My daughter Little C and I have been watching fluid art videos for the past few months, and this past week we finally decided to try this popular art trend for ourselves. In the middle of our first fluid painting my first thought was, “Wow this is beautiful!!” and my second thought was, “I can’t believe we created something that looks so professional!” I knew this was something I definitely had to share with our readers, so today we are going to share a step by step fluid art tutorial for beginners.
We are in no way experts at fluid art, but that’s okay because we aren’t looking for perfection when we experiment. There are several different techniques when it comes to fluid art and a few different products you can use. We decided to try a technique called, “dirty pour,” which just means layering all your paint into a cup and then flipping it over onto your canvas. This technique was by far Little C’s favorite to watch on YouTube.
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- Acrylic paints
- Floetrol Additive
- Treadmill Belt Lubricant – 100% Silicone
- Stretched Canvases
- Small plastic disposable cups
- Disposable plastic spoons
- Wax paper, or another material to catch all the paint drips
- Small craft sticks for stirring
- Painter’s Pyramid Stands or a metal cooling rack
- Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finish
- Gather your materials.
- Prepare your workspace. We usually use a large cookie pan and cover it with parchment paper, or wax paper. You will want to have something spread out to catch all the dripping paint that comes off the edges of the canvas. This tends to get pretty messy, but clean up is easy if you lay something down to catch the drips.
- Pick which color paints you want to use. For the painting pictured in this post, we used cobalt blue, sky blue, Inca gold, pearl white, and spring green.
- Measure out two tablespoons of each paint color into separate small plastic cups. We like using 2 oz mini plastic solor cups the size of shot glasses (2 oz). If you are in the United States, you can find these small cups at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, or here on Amazon.
- After measuring out two tablespoons of paint in each cup, it’s time to add your Floetrol to thin out your paints. We used one tablespoon of floetrol in each cup. So that’s 2 TBS of acrylic paint and 1 TBS of Floetrol. You can find Floetrol at your local hardware store, paint store, or on Amazon. Floetrol is a paint conditioner usually used to help with the apperance of brush and roller marks when painting your walls, and other surfaces.
- Use craft sticks to mix the Floetrol and paint together. Then add two small drops of treadmill silicone to each paint cup, and give the paint another quick stir. We’ve found 100% silicone treadmill lubricant on Walmart.com, and on Amazon. You can find the exact silicone we use through our link provided in the list of materials.
- Pour a little bit of each color into a larger plastic cup in random layers until you have layered all of your paint into the larger cup.
- Place your canvas on top of your cup and carefully flip the whole thing over so that your cup is upside down on top of your canvas.
- Wait a few minutes for the paint to slide down to the canvas before lifting the cup. We like to take a dance party break to keep my daughter occupied and away from the paint cup!
- Carefully lift your cup and reveal the beautiful paint! Slowly tilt your canvas side to side until your whole canvas is covered in paint. You might need to gently touch the sides of the canvas, or the corners to help the paint cover all the white spots, so I would recommend wearing disposable gloves. Once your entire canvas is covered in paint, you can gently tilt your canvas side to side to stretch or shrink certain areas of paint until you are satisfied with the final results.
- Place your finished canvas on top of a bakers cooling rack, or painters pyramids to raise the canvas up so that it doesn’t stick to anything as it dries. Make sure your canvas stays completely flat throughout the drying process.
- Once your painting is completely dry, seal it with a protective product such as Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Protective Finish. You can read more about protective finishes by clicking here to head over to Acrylicpouring.com. This is my favorite go to site for all of my fluid art questions!
You don’t have to be an expert to have fun experimenting with new techniques. It’s all about having fun, exploring new materials, and thinking outside the box. Fluid art is very addicting, once you try it for yourself you will be itching to create more beautiful paintings. My daughter and I were so inspired by this technique that we’ve created five paintings in the past seven days. I hope that we have inspired you to give fluid art a try sometime soon! Have fun creating, and if you decide to try this we’d love for you to tag us on Facebook, or Instagram @Createlaughlearn so that we can oh and ah over your amazing creations!