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Shifting Art Gears

fluid art painting acrylic ink

October has just flown by! After the past few weeks of doing Inktober and Drawlloween and staying (roughly) on track, I realized that I haven’t done anything with jewelry, painting, or the site. Sorry about that! 

It also got me thinking. I’m really loving drawing again. Not that I ever didn’t love it, but I’m rediscovering all the “behind the scenes” things that happen in art that make the experience of creating so robust. It’s deciding on concepts, looking at reference images, quick sketches to see if something will work, and starting over again when it doesn’t. It’s all the things that happen before the final piece is even started. 

I’ve also been thinking that I don’t miss the fluid art. There’s only so much time before and after work and in between family activities. Every day is a choice of what to make – if there’s even time (or energy) to make anything at all. For me, fluid art was a stepping stone to bring art back into my life. It was something I could just make without having to worry about it too much (plus I learned how to make videos, which was super fun!). Then I started working on an old painting again. That got me thinking of ways to revamp old pieces and ideas for starting new ones – so the “fluid art phase” did what it was supposed to do.

fluid art painting acrylic ink
They’re everywhere!
fluid art painting acrylic ink
They’re here, too!
fluid art painting acrylic ink
I can’t even look at them anymore! lol

Now that my walls are covered in trippy paintings, I’m ready to move on. Of course, with Inktober I’m drawing every day again. So the natural progression seems to be to shift gears and focus more on that. I’m not going to make any more fluid art videos, but I do want to start recording my drawing and painting. 

As for jewelry, I know I haven’t posted much about that here, but I’m going to keep going with that. I won’t be making any more Pebeo pieces, so I’m working on using up the Pebeo paint that I have left. For jewelry I’m going to focus on copper pipe necklaces and the “doogle” pins. There’s been enough experimenting and wasting supplies “in the name of science!” And it’s time to get the craft table under control. Seriously, it’s a mess. Time for some fall cleaning!

messy craft table clean up
So. Embarrassing.

All of the Inktober stuff is coming as soon as the month is up! I feel like this year is miles better than last year, but we can talk about that in a few days when the pics go up. 🙂

But for now, thanks for reading! Until next time!

BTW, if you want to check out last year’s Inktober/Drawlloween fiasco, click here. 🙂

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Fluid Art Materials! (All My Faves!!)

spray paint artist mtn hardcore Liquitex acrylic

There’s one thing a lot of artists do in their fluid art videos that I don’t – show their materials. I started out recording all of that and ended up never putting it in because I use the same basic materials every time. It would be pretty boring to watch the same few minutes of me showing the same few bottles every week anyway, right? 

This list is all of my favorites things (and some other stuff) to put into my fluid art! Some are requirements (well, to me they are), and some are just nice to have, but it’s what I’ve come to like after some trial and error. We all do it differently! 

I buy almost everything from Dick Blick because I like their selection the best and their prices are competitive. I’ve also found their shipping speed (even the free) to be better most of the time. Their biggest competitor once took a week to put my stuff in a box when I paid for shipping to get something on time – not okay. They aren’t sponsoring this post (hey, Dick Blick – wanna sponsor me?), this is just my experience. Sometimes you can grab a deal from Amazon, but you run the risk of getting old materials that have been sitting in a warehouse ever since warehouses were invented.

(Full disclosure/disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by anyone, but I have included some affiliate links. I only link to places I shop!)

Liquitex Pouring Medium – This is the base for all of the paintings! My numero uno! My bread and butter! All of the paints are mixed into this stuff. Pouring medium reduces crazing (crevices in the paint) and leaves a nice glossy finish. It’s expensive and I’ve noticed the price fluctuates a bit, so shop around. The big art supply websites typically have the best prices, but once in a while you can get a deal on Amazon.

Don’t skimp and get something smaller than a 32oz – it won’t be enough (especially if you love it!). If I’m doing a lot of paintings I’ll blast through a gallon of pouring medium pretty quickly. I still use that first 32oz bottle I bought and refill it as needed from the gallon bucket – it’s way easier to manage. When I’m on my last 32oz, that’s when I reorder. I’ve started exploring different techniques to reduce how much I use since I went through two gallons in a month at one point (mistakes can cost you – literally!).

fluid art painting paint dirty pour Liquitex pouring medium
This bottle has seen a few pours….

Golden High Flow Acrylics – These are beautifully pigmented and a little goes a very long way. They are a little expensive, but they can last a long time. I’ve also used them to paint with and left them sitting out in the palette for a long time. They didn’t dry out or even skin over nearly as quickly as regular acrylics do. A set of these is worth having in your arsenal just because. 

fluid art paint painting Golden High Flow Acrylics Drawing Set
These are all colors from the drawing set. I am forever running out of Indigo. It’s time to grab a big bottle!

Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink – You get what you pay for with acrylic ink. This costs a little more, but it the color holds well when it’s thinned out. I use these sometimes, but I prefer the high flow acrylics when I need something lighter and thinner.

fluid art acrylic paint painting Liquitex Ink Primary Colors Set
From the primary set. They’re more of a like than a love for me.

Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Water-ResistantArtists Ink – Less expensive than Liquitex, but I find that I have to use more to keep the colors true when adding to the medium. BUT, it’s readily available at the local art store, so when I need something in a hurry I make that 40% off coupon work!

fluid art acrylic ink paint painting daler rowney
I love combining these neon colors with glow in the dark paint for some blacklight-ready paintings! (However it takes a lot of ink to keep the color bright in the pouring medium. Sometimes using the ink straight is better).

Spray Paint – I use Liquitex Professional Spray Paint and MTN Hardcore 2 Spray Paint. I also use Krylon. Which is the best? I don’t have an answer for that because I just started using these and I’m working at a Kindergarten level with them. I’m leaning more toward the transparent colors from Liquitex layered over the opaque MTN. More on this some other time – I’m still playing. 🙂

fluid art spray paint acrylic painting
The latest addition for me. Don’t forget a mask and proper ventilation!

Generic Craft Acrylics – You can get these pretty much anywhere and a small bottle is fifty cents to a dollar. You might have seen people poo-poo on these because they are cheap. They aren’t as lightfast and can cause some crazing if you use too much. That’s true, but ask yourself this – are you making a painting that’s going to end up in the Louvre 100 years from now? Me neither. These paints are hands down the best way to get started on the cheap. Once you’ve got all your staple materials built up, they are still a great way to fill in the gaps in your palette and try new colors. 

fluid art acrylic craft paint painting
These let you experiment with lots of different colors and finishes.

Silicone – Different artists add different things to their fluid art to get cells and I’ve found that I like silicone the best. I use this whatever brand because… it’s what I’ve always used? I can go to the store and get it if I need to, but I’m actually still on the first bottle I ever bought. It cost four bucks and has lasted nearly a year. Easily the most cost-effective material on this list!

silicone fluid art painting acrylic
At first I thought this was Elmer’s. It’s this other brand apparently. Elmer’s makes something similar, though.

Generic Painting Panels – I first tried to pour on those flimsy canvas panels that come in packs of three or five. All they did was warp. I don’t know if they were absorbing the moisture or if it was the paint contracting as it cured, but I used exactly two of these panels before I switched. 

Canvas – Stretched canvas can work and I do use it from time to time, but the weight of the paint can cause it to sag in the middle and then the paint just pools there. Not cool. Smaller canvases (think under 8×10) work pretty well. I especially like getting gobs of the tiny ones when they are on sale and pouring a bunch of them together as one piece. They are too small to sag and they are cheap to pour on!

3/4” Painting Panels – These were (and sometimes still are) my go-to. Some brands are better than others, but I found the Blick brand worked best for me. There was another bunch I ordered from another site and nine of the ten of them had damaged corners. They were also very poorly packed.

I’ve never had a problem with the Blick ones and I still order them if there’s a good deal on them. They are thick enough that they will not warp and they have slots in the back for hanging, so you don’t need any additional hardware to finish the piece. The only issue I have there is sometimes the painting looks better upside down and the slot is on the other end! Blick has some that have a regular cradle, so you can hang them however you want. I recommend grabbing these when they are on sale. Sometimes you can get a deal on the Blick Super Value Wood Panel Packs.


Build Your Own Panels – This what I do now. I use 1/4” birch plywood and 1×2 pine boards for support. Materials-wise it’s cheaper, but it takes time to build the panels. It also requires space and tools – not something everyone has and that’s okay! If you don’t build, you don’t have to deal with the noise, the mess, and the big sigh (and light cursing) when you mess one up. What I do like about it is being able to make whatever size I want and being able to just run to the hardware store when I’m out of panels. On top of that, when I’m building I get to go to this beautiful zen place where all that matters is “measure twice, cut once” and whatever happened earlier that day doesn’t matter. 

Ready for primer!

Is there something you think I should try? What are your favorite materials? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! Until next time!