Monday, February 15, 2016

Techniques for Painting with Watered Down Acrylic Paints

Work in process, Feb. 10, 2016.
Fluid Painting using Pooling Technique.
Acrylic on Wood, 16 x 48 inches.
Copyright 2016 Mary Gravelle.
I have had a fascination for using watered down acrylic paints for a couple of years now. With my newly created non-negotiable studio hours, I can experiment more with this technique.

I find that over the years of creating art, the media of choice, or the way I use a certain media, changes. I think it has to do with how I have evolved as a person and what areas of growth are being offered to me at any given time. Right now, it's all about flow. So, it makes perfect sense that I use a medium that allows me to investigate flow.

Does this makes sense to you as an artist? What is your current media of choice? Does it coincide with an aspect of your life? Or perhaps, for you, it's about the evolution of your art. Please share.

What about as a collector? Do you find yourself drawn to different media at different times in your collecting life? Why do you think that is?

Below are the various ways I have used watered down acrylics to date. Perhaps you would like to give one or more of these techniques a try for yourself. I'd love to hear how they work out for you.


Fluid Painting using Brushing Technique.
Transmutation, Acrylic on Paper, 36 x 52 inches.
Copyright 2016 Mary Gravelle.
Dip a large brush into the watered down acrylic and have fun with expressive brush strokes.


I lay down masking tape or different shapes such as bottle lids or paper or whatever is at hand. I paint around the object with a brush and let it dry, either removing the object beforehand or after it dries.

Fluid Painting using Masking Technique.
Glorious. Acrylic on Canvas, 16 x 20 inches.
Copyright 2016 Mary Gravelle.


I pour pools of watered down acrylic paints in strategic areas on the painting surface. I let this dry overnight. I repeat this process for as many days as the painting needs.

Fluid Painting using Pooling Technique.
Acrylic on Canvas, 36 x 48 inches.
Copyright 2016 Mary Gravelle.


Work in Process. Fluid Painting using Pouring Technique.
Acrylic on Canvas, 22 x 28 inches.
Copyright 2016
Mary Gravelle.
I pour the watered down acrylic paints in strategic areas on the painting surface, same as above. But, then I turn the substrate allowing the paint to run, drip, and collide with other colors. I then let this dry overnight. I repeat this process daily until the painting feels complete.


I use any of the above methods in combination as the painting, or I as the experimenter, deems fit.


Most times after I have experimented and had fun with the process of allowing the liquid to flow, creating random surprises along the way, I will then set the painting upright and take a brush to the painting. The painting usually suggests certain shapes that get coaxed out with the brush and paint.


So, that's my basic process of using watered down acrylics. I'm still experimenting with techniques. There are many YouTube videos demonstrating different ways to use acrylics in this way. Fluid painting is what to search for. Although, there is nothing like just experimenting with the medium as you see fit. That's what I have done. The YouTube videos I have watched use the paint in different ways than I do. So, it's up to you to create your own technique.

Are you doing your own form of fluid painting with watered down acrylic paints? Are you loving it or hating, or somewhere in-between?

Until Next Week

• Create art
• Appreciate art
• Buy art

Mary Gravelle (Mary Rae Rush)

About the author: Mary Rae Rush (Mary Gravelle) is an artist and writer who resides in Sedona, Arizona with her beloved assistant, Sir Kitty. Her art can be seen on her website.

Sir Kitty

Go to my Patreon page and get started being a fine Patron of my art. Your donations help me keep painting, experimenting, and living the dream. 
Thank You!

No comments:

Post a Comment