I’m a big fan of modern, abstract art and for interiors in general I love rich colours, patterns and texture – which is probably why I am so drawn to fluid art.
The method involves mixing acrylic paint or inks and pouring different colour combinations into each other to form intricate patterns – which you can influence and manipulate with certain techniques – and with the addition of a clear resin medium, it levels and hardens to a beautiful glossy finish.
The rich, blue toned pieces remind me of my travels in Australia and the swirling waters of The Great Barrier Reef, with others reminiscent of planets and space! The possible colour combinations are pretty much endless and I love the idea of having such a strong, eye-catching feature in a room.
Fluid art has become very popular and there are many examples of fantastic work all over Instagram, I’ll list a few of my favourites at the bottom of this post.
One such person I follow is Natalie Muir, a UK, Manchester based Artist who produces beautiful pieces with stunning colour combinations and patterns.
She also incorporates metallic particles into her work and as I’m a complete magpie, the more glitter the better as far as I’m concerned!
Natalie posts pictures and videos of her completed work on Instagram where she has an impressive following…
I was keen to learn about Natalie’s artistic processes so I contacted her to discover more… her inspirations and how she chooses her colour combinations are particularly interesting!
Hi Natalie, When did you first start creating fluid art & resin paintings?
I started fluid painting about a year ago and I began using resin 6 months ago.
Were you an artist using different mediums before?
I was, I have always painted and before my attentions turned to fluid painting I painted seascapes, mainly with acrylics but sometimes oil paints also.
I’ve always had abstract work running alongside my more traditional pieces.
Whenever I was feeling frustrated with a piece I was working on I would step back and create a piece of abstract to loosen me up and bring me back to my creative space.
What inspires and influences your work?
Everything! My sister was and continues to be a huge inspiration, I grew up watching her sketch, she always had me itching to pick up my paints. Her drive and dedication to her art completely inspires my own.
Others include the ocean, rugged landscapes, planets and space as a whole.
Aerial photography allowed me a perspective of the world that you can’t observe everyday – the first time I saw imagery like that I was blown away at how beautifully carved the world naturally is, and so vastly different from place to place.
Sometimes though I’ll sit down with just an emotion driving me or a person….Inspiration is everywhere!
What made you first try fluid art?
Frustration! I was in the middle of a seascape, I’d spent so many hours on it and I couldn’t tell if what I was doing was adding to the piece or completely butchering it, so I stepped back.
I’d read an article about painting without brushes and that intrigued me – so I grabbed a cheap canvas, some acrylics and water and just started throwing paint around.
I completely fell in love with the process, it felt good to relinquish control and let the paints talk. And that was it…. I never finished that poor seascape!
To see a painting being poured, there’s a rather hypnotic video at the end of this post!
I find my palettes from anywhere and everywhere.
My 3 year old daughter’s paintings provide an interesting mash of colours.
I always like the way writers describe scenes in books, when they articulate colours they almost give it an atmosphere, as opposed to just a hue. Reading it makes me want to create a palette that matches the mood they set.
I also have a swatch board that I made to constantly add palette ideas to so that I have them around me.
How much control do you have over the final patterns that are created, are there different techniques you use?
Depending on technique, you have more control with certain pieces than others.
You never have full predictability though, which is both a blessing and a curse!
You can lay certain colours in certain places, and have a vague idea of what will happen based off of experience, but viscosity, the paints themselves, the temperature and levelling of a piece will all step in and dictate the result.
What is the process for creating a piece?
For me personally, and it really does vary from artist to artist, but i’ll sit down and mix my paints first, get everything prepared beforehand. Preparation is almost as important as the painting itself.
Epoxy resin has a window of workability before it starts to cure, so after my paints are mixed, my canvas is ready and level, I’ll mix in the resin and i just start to lay colours on the board.
I go in with an idea usually and nothing more. Sometimes I’ll mix colours together very loosely before i work with them to create interest and allow the pigments to react with each other.
After the paint is down I’ll manipulate the flow and composition with tilting and torching. The blow torch is my brush in a sense, it removes air bubbles and allows to me move the resin around where I want it to flow.
Fluid Art Video Below!
What materials do you use you use and how long does it take?
I use an epoxy resin – exclusively Art Resin – Acrylic Inks and High Flow Fluid Acrylics. I also incorporate metals and glitters.
The actual painting portion of creating is usually completed within an hour or two. But sometimes I like to create layers, so I’ll wait for a layer to cure overnight, then go back in and work over the top.
So it can range from a few hours to a few days and for the resin to fully cure I like to leave it for 48 hours.
You mentioned you incorporate glitter in your work, which I love – is there anything else you are thinking of developing in the future?
I’m always looking for ways to evolve my art and push it in different directions. I don’t like to just find what works and stick to that.
I want to work with bigger pieces first, then explore other materials I could use… I have a few ideas bubbling away, but I’m just letting them simmer for a while longer!
I find it fascinating to see a fluid art painting being poured and watch the intricate patterns forming – see how one is made here:
If you like the look of fluid art and Natalie’s work, why not have a browse of her Etsy shop?
She also takes bespoke commissions if you would like particular colours to suit a room….
A few of My Other Favourite Artists on Instagram:
Next week there will be a ton of shopping inspiration on the blog!