Lesson 2 - Planning Your Colour & Composition

About Colour, Composition & Terms

This topic is where most people struggle the most, and the main reason they give up.

They say, "Why does my art look muddy and unpleasant? This is not what I had in mind!"

Colour and composition is very important in art.

A lot of beginners dive in without planning their artwork first. This can be the simple difference between an experienced artist, and a beginner artist.

Experienced artists, while there is a lot they do which is unplanned, generally their colours will compliment each other. (More information on this below)

What is Colour and Composition?

Colour - inspires us and reflects our mood and message.

Composition - shapes the viewers experience of our art.

Love this pour? The colours used were: Very Dark Sea Green, Medium Sea Green, Light Sea Green, White, Gold & Cream. Technique is Ring Pour, with some borders using the Dirty Pour technique.

Planning Colours Helps You Avoid a "Muddy Mix":

If we pour without planning colours first, it's very possible you will end up with a brown and muddy colour mix.

Why? See the colour wheel below.

Colours which are opposites on the above wheel are "complimentary colours". For example, orange and blue.

If we mix two complimentary colours together they 'cancel' each other out and lose their 'hue' (colour). This often will turn an unpleasant, dull colour.

However, if we place them next to each other on a canvas they can really show each other off with the most striking contrast.

That is why its important not to put two complimentary colours in one cup alone without a neutral colour too, and especially important not to stir and mix them together in one cup.

This is the number one reason why people get upset with their art results!

Why Neutral Colours are Important:

White and other neutral colours are important in paint pouring because they act as a border to show off the other bright, beautiful colours.

Here is an example of this below, look for the white paint.

Imagine this painting without any white, the dominant colour would be grey meaning the overall colour of the piece would look dull.

However, adding the white paint and grey areas has created what we 'negative space' in art theory, which draws better attention to the gold, blue and pink colours and patterns.

Love this? Try Paint Colours like Light Grey, Pale Pink, Teal, Gold, and White! Ring Pour Technique by a beginner of Canvas In Common.

Another example of white/grey having an impact:

Love this? Try Paint Colours like Black, Dark Grey, Light Grey, Dark Blue, Light Blue, White! Flip Cup Technique.

If you choose to use black, try to be sparing with it. It can take over other colours.

If we add it to a cup of other colours it can darken all of the colours in the cup. Sometimes it is best to keep black in a separate cup to your main cup.

Colour Inspiration Ideas

***See our colour inspiration attachment below for reference.

We have provided a PDF with colour schemes so that if you do feel unsure on colour choices, you can see a finished product painting along with the colours which created it!

If you love one of the paintings on the attachment, you can create similar!

To create similar artwork, just purchase the colours shown in the picture.

There is a huge range of acrylic paint colours at the shops so it shouldn't be hard to locate the colours you need.

How to Get Inspired to Start Fluid Art?

A great place for endless art inspiration is:

Google or Social media e.g. Pinterest & Instagram. Just type in titles like 'fluid art', 'acrylic pouring', 'flip cup', 'ring pour' and so on.

Another great place is all around you!

For example, look closer into your coffee, wood grains, rock formations outside, the ocean, the mountains, the sunset, animals, mother nature and so many more natural colour palettes.



People and other artists will also inspire you like none other.

There is inspiration everywhere.

Go get inspired :) we will see you back here for Lesson 3!

Colour Palette Ideas.pdf
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