As I explained to my students, I don’t have a great appreciation for modern art.  A lot of the time I just really don’t get it.  But I do have an appreciation for expressive art – art that tells a story, makes you feel something, shares someone’s unique view of the world.

I have had my eye on acrylic pour painting for a while and thought this would be a great medium for the students to explore expressive art.

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We started by talking about how color and lines can convey different moods or feelings.  For example, red may make you feel excited while blue can make you feel cold or calm.  We looked at how different styles of lines can impart different feelings too – jagged lines can make you feel stressed, wavy ones calm and irregular ones can make you feel uncomfortable.

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I then had all of the students write their names on a piece of paper and a feeling or mood on the back side.  This was for their information only.  I encouraged them to express that feeling with their art work.

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The Steps

Our experimentation with acrylic pouring involved these steps:

First, I mixed up a solution of 1 part acrylic paint (really any cheap paint is fine) and 3 parts pouring medium.  I added a few drops of water so it had the consistency of heavy cream.  For every one cup of this mix, I added 3 drops of silicone.  I wanted to keep the palette limited, so I mixed up a few ocean colors and one color of a transparent gold acrylic to have the effect of sand.  Just for fun, I mixed up a small container of red.

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Here are links to the products I used on Amazon:

I also mixed a container of white paint that did not have any silicone added to it!

Second, pour the colored mixtures on a surface.

Add the white paint and gently swipe the white across the surface of the colored paint.

Watch the cells appear!  The less you swipe the better (you will have bigger cells) but the students had a hard time not wanting to play in the liquid paint.

Add marks with a palette knife and lastly you can set the top layer and bring up more cells by using a blow torch (don’t worry parents, the students skipped this part).

Here is a video with a more detailed looked at the process:

Here is some more of the work.  Can you find yours?

Since I had extra paint, my family made a group painting during Thanksgiving.

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