Monday, September 24, 2018

My First Paint Pour: Paper Towel Swipe Method


So while I was without a craft room, I became obsessed with paint pouring. I may be very late to the party but I'm here now and I'm so hooked! If you haven't played with this let me warn you, it's so much fun and addictive from the first project and expect to see more projects!

What is paint pouring? In my own words, it's basically thinning acrylic paint with a medium that increases it's fluidity and flow, to create cells that dry into different patterns.  I'm sure there is a more official description but that's what it boils down to for me.  I just decided to experiment based on the concepts I'd seen on Pinterest and You Tube. 

Supplies: 
  • Canvas or other surface. I used a 12x12 canvas from Michaels
  • Acrylic Paints. I used 2oz bottles from my craft stash, nothing fancy ( in other words, not from the fine art section)
  • Flow medium. I decided to go with an official medium and used Liquitex Pouring Medium ( Michaels ) but have seen references to everything from just water, silicone, other brand name pouring mediums, even hair care products.  Since this was my first time I decided to be "official"  and use something designed for this.
  • Containers and utensils to mix paint and medium 
  • Paper towel



I added enough pouring medium to make my paints pourable. I craft like I cook...by instinct so it was about 2/3 paint 1/3 medium and as you can see, for this size canvas you don't need a lot. 


You will want to make sure you have your work surface covered because it will drip down the sides. I just poured a couple of colors in random patterns as shown and kept adding paint until I felt like I was ready to do the swipe. 


I started with black and silver, and then added gold and white, and just kept pouring and swirling. 


When you're done adding your paint, you'll need a wet paper towel for what is called the "swipe". I went for wet but not sopping and just kept it at the ready in its own cup. This is something you'll want to watch a video to see the technique because I couldn't do it and take pictures at the same time but basically you straighten out your wet paper towel and then line the bottom of it up with the top of your canvas and swipe ( to me it's really more of a drag) your wet paper towel down to the bottom of your canvas. 

You'll pick up paint on your paper towel which you can offload on an extra piece of paper. I actually saved my paper towel once it dried. It looks like a piece of handmade paper which I guess it is! Repeat on the remaining un-swiped area of your canvas. 

Now don't do what I did! I prefer to think of creative mistakes as "happy accidents". I am impatient and I wasn't sure if I'd totally mucked up my project ( I hadn't) because I wasn't seeing the cells develop immediately.  This is the part where you don't want to repeat my mistake ( unless you decide you do!). 



I dragged my paper towel sideways instead of just leaving it alone because I thought maybe I hadn't covered my canvas well enough. I ended up making these kind of wave patterns which in the end turned out fine since there really is no right or wrong here but that's not what you're supposed to do. I also wasn't seeing as much gold as a result because I'd dragged too much black paint over it so I just randomly dropped some from the cup with the gold in it.  

Had I been more patient, I would have realized that the interaction of the water from the paper towel with the paints and the medium just took a little time. As the canvas sat there, the cells began to emerge. I'm still happy with the outcome and it fits right in with the rest of how one of the walls in my office is coming along!


and it goes with my "cement" focal wall: 


2 comments:

Reema dsouza said...

Awesome and funny! I love your presentation!

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Our Hopeful Home said...

WOW. This really is gorgeous. Thanks for introducing me to something new:) xoKathleen|Our Hopeful Home