In acrylic pour, the colors are mixed together in a cup

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Instead of a brush, people who practice acrylic pour use a cup.

Dawn Hesnault introduced a group of people to the style of painting last Sunday morning at Arts and Drafts.

The paints are mixed together with water and a substance called Floetrol.

“It’s a paint additive so that it flows smoother and you don’t get brush strokes,” Hesnault said.

To do what’s called a dirty pour, the students pour all the colors they want into a cup, and then dump it onto a canvas.

All the colors are mixed together in the cup.

“Then you pick up the canvas and you tilt it and let that paint flow all around until you get it the way you want it. Then you set it down and leave it ’til it’s dry,” she said.

The class used canvases measuring 8 by 10 inches, but larger sizes are fine, Hesnault said.

She also showed the class a second method, called the flip cup.

“You mix the paint the same way in the cup. But then what you do is you set your canvas on top of it, and then flip the whole thing over,” she said.

You let the paint “kind of sit there for a little bit and then you pick the cup up and let it flow, and it gives you a different look.”

You could mix the same three colors each time, using a different cup, “and you’ll never get the same painting twice,” Hesnault said.

They’re all unique because it depends on how the mixture flows out of the cup, how much water’s in there, the level of humidity and other factors.

“It makes a lot of difference on how the paints mix,” she said.

People may use a paint pouring medium instead of Floetrol.

In her classes, Hesnault also adds a silicone oil.

“And that creates spots,” which are called cells, she said. “That’s part of the mix as well, and that’s where you get a lot of the uniqueness.”

The oil “reacts with the paint and causes it to do really interesting things,” Hesnault said

There are hundreds of ways to do acrylic pour. She said all of them are demonstrated in videos on YouTube.

Two dozen people attended the class, which was open to the public. Then in the afternoon, Hesnault led a class for members of the Grand Island Art Club.

It was the second acrylic pour class she has taught at Arts and Drafts.

Most of the students wanted to give it a try to see what it’s like.

“But it is very addictive,” Hesnault said, “because you get good results every time. I haven’t seen any that weren’t just gorgeous.”

She also teaches classes in jewelry making, bead making and drawing. She used to teach stained glass.

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Jill Canfield and her husband, Russ, own Arts and Drafts. The operator is “primarily me. My husband’s my not-so-silent silent partner,” she joked.

Arts and Drafts, which is at 214 N. Locust St., will soon be moving to a new location. So the business won’t host acrylic pour classes for a while.

But Canfield hopes to do it more often when she gets settled in her new location.

Normally, she teaches people how to paint on canvas.

The business also has a cash bar “to kind of help aid in the creativity process,” she said.

Such wine and paint businesses are popular nationwide, Canfield said.

On a visit to a place in Lincoln, she “saw how much fun it was,” she said. She “decided we needed something like that in Grand Island. So I ran with it.”

Arts and Drafts opened in January 2015.

In addition to her normal classes on painting, Canfield likes to do “different things here or there” to break up the routine.

She said there’s a lot of interest in acrylic pour.

“Dawn’s more into it than I am, but it’s just a lot of fun and it’s just something different,” Canfield said.

Acrylic pour “can be really messy,” so it’s nice to do it somewhere other than home, she said.

In addition to wine, Arts and Drafts serves beer and a limited number of mixed drinks.

“It’s not a real expensive bar,” Canfield said, because that’s not the primary thing she does.

Alcohol was not served last Sunday morning at the acrylic pour class.

But mimosas might go well with it, she said. Next time, maybe the class will be taught on a Sunday afternoon.

In addition, Hesnault may try to teach an acrylic pour class at Hobby Lobby, where she works, but she hasn’t yet set a date.

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