up the same colours again and poured them into my larger glass container in this order: white, magenta, yellow, blue. I then placed the canvas on top of the glass container and flipped it over. I decided to move the glass around the canvas a bit to see what happened and then moved it to the centre of the canvas and lifted the glass away. Once the whole canvas was covered with paint I dipped a piece of string in some of the cerulean blue paint and dragged it across the canvas in a few places. This is the result:


      My Third Picture – Using Mountboard

    What I learned from this was that mountboard is too flexible and the end result was a rather curved surface. I did raise the card off the work surface so the paint ran off much better. I made the paint more runny by adding a little water and the end result was much more successful. Air bubbles are a bit of a problem but that was because I was working quickly and did not let the bubbles work their way out of the paint. I believe a blowtorch is a good tool to use to disperse bubbles but fortunately for the fire brigade I have not got one!


      Top Tips
  • Have a paint brush handy to touch up places where the paint doesn’t easily reach (especially the sides of the canvas)
  • Make sure the table and tray is very well covered
  • Insert pins into the corners of the underside of canvas to lift it off the table
  • a stiff surface works best
  • Wear gloves
  • Make the paint mixture very runny and make enough of it
  • Be prepared to leave the pictures for 2 weeks to fully set
  • Have a place to dispose of unused paint
  • Experiment and have fun!