Monday, February 13, 2012


I haven't poured a painting in a while and just had the urge to do it again.  For those of you who haven't done it:

1.  On a dry sheet of paper that has your drawing on it, pour your masking fluid.  I use Pebeo Drawing Gum because you can thin it easily with water.  With a spray bottle of water, spritz the places you've laid down the masking fluid to spread it and make the shapes less hard-edged.

Let the dry completely before going to the next step, or

Choose your colors - just 3 primary works the best to start.  Mix a dollop of pigment in each jar or mixing container (whatever you use) and mix with water until you have a runny mix and good strong color in each jar. 

I used
Hansa Yellow Light
French Ultramarine Blue
Quinacridone Red

You can use any 3 colors but you'll get some variety in your greens and oranges and violets, dependent on your 3 primary starters.  Also, have a large bucket or other container to catch the pigment that runs over the table and that you can use when tilting the paper - have it big enough to be able to contain the paper size you want.  I'm using a full sheet so I'm using a large laundry bucket type container.

2.  Spritz your paper again with water all over - it doesn't have to be soaked but you don't want it to be dry.  Then drop in some yellow to begin and let that run all over the paper, tilting and letting it flow into the bucket.  If it's not moving enough to suit you, spritz it a bit more, adding enough pigment to get a nice strong yellow.

3.  When that's dry, you can respritz your paper and drop in blue or red next.  Me, I changed it up a little and just using an eye dropper full of the next color (red), I drizzled it on and then spritzed it with water and tilted it, letting it flow around the paper but leaving white areas.  That way I controlled the placement of the red and orange blending color.  I did the same with the blue next, using the eye dropper and drizzling and spritzing it all around.

That's all there is to it, really.  When it all dries, you remove the masking fluid and redraw any of the lines the masking fluid pulled up.  Or, if it dries too pale for you and you want more color, keep adding the colors here and there, controlling where you want them more intense and more blended.

When I got ready to walk away and let it dry, mine looked like this (sorry about the glare - the paper was still very wet).  You can leave it upright to dry and hope for the drizzles to do fun things - or put it down flat on the table and wait.

When this is completely dry, I'll go back and may add more color here and there, or remove the masking fluid and start the painting with a brush to bring out the picture.


Anonymous said...

Rhonda, I love pouring!!! You have inspired me to do some more. Have you poured any landscape work at all? If I could only find a way to pour without masking I would be a happy camper (lol).....

Unknown said...

So cool! I want to see the finished work...

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

We should work side by side - I just knew this post title was for me. I do exactly the same with acrylic inks on my shiny smooth Lana Vanguard 'paper' but sometimes miss the bucket with the verflow! Its the way I often start a painting, looking for shapes to develop. Great fun isn't it?! Thanks for sharing.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Every time you post something like this, I want to try it--looks like fun.

And I liked your loose portrait from a few days back.

RH Carpenter said...

Maggie, I haven't done landscape work but I'd say the way I spritz the Pebeo Drawing Gum might lend itself to tree branches if you did it carefully...may have to try it. I know what you mean about masking fluid, though, it does leave hard edges I never seem to be able to soften as much as I should.

WCSketching, stay tuned! I may get more done this week.

Joan, a good way to start pouring on the slick surface and you can lift right back to white so you don't need the masking fluid :)

Hallie, it is fun (although a bit messy) and loosens you up from the beginning. Try it! Thanks for the comment about the portrait - I think most thought she was pretty bad and I haven't gone back to her yet - but I might. She at least need some eyes! ha ha

RH Carpenter said...

Maggie, if you're not a purist, have your tried just using a white crayon or candle as a resist and then direct pouring with that down on the paper first? It won't come off but it might make a more ragged, organic white area than the masking fluid?

Autumn Leaves said...

That is so cool, Rhonda. I love how the primaries blended into the secondary colors in places too. I look forward to seeing how you develop this piece. I was just commenting on another blogger's post (she poured a painting too) that I couldn't remember how this was done, so thank you for the tutorial as well.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Okay now Rhonda! This means I am going to HAVE to try pouring. I have a book on pouring the under paintings for landscapes, can't remember the author (nor where I put the book!)but I am in the mood to try it. He didn't use masking fluid, as I remember, but did pour areas of bright yellows and dark blues for the shadow areas, and they always worked out well. I remember one of his from the Grand Canyon, so will try to do that one, if I can find the danged book.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Sherry - the pouring method really lets those colors glaze and blend without getting mud.

Susan, I think I'll use this as an underpainting/start and then go on the usual way with the rest. Hope you find that book :) Or ask questions, if you want to try it and need help.