Pour Painting

Visual Arts Component - Pour Painting

Science and Visual Arts


In this program, we will explore color, shape, fluidity, and light. Students will have a deeper understanding of how these elements work together to help an artist create their masterpieces. Through this process, students will be able to experiment with flow and shapes to create their artwork.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • create shade and tints with paint
  • describe differences between mixing light and mixing paint colors.
  • create works of art using a variety of household tools.

Essential Questions

  • How do we manipulate our mediums to create abstract art?
  • What effect does shape have on the movement of our medium?

Curriculum Standards

S8P1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the structure and properties of matter. 

S8P5. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about gravity, electricity, and magnetism as major forces acting in nature.

MGSE6.G.4 Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real world and mathematical problems.

MGSE7.G.6 Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.


Arts Standards

VA4.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two-dimensional art. 

VA6-8.CR.3 Engage in an array of processes, media, techniques, and/or technology through experimentation, practice, and persistence.

Content Vocabulary

  • Gravity: the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass.
  • 3-dimensional shape: a three-dimensional shape can be defined as a solid figure or an object or shape that has three dimensions – length, width and height.
  • Edges: the outside limit of an object, area, or surface; a place or part farthest away from the center of something.
  • Vertices: The common endpoint of two or more rays or line segments.
  • Faces: In any geometric solid that is composed of flat surfaces, each flat surface is called a face. 
  • Elevation: The angle of elevation of an object as seen by an observer is the angle between the horizontal and the line from the object to the observer's eye (the line of sight).
  • Volume: can be defined as the 3-dimensional space enclosed by a boundary or occupied by an object. 
  • Surface Area: The surface area of a solid object is a measure of the total area that the surface of the object occupies.
  • Flow: formalizes the idea of the motion of particles in a fluid. 
  • Viscosity: Viscosity is a physical property of fluids. It shows resistance to flow.

Arts Vocabulary

  • Value: value refers to the visible lightness or darkness of a color.
  • Shade: a shade is a mixture with black, which increases darkness. 
  • Tint: a tint is a mixture of a color with white, which reduces darkness
  • Primary: are basic colors that can be mixed to produce other colors. They are usually considered to be red, yellow, and blue.
  • Secondary: a color resulting from the mixing of two primary colors.
  • Tertiary: a color produced by an equal mixture of a primary color with a secondary color adjacent to it on the color wheel.

Summative Assessment

  • Gallery presentation
  • 100 Color Challenge
  • 3-D sculpture 
  • 3-5 Canvas experimentation paintings 
  • Community paint pour
  • property of fluids. It shows resistance to flow.


For Activating Activities

  • Red Light
  • Green Light
  • Blue Light
  • Paper
  • Paper plate
  • Paint (Acrylic)
    • Red
    • Yellow
    • Blue
    • Black
    • White
  • Paint brushes
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Pencil

For Main Activities

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Mixing Visual Light

Students went into the Black Box theater and created shadows using colored light. (Red, Green, and Blue) Students were able to see their shadows and what happens when you mix colored light. The result is a colored shadow.

Light is additive colors

Primary light colors are Red, Blue, and Green

  • red light + green light makes yellow light
  • red light + blue light makes purple light
  • green light + blue light makes aqua (cyan) light
  • blue light + red light makes pink (magenta) light
  • red + blue + green makes white light


Students theorized what would happen when you mix pigment colors.


Main Activity


Day 1:

Mixing Pigments

  • Students participated in the 100 color challenge. Students were given a paper plate with red, yellow, blue, white, and black. Students drew 100 squares on a piece of paper and tried to create 100 different colors from the 3 primary colors plus black and white. 
  • You can discuss shades (adding black) and tints (adding white).

When students are done with their plates of paint (palette) they can use scrap paper or cardboard to make a fun print! (See Image below)

Day 2:

  • Finish 100 Color Challenge if needed.
  • Students watched several videos for inspiration for the Acrylic Pour Painting. VIDEO
  • Students explored the MakerSpace to find items to help build their 3-D sculpture.
  • Students used foam board, cardboard, small wooden blocks, small foam blocks, and craft glue to design and build small sculptures.
  • Let the sculptures dry overnight.

As students finish their sculpture, they can work on their 100 color project or help prepare the acrylic paint & floetrol.

Day 3:

  • Students prepared their sculpture for the addition of acrylic paint. Students chose colors and added floetrol and water to the acrylic base. This creates a fluid mix that flows easily.
  • Students poured the paint over the sculptures.
  • Students observed the flow of the paint for future paintings.
    • Students used shallow pans to hold their sculptures and collect any excess paint.
  • Clip 1 - Process
  • Clip 2 - Product

Day 4 & 5:

  • Students chose a variety of canvases and tools and experimented with their paint pours.

Day 6:

  • Students prepared their work as a Visual Arts Gallery.
  • Students set up a table for visitors to try the 100 color challenge and set up for a community paint pour. This artwork was permanently installed in the school.

Video Recap of the program (played during the Gallery Opening): Video


  • What colors did you feel worked together and why?
  • What challenges did you have during this process?
  • What tools worked best for your process and why?

Instructional Videos

Classroom Tips:

  • If carpeted room, put down drop cloths or newspaper for painting.
  • Room with no windows works great!

Reflection Questions

  • What brush worked the best? Why?
  • What did you change or improve on your brush while you were painting?
  • What object helped you create the effect you needed for your type of galaxy?

Additional Resources

  • Videos of paint pours: Link