What is Fluid Art?

by Annie Saxena on Mar 09, 2023

What is Fluid Art?

The attractive, abstract trend known as "Fluid Art" has swept the art world. And we are aware of the factor that has contributed to its enormous popularity among artists. Fluid art is appealing because it is simple to practice and creates a lovely marbled appearance when paint is mixed.

It doesn't matter what you call it—fluid art, liquid art, or acrylic pouring—nothing there's more pleasurable than letting color flow wild to produce abstract works of art. Acrylic paints with a runny consistency are used in this style of abstract art to produce hallucinogenic paintings. According to the various ways acrylic paints may be combined, there are countless creative options, and there's something very fulfilling about seeing it spill across a surface.

What is Fluid Art?

The process of moving paint or other materials on a surface in such a way that the colors meld and produce organic, flowing patterns is known as fluid art, sometimes known as liquid art, or fluid abstraction. Fluid art can be created using a variety of methods, including resin art, alcohol ink art, and acrylic pouring.

Acrylic pouring is combining acrylic paint with a pouring medium and, occasionally, silicone oil before drizzling the resulting fluid onto a canvas or other surface. The artist can then adjust the angle of the surface or employ other methods to manage the paint and produce distinctive patterns and motifs.

Epoxy resin is used in resin art to provide a glossy, layered look. In order to produce a distinctive design, the artist may pour resin onto a surface and then add color pigments or other materials.

Alcohol-based inks are used to create wavy patterns and designs in alcohol ink art. With the use of objects like straws or brushes, the inks can be dropped, spilled, or otherwise manipulated.

Abstract compositions with strong, brilliant colors and textures are frequently made using fluid art techniques. It may be a very intuitive and exploratory technique that enables artists to investigate the characteristics of various materials and produce one-of-a-kind, distinctive works.

What is Fluid Art Done on?

There are many different surfaces that can be used for fluid art, including but not limited to:

Canvas: Due to its absorbency and ability to support the weight of the paint, canvas is a favorite surface for fluid art.

Wood panels: Wood panels can produce intriguing textures and patterns and can offer a stable surface for fluid creativity.

Paper: Paper can be used to learn skills or create smaller fluid art pieces.

Glass: When mixed with resin, glass can be utilized to make distinctive fluid art creations.

Ceramic or pottery surfaces can be painted using fluid art to produce individualized patterns and designs.

Furniture and home decor: With fluid art, one can make distinctive patterns and designs on trays or coasters that are utilised as furniture or house accents.

In the end, the fluid artist chooses the surface according to their preferences and the intended result. In order to ensure that the paint adheres correctly and does not fracture or warp over time, some surfaces might need extra preparation, such as priming or sealing.

What do You Need for Fluid Art?

Depending on the technique and surface being used, the materials required for fluid art might change, but the following basic supplies are frequently employed:

Acrylic paint is the most common type of paint used in fluid painting, but other paints or pigments, including alcohol inks, can be used as well.

Medium for pouring Pouring media is a liquid that is combined with paint to increase fluidity and improve flow. Liquitex Pouring Medium, Floetrol, and GAC 800 are examples of typical pouring mediums.

Surface: Fluid art can be created on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, wood panels, paper, glass, and ceramic, as was previously indicated.

Mixing cups: Mixing cups are used to combine the pouring medium and paint in the right proportions.

Stirring sticks: Use stirring sticks to fully combine the pouring medium and paint.

Gloves: To protect the hands from paint and other chemicals, gloves are used.

Drop cloths or other protective coverings: It's crucial to use a drop cloth or other protective covering to shield the work area from spills and drips.

Instruments for manipulation Artists may also employ a variety of instruments, such as palette knives, straws, pipettes, or brushes, depending on the method they are using.

After the artwork has been finished, a sealant, such as varnish or resin, can be used to give the surface protection and a glossy appearance.

Generally, the supplies needed for fluid art can be rather straightforward, and many of them can be purchased online or at art supply stores. When working with any materials, it's crucial to adhere to safety precautions. Artists should experiment with various techniques and materials to determine what suits them the best.

Is Fluid Art Difficult?

The difficulty level of fluid art can vary based on the precise approach and style that an artist is pursuing. While certain fluid art approaches can be rather straightforward and intuitive, others could call much more forethought, accuracy, or technical talent.

For instance, with just a few simple materials, simple acrylic pouring techniques like the "dirty pour" or "flip cup" can be quite straightforward and yield stunning results. On the other hand, more intricate moves like the "swipe" or "string pull" could call for greater expertise and repetition to execute correctly.

Fluid art's degree of difficulty can vary depending on the materials and instruments employed in addition to method. For instance, employing premium paint and pouring mediums can result in superior effects, but they may also cost more money. Also, it may take some trial and error to achieve the desired result when manipulating the paint using tools like brushes or palette knives.

For painters of all ability levels, fluid art may be a satisfying and enjoyable creative endeavor. Even though some techniques might be more difficult than others, experimentation and practice can help artists improve their abilities and produce one-of-a-kind, gorgeous pieces.

What Paint is Used for Fluid Art?

As acrylic paint dries quickly, dissolves in water, and has a variety of uses, it is the most popular type of paint for fluid art. Acrylic paints are typically less expensive and easier to get than other types of paints, and fluid art frequently calls for mixing a lot of paint with a pouring medium.

The best acrylic paints for fluid art should be highly pigmented and have a smooth consistency since they will result in more brilliant and even coloring. Liquitex Basics, Golden Heavy Body, DecoArt Americana, and Arteza Acrylics are a few well-liked acrylic paint brands for fluid art.

Other paints or pigments, such as alcohol inks, watercolors, or powdered pigments, can also be used for fluid art in addition to acrylic paint. In contrast to acrylic paints, certain varieties of paint may need different preparation or application methods and may yield different results.

Generally, the preferred paint for fluid painting will rely on the tastes of the artist and the desired result. To learn new, fascinating techniques and effects, it's always a good idea to experiment with various paint and pigment types.

What can I Mix with Acrylic for Fluid Art?

To get the desired consistency and flow for fluid painting, acrylic paint can be blended with a variety of materials. The following regularly used materials can be combined with acrylic paint to create fluid art:

Pouring medium: To make acrylic paint more fluid and pourable, pouring medium is a substance that is specifically made for this purpose. Floterial, GAC 800, and Liquitex Pouring Medium are a few common pouring media.

To make acrylic paint thinner and more fluid, water can be added to it. The pigments can, however, be diluted by too much water, which will weaken the paint.

Silicone: To generate cells and other intriguing effects in fluid painting, silicone oil can be mixed with acrylic paint. A few droplets are all that are required to make the desired effect.

Resin: Epoxy resin or chemicals that resemble resin can be combined with acrylic paint to give the piece a glossy appearance and more depth.

Alcohol: To produce unique patterns and effects, acrylic paint can be mixed with rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.

Glue: White glue or PVA glue can be used to acrylic paint as a pouring medium substitute, albeit it might not have the same effects as a pouring medium that is specifically designed for that purpose.

In order to achieve the proper consistency and effects for fluid art, it's crucial to experiment with various combinations and ratios. Remember that too much of any medium can over-thin the paint, causing it to lose its brilliance. Testing out combinations on a tiny area before using them on a larger piece is always a smart idea.

How to Make your Own Fluid Art?

A general instruction on creating fluid art is provided below:

Acrylic paint as a medium

medium to pour

Glasses, stir sticks, and other mixing implements Canvas or other surface to paint on

Temporary gloves

Your work area's protective covering


Make sure your canvas is level, clean, and dry before you start painting. If desired, you can also use gesso or paint as a base coat.

Choose your desired colors and combine them with the pouring medium in separate cups. Depending on the desired consistency and effects, the ratio of paint to pouring medium will vary. In general, a 1:1 ratio of pouring medium to paint makes for a decent starting point.

Making sure there are no lumps or clumps, stir each cup of paint and medium until thoroughly blended.

To some of the paint cups, you can also add a few drops of silicone oil to produce intriguing effects like cells. The silicone oil is gradually mixed in.

Use a pouring method like a dirty pour or flip cup to dispense the paint and media from the cups onto the canvas in whatever pattern or pattern you like.

After the paint has been applied to the canvas, tilt it in various ways to distribute the paint and produce eye-catching patterns and effects. As required, direct the paint with a palette knife or another instrument.

To remove any bubbles and add more cells and patterns, you can, if you'd like, use a heat gun or torch.

Depending on the thickness of the paint, the drying time for the painting may range from several hours to days.

Remember that fluid art is all about exploration and experimentation, so don't be hesitant to give new methods or combinations a shot. You'll gain more knowledge about what suits your preferences and style the best as you practice and experiment.

Is it Ok to Mix Acrylic Art with Water in Fluid Art?

Absolutely, acrylic paint and water can be combined to create fluid art, but you must be careful with the water to paint ratio. Acrylic paint can be made more fluid and pourable by adding water, but if you add too much water, the pigments will be diluted and the paint will become less durable.

It's typically advised to start with a pouring medium rather than water if you're new to fluid art. Pouring medium is created especially for acrylic paint to be used with it to make it more fluid and pourable without dilution the pigments. Also, it aids in avoiding cracking and crazing while the paint dries.

If you do decide to combine acrylic paint and water for fluid art, it's crucial to test out various ratios to get the ideal consistency. A typical starting point is a 1:1 ratio of paint to water; however, this may need to be adjusted in light of the paint's thickness, the desired flow, and other elements.

Remember that water-based combinations could also dry more quickly than medium-based mixtures when poured, so you might need to move more swiftly to produce the required results. Moreover, water-based combinations may not have the same level of archival quality or long-term durability as pouring medium-based compositions.


While fluid acrylics have a high viscosity, you will still want to add something to obtain the consistency you are wanting. Whether you are using a coated pour, where the completed product has strong, even layers of color, or a wash pour, where the finished product resembles layers of watercolor, will determine what you will add.

Consistency of paint, specifically, is the secret to a good acrylic pour. Use fluid acrylics instead of heavy body acrylics since they have a considerably thinner consistency. You can still use thicker acrylics if you only have them on hand, but you'll need to thin them off with water.