Acrylic Pour – Exploring Fluorescent Color

The reason we humans at Birds on the Brink Sanctuary are so interested in things that fluoresce is that we’re fascinated that our birds, bees, and butterflies can naturally see fluorescent colors, but we cannot. So, one of the things we are doing is playing with specific acrylic paints that, when placed under a long-wave light (black-light), will fluoresce. Not wanting those of us at the Sanctuary to have all the fun exploring this light-wave, we’ve figured out a way to duplicate what our animals are seeing in the plant and mineral kingdom so you can enjoy it, too. Thus our experimentation with acrylic pours.

Just so you know: there is no right or wrong way to do an acrylic pour. Whatever way you do it is the best of all. Below is how we did the acrylic pour wooden circle (button) shown in the photo above.

Basic Acrylic Pour Instructions

  • First off, protect your workspace with a sheet of plastic. Gather necessary materials: something to place under the object you are painting to raise it so that the paint will run off; bottles of liquid acrylic craft paints that fluoresce under black-light as well as some that don’t; small plastic cups; wood craft sticks; primer; pouring medium; water; a squeeze bottle; silicone; vinyl gloves to protect your hands from paints.
  • Choose whatever object you would like to pour the acrylic paint onto: a rock, piece of wood, canvas, etc. We used small wooden circles for this demonstration.
  • You can use any household primer or gesso. (Liquitex Professional White Gesso Surface Prep Medium is very popular). Sometimes we didn’t prime our material but the results worked out just fine.
  • Choose the acrylic paint colors you would like to use, pour a small amount of each one into individual small plastic cups, and thin with a few drops of Liquitex pouring medium. Add a few drops of water if necessary to thin your paint to get it to the correct pouring consistency. (Floetrol is another popular pouring medium). You can also make your own pouring medium using a 1:1 ratio of Elmer’s Glue-All and water, mixed in a squeeze bottle for dispensing.
  • To create amazing cells (distinct separation of colors) in your pour, such as ours shown above, add a few drops of 100% silicone oil to each paint cup. Then begin to pour the paint colors you’d like to use into a single clean cup. Layer colors. When ready, pour cup with chosen color paints over your object and tilt so the paint rolls and coats the entire surface.
  • Allow to dry completely. When ready, coat with any polycrylic water-based protective gloss finish.

Have fun experimenting with paintable objects, colors and consistencies.

Happy Pouring!

Photographed under long-wave light.

Photographed under short-wave light. We were curious if it would show differently than under long-wave light. As you can see really no difference!

Acrylic Pour photographed in natural light.

Acrylic Pour photographed under long-wave light (black-light).

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