Pool of Pours

by Kathleen Huebener in Painting Tips

Ever look at the white canvas/paper before you and wonder, “Where do I start?”

The vivid whiteness is intimidating and often stops even the best artists right in their tracks. Tired of this feeling of not knowing how to start? Be bold and use pours! The fastest way I have found to get rid of that white is to use pours of paint to cover it.

For the record, there is no right way or wrong way to mix paints for pours. Some use palettes, cups, or larger containers, depending on the size of support material, to mix the paint with water. I like mixing the pour on my palette with my palette knife. Here I am using Bob Ross #10 Painting Knife. Using this wide knife makes it easier to mix Liquitex Cadmium Yellow Medium with water seen below.

I work the paint into the water until the pour has the consistency of cream.

Isn’t that beautifully smooth! Only another artist would appreciate the smoothness.

I then pour the paint from the palette onto the canvas.

Before I play with the pour, Into the canvas and also wipe the knife offof cream. ife, it is easier to eliminate clumps.  clean the knife and wipe the paint on the canvas.

It is fun to see how the pour interacts with the knife strokes as I turn the canvas.

I move the canvas back and forth to create intriguing forms. While I let this pour slightly dry on the canvas, I mix up Liquitex Brilliant Yellow Green in the same fashion as the first pour. But instead of pouring all of it at one time, I calculatingly drip pools of it onto the yellow, allowing the paint to fuse at will.

Making the decision to keep the whole composition at this time the same light value,

I now add Liquitex Bright Aqua Green that has been thinned with water.

As you can see, the white is almost gone. The fear of “Where do I begin?”

has now been replaced with a healthy curiosity of “What if I try this?”

I am eager to continue to work on this canvas, but now is the hard part.

 I must now wait for the pours to dry thoroughly before continuing.

So the next time the white canvas/paper stops you in your tracks,

take a deep breath, get brave, and try some pours.

You’ll feel the creative juices start flowing immediately!


to mix paints for pours. that white is to use pours.