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The Science Behind Cells in Fluid Art and Techniques for Achieving Them

Posted by Adryanna Sutherland on

Cells, the captivating patterns seen in fluid art, are not just a result of artistic technique but also a fascinating display of scientific principles. Understanding the science behind cell formation can help artists manipulate their creations for desired effects.

The formation of cells in fluid art is primarily due to differences in paint density and the interaction of these densities. When paints of varying densities are layered or mixed, the denser paint tends to sink while the lighter paint rises. This constant push and pull, known as Rayleigh-Taylor instability, results in the formation of cells.

A popular additive in fluid art, Floetrol, plays a significant role in cell creation. Floetrol, a paint conditioner, alters the density and viscosity of the paint. When mixed with paint, it encourages the formation of cells by enhancing the differences in paint densities and promoting the 'rising and sinking' effect.

In a Dutch Pour, the movement of paint is facilitated by a blow dryer. The force of the air moves the paints across the canvas, causing them to interact and blend. As the paints of different densities come into contact, cells are formed.

The Flip Cup technique, on the other hand, involves layering paints of different densities in a cup and then flipping the cup onto the canvas. The layered paints fight to rearrange themselves according to their densities, creating a flurry of cells as they settle.

The creation of cells in fluid art is a beautiful interplay of science and art. By understanding the science behind it, artists can experiment and manipulate their techniques to achieve stunning results.


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