Painting with acrylic skins is a fun and versatile technique. I think about it as something between collage and painting as you prepare skins to be added to your painting. Once they had time to dry, you can place them, cut them, stretch them, overlap them a bit as you would if working with collage and paper.
There are many things you can do with acrylic pouring techniques like using additives and a heat gun to induce the formation of cells, but I just wanted to keep things simple here and try a basic technique. Here is how I applied this technique to one of my flowers from imagination paintings.
Painting with acrylic skins supplies list:
- Fluid acrylic
- pouring medium
- acrylic paint
- empty plastic squeeze bottles
- plain plastic sheet
- dipping pen
- colored inks
- canvas (I used a 12 x 12 inches canvas)
Preparing your paint mixes
To make acrylic skins, you will need pouring medium to make the paint a bit more flexible than just plain acrylic. The ratio of paint to medium can vary but I would recommend a minimum of 1/2 medium to paint ratio, or more medium if you want to.
Prepare a few empty plastic bottles to make and store your mixes, ideally squeeze bottles so you can easily pour your painting mix.
Liquitex Pouring Medium creates even puddles, poured sheets, and flowing applications of color without crazing or cracking. The paint film dries without holding bubbles. – Pouring Medium
Once I selected a few colors, I made sure the acrylic and pouring medium were well mixed in each bottle.
Pouring acrylic on a plastic support
Then you need to find a plastic sheet to pour acrylic on top. Make sure there is no print on the plastic as it would transfer to the acrylic skin.
You can have fun and experiment with different ways of mixing the colors:
Incredibly flexible, Golden High Flow Acrylics have an ink-like consistency that lends itself to a wide range of techniques painting, drawing, staining, glazing, inking, hand-lettering, airbrushing, and more. – High Flow Colors, Set of 10
You can use a stick to mix colors and get a marbled effect.
Once you are done, let your acrylic skins dry at least overnight. Then you can peel them off the plastic.
You have to do this very delicately as the acrylic skin can stretch.
The same skin can look different from both sides
This is the same skin as above but upside down.
Working with acrylic skins
Once your skins are peeled off the plastic, you can cut them and try different placement on your canvas. They are a bit sticky so avoid having them touching each over or they might stick too much.
To incorporate the acrylic skins in a painting I did paint a textured background first:
Then I tried different compositions with acrylic skins as flowers:
Once I was satisfied I worked on the background, added details and patterns and made the acrylic skins adhere permanently to the canvas with pouring acrylic.
You can cut the acrylic skins to make then fit your purpose. Here I did cut some leaves shapes:
You can use a cuter to cut acrylic skins
You can add designs on top of the skins once they are added to the painting.
The finished painting: Flower painting with acrylic skins.
If you have any questions, post them in the comments. Feel free also to post pictures of your paintings done with acrylic skins.