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Abstract Paintings in Photoshop – Digital Acrylic Pouring

Digital Acrylic Pouring - Abstract Painting with Photoshop and the Liquify filter by Adria Black

Acrylic pour paintings are typically done on canvas, however today, I will show you how to create abstract paintings in Photoshop, similar to an acrylic pouring. For more information on the actual acrylic pouring process and techniques that have inspired me in creating this digital process, check out The Dirty Pour and The Swipe Method.

Abstract Paintings in Photoshop Inspired by Acrylic Pouring

Do you love the look of acrylic pouring, just as much as I do? Do you feel like it is simply outside of your wheelhouse and there is no way you could ever figure out how to do it? Are you having issues getting your exact mixing formula down with your acrylic paints and your pouring medium? Then, today I have a fantastic solution for you! I will be showing you how to create an acrylic pour painting using Photoshop, instead of having to fiddle with acrylic paint, plastic cups, and the proper mixing formula of your acrylic paint and pouring medium!  That’s right!  Easy abstract paintings in Photoshop with a similar look to acrylic pour paintings.

Using the Liquify Filter in Photoshop

For this tutorial, I will be using Adobe Photoshop CC. Under the filter options, you will see the Liquify Filter. The Liquify Filter is a way to pour paint without getting messy! The Liquify filter turns any image or layer in Photoshop into a fluid, free-flowing canvas. Additionally, you can push or pull the design, just like you do in traditional acrylic pouring when the paint is poured onto the canvas.

The Liquify Filter is found in Adobe Photoshop under the Filter Menu. Some of the options under the Liquify Filter are forward warp, twirl, pucker, and bloat. These are the main features that I use during this process of creating abstract paintings in Photoshop. In addition, the Liquify Filter also allows you to play around with the brush size and pressure settings. When you vary the brush size and pressure within the Liquify Filter, you can achieve a different look. Plus variety adds interest, especially in abstract paintings and acrylic pouring!

This purple swirl abstract painting print will be a perfect addition to any room of your home! Create abstract paintings in Photoshop like acrylic pouring using Liquify. Adria Black created this abstract painting using Photoshop in 2018.
This purple abstract painting, Purple and Gold Swirls, was created using Photoshop and the Liquify filter in 2018.

Different Way to Use the Liquify Filter

The Liquify Filter has a lot of potential in your digital art designs. You can use the Liquify Filter on several different types of items in Photoshop. One way to use the Liquify Filter is on a background that was made in Photoshop. Another way to use the Liquify Filter is with a photo or scanned artwork. Don’t forget about layers in Photoshop.  It can be fun to experiment with layering the Liquify results, as well.  I will show you how to do this in more detail in the Photoshop tutorial video below.

Video Tutorial of Creating Abstract Paintings in Photoshop

I show the process behind these techniques in the process video of how I created Watching the Sunset. Here you can see the final piece after I used these Liquify techniques and layering.  The really cool part of creating this kind of art in Photoshop is the ability to layer different pieces to make a final design.

This sunset abstract painting was designed in Adobe Photoshop, using one of my original spraypaintings as a foundation. Watching the Sunset is a colorful painting, featuring an abstract sky. This abstract sunset features flowing lines and colors in warm tones to create loads of interesting forms. Created by Adria Black - 2018
This sunset abstract painting was designed in Adobe Photoshop, using one of my original spraypaintings as a foundation. Created by Adria Black – 2018

Some tips and tricks:

  • Fill the whole canvas.  During the process of pushing and pull the design, you will end up with parts of your canvas being blank. So always go back and pull the design to the edges again, unless you are intentionally doing it for a specific reason (like negative space).
  • Use contrasting colors.  Contrasting colors often look better in this style of artwork than complementary colors.
  • Don’t forget about layering!  Layering in Photoshop allows you to push your artwork even further.

Digital Acrylic Pour – Abstract Painting Using Photoshop’s Liquify Filter – Video on YouTube by Adria Black

New Abstract Paintings in Photoshop Inspired by Acrylic Pouring

I created three new abstract paintings in Photoshop, using this Liquify technique. The first piece, Teal Waves, I simply created a background using a gradient fill and then applied the Liquify Filter. The second piece, Purple and Gold Swirls, used a background created with the cloud and fiber filters before applying the Liquify Filter. Finally, the third piece, Watching the Sunset, takes advantage of the layering abilities of Photoshop, as well as the Liquify Filter being used on a scanned original painting that I did using spray paint.

This framed teal abstract painting print will be a perfect addition to any room of your home! Create abstract paintings in Photoshop like acrylic pouring using Liquify. Adria Black created this abstract painting using Photoshop in 2018.
Teal Waves, a framed, teal, abstract painting print, will be a perfect addition to any room of your home! Adria Black created this abstract painting using Photoshop in 2018.
Abstract paintings in Photoshop tutorial - This framed abstract painting print will be a perfect addition to any room of your home! Create abstract paintings in Photoshop like acrylic pouring using Liquify. Adria Black created this abstract painting using Photoshop in 2018.
Purple and Gold Swirls is a framed, purple abstract painting print that will be a perfect addition to to your bedroom or living room home decor! Adria Black created this abstract painting using Photoshop in 2018.

Abstract Painting in Photoshop - This framed abstract print was designed in Adobe Photoshop, using one of my original spraypaintings as a foundation. Watching the Sunset is a colorful painting, featuring an abstract sky. This abstract sunset features flowing lines and colors in warm tones to create loads of interesting forms. Created by Adria Black - 2018
Watching the Sunset is a colorful painting, featuring an abstract sky. This abstract sunset features flowing lines and colors in warm tones to create loads of interesting forms. Created by Adria Black – 2018

In conclusion, you can use this Photoshop tutorial to quickly create abstract paintings similar to the traditional acrylic pouring style. It can save you time, money, and frustration with learning all the in’s and outs of this art form. Or give you something to do while your paint dries!

Let me know what you think about this tutorial and the new acrylic pour painting artwork in the comments below. If you use this tutorial, let me know and show me what you made! Make sure to come back next week, when I will show another way I’m using this inspiration. Feel free to join my tribe and mailing list, so you don’t miss anything!

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