Red acrylic pouring

Why I Quit Acrylic Pouring

It started out as intrigue. It was a newness that promised a rich and rewarding experience with almost instant gratification. I had accidentally (or maybe by YouTube’s clever algorithmic play) chanced upon a video of acrylic pouring and had made a mental note to learn and try the technique out in the new year and so I did. For a month.

At the end of the month, I used up almost all of my large paint bottles, almost all my Floetrol and Liquitex Pouring Medium, used up a lot of my other supplies, and cleaned up my room. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the technique of acrylic pouring. I found great joy and immense satisfaction in it. I found the instant gratification to be true and with just the right amount of thinking, creative insight, planning, and calming satisfaction. Yet, as the month drew to an end and I reached the end of my HUGE stash of canvases, I decided it was time to quit this beautiful art form even though I liked going from this –

to this…one of my biggest canvases – 24 x 36 inches.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you buy something using my links below, I get a small commission. This is just a small way for me to keep my creativity going and support my art. Thank you.. 

Here’s why:

I found the technique of acrylic pouring extremely wasteful.

For the first few pours, I used what I had been seeing on videos on YouTube. I used paper cups, wooden sticks, and disposable gloves but this waste just started accumulating and it soon started getting to me…..not to mention the plastic wraps around canvases, the plastic seals around paint bottles, the wasted paint that flowed off the canvases, and so on.

Soon, I switched to rubber latex gloves that I could re-use, used plastic cups for paints so I could wash them and re-use them again, and bought plastic coffee stir sticks. While I should have felt much better knowing that I was being environmentally cautious, I wondered about the amount of water I was wasting in washing off the dried and sometimes paint in my sink as well as the fact that I was polluting the environment in trying to do so. Not really a win-win now, is it!?

Eventually, this wastefulness, really, really got to me.

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I was spending way more money than I had intended to on what would best be considered a hobby for me.

I know some people make good money doing acrylic pouring. I know just how much work and effort goes into producing a masterpiece with this technique of painting and I have a lot of respect for these folks. Clearly, I am NOT one of these folks and I am perfectly and gratefully okay with that.

Since I knew I wasn’t going to make money doing this, at best, learning to do this new form of art was like taking an art course and spending a lot of money without any direct ROI. In paints, pouring mediums (Floetrol, Liquitex, Artists’ Loft Flow), and canvases, I spent a neat fortune. The sheer amount of paints needed was overwhelming which although understandable, hurt my dot artist sensibilities where I could buy one 2 oz bottle of paint and it would last me forever and a day.

Eventually, knowing that acrylic pouring would be no more than a hobby and a personal area of interest, I couldn’t justify the amount of money I was spending.

I did not expect to make any money from this art form given the number of people doing it and the general lack of appreciation for art that people have.

As explained above, this interest was only going to go as far as being a hobby. Perhaps if I had given it more time and more money, I would have acquired a certain level of expertise and created a sell-worthy piece of art, but truth be told, all the reasons I cite here, collectively were getting to me and there was no way I was going to last long.

I found my studio getting way too cluttered and messy with canvases, paints, that was much outside my generally flexible clutter/mess threshold.

I am privileged to have a generous studio for a dot artist – an entire room to myself. However, once I started getting, I mean really getting into acrylic pouring, my studio looked like it had gone through a massacre of paints and supplies.

There were canvases everywhere in every shape and size – blank ones, poured ones, set to dry ones…a corner of my room was for dotting but the bigger part of the room was completely taken over by acrylic pouring and it slowly started driving me crazy.

I could no longer stand the messiness of the process of this art form and how it was taking over my entire studio, ruining my carpets with accidental paint drips, and making me and the kids having to walk around everything worse than we would, on egg shells.

I missed dotting too much.

I became an artist when I sold my first piece of dot art. Since then, my love and interest in dot art has only grown. With every piece I sell, I feel a furthered sense of gratitude, humility for the art, and a renewal of spirit. I did not get the same feeling from acrylic pouring and not only because I didn’t sell (or try particularly hard to anyway) any piece.

I did pouring because I wanted to learn this new technique, uncover its mystery, and do something different. All of these goals were fulfilled and I am grateful, truly and entirely grateful, to have had the opportunity to do so.

In conclusion, I am really glad I dabbled in acrylic pouring. It is a beautiful form of painting and it takes a lot of pre-planning, knowledge of some chemistry, patience, awareness of colors and how they work together, and other skills of this nature. I am thrilled that I got to have some beautiful art to show for it. One of my paintings now adorns our mantle. Our hallway is my art gallery decorated with my art work. I am proud of my work and what I was able to accomplish within a month. While I am not biding adieu to acrylic pouring forever, I will be on a hiatus from this art work and resuming my work in dotting, something I have missed very much.

11 thoughts on “Why I Quit Acrylic Pouring

    • SSP says:

      You shouldn’t feel guilty at all. Art is supposed to (at least for me) give a person a sense of happiness, an inner serenity and joy, if you will… room for guilt at all 🙂


  1. betty slaunwhite says:

    I have not started but felt the same already. Did you dot on any of your pours? This is what I am interested in trying.


  2. Roni says:

    Your journey into fluid art is a few steps ahead of mine. I have already inundated myself for months watching videos only. I don’t have lots of space and thought to only do small examples, but all the points you raise will bug me too. I would love to have an art form to be admired and sold and have considered dot painting, but do not have as ready hand and maybe not the patience. But your work is beautiful and an inspiration. Thanks.


  3. JFB says:

    I’m only a watcher of acrylic paint pour videos. But I also am so concerned about the environmental impact of paint disposal. Some artists make items with the paint left over in cup or that has been dripped onto table covering. But you can only make so much jewelry, coasters, tiles. This other side of paint pouring needs to be more made known.


    • SSP says:

      You are absolutely right. I was spending more money buying the accessories (jewelry, key chains, etc) into which to put my poured skins than I would have liked to spend.. In the end, I do miss it every once in a while but I go back to the reasons I quit in the first place and I feel better.


  4. BAJ says:

    This read could not have come at a better time for me! I start pouring as it looked easy for a non artist like me (photography is my jam) and it was quite pretty. After two years of on an off pouring -some for self satisfaction – some to try to sell – I have decided to stop. Maybe not altogether but I need to get my office and spare bedroom/drying room back. I don’t do it enough to justify keeping all this stuff. Just spent the last two days painting 20 canvases and I have a few more to do and then I’m done for all the same reasons you stated!


  5. Cheryl Falsrdea says:

    I find acrylic pouring beautiful and wasteful as you said. It is full of self promotion and people searching for Instagram followers and you tube funding through those pours. All have a you tube channel, a store, promotional cups and t shirts etc. Most artists I have known through the years are humble, thoughtful and purposeful with their work. They have deep thought on the why and the meaning of what they do. It is just the opposite of what I see in pouring. While pouring can produce beautiful canvases, I would look at it two weeks after being done and feel empty. I had purpose to create something beautiful. It lacked the essence of why I do art. I found myself trying to paint in on the he canvases what I could see in them or the color. Again beautiful but lacked my purpose. I do feel their are fluid artists emerging with great purpose. Gilly Kube and someone called Veronica I think it is creations by MII. If you look up veroknika fluid pouring artist you will find her work. They have stayed within certain pours and elevated it in their own forms or colors. Shelleeart creates blooms from what I can see by using household paint at the base. Household paint does not being on canvas. It will create beautiful art but starts wearing out and can flake as soon as it dries. The painting most likely fall apart in five to ten years.

    My advice if you are going to do this is buy a beginner pouring book at your craft store. It will have the correct ratios for pouring, the amount of paint you need for the size of your canvas and examples. Do not get tempted by what the videos show. These people have mastered things. You can fail on canvas and mix wrong and get muddy or cracked results in beginning. All mistakes are costly or lead to waste if you scrap it off. Give yourself a limit on what you are willing to spend on canvas related to poring etc. it will be exciting to want to do more when you get a great result. But five pours in a day causes accumulating art that you will probably not have enough room for. Do not pour paint down drains. Let it dry. Let water evaporate where you rinse brushes. This stuff is plastic based so even the smalllest particles in rinse water can accumulate in your drains Dried out waste can be can be made into jewelry and other art. Look up acrylic peels art.

    You can collect excess also in can to be used in another pour


  6. Ali V says:

    I can see how you could feel this way. It’s great that you have found something else that brings you joy and happiness without the guilt you were feeling. My experience was similar for the first couple of paintings I created but I made adjustments because I didn’t want to give up the peace and gratification I felt from the process of creating.

    I enjoy doing my paintings and it took me time to find the “clean/OCD” way of pouring. I have developed a system and I thoughtfully pour and clean as I go. I have silicone utensils, mats and cups for pouring to avoid using water to soap to wash everything or be wasteful. You just peel the excess which can be used in other projects. I reuse canvases while learning to master each new technique that interests me. The run off paint is minimal to a fault. I cut it close but have learned to utilize the calculator for the amount of paint I need to cover a canvas. If I do have excess paint I will use dip method or make a base paint with it.

    I have never been artistic and I love that I can make something beautiful without needing the precision of other forms of art. It brings me peace and helps me relax. I don’t have a studio and my spare room is used for work not hobbies. I wish I did have somewhere to indulge, however my OCD nature would never allow me to walk away from a messy studio.


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