Debbie’s flip cup pour painting lesson with jaw-dropping 30 second demo video

My recommendation is to first watch the 30 second stop action video of me doing this pouring technique, then review the blog, watch the video again, and then try this out for yourself.  If you look at my site you will see there are several different acrylic paint pouring techniques.  This one may be the most common and certainly my favorite.  The basic steps are outlined in my blog Debbie’s Acrylic Poured Paint Process.

The Mix: Flip cup pouring entails layering colors in a cup – paints can be layered carefully or randomly but generally the cups receive the same amounts of paint in the same combinations.  Some pouring artists calculate the paint required for the flip by the dimensions of the canvas – I just eyeball it! I use several different mixes for a flow medium with the paints, but Floetrol is usually the predominant extender that I prefer.

The Flip: In my video clip I used 3 cups; the amount varies by size of canvas and size of cup.  The objective is to get the paint onto the canvas at the same time.  This is not a slow pour, it really is a flip.  It always amazes me to see how differently the paint comes out of each cup in this technique – despite the paints having been layered equally in each separate cup – this is one of the reasons this painting technique never gets old!

The Stretch:This is the stage where the artist has the most influence on the final design.  Once the paint is released from the cups the canvas is slowly tilted to gently help the paint flow to the edges. The ‘stretching’ phase helps the paints to do their magical mixing. As the paint spreads you will see desirable patterning that you want to keep and others that are not so pleasing.  The undesirable areas can be poured off the edge of the canvas. There will often be ‘gaps’ in various places on the canvas during the stretching, this is overcome by grabbing some of the paint that has already poured off to ‘lubricate’ those blank spaces and get them filled in during the tilting. I just use my finger to plop the paint onto the canvas, knowing that this paint will not actually show up in the final result. Once everything is covered and you are satisfied with the design, consider it done and quit messing with it!

The Dry: Ensure you have the painting absolutely level for drying.  Even a slight tilt will result in the paint continuing to flow off the painting resulting in an over stretched or thin pour.  I have ruined many successful pours by walking away and forgetting to check this crucial point!  Coming back hours later to a canvas you were very pleased with to discover all the paint is now on the table is very disheartening!