Pulling Fireworks From a Swipe

I had a thought the other day after driving by a fireworks stand, would it be possible to mimic that explosion of color with a swipe? So, naturally, as with basically every other thought that’s ever popped into my mind, I decided to give it a try.

Air manipulation would be the easiest way and I do have a plan for that pour as well, but that requires more paint, a better formula and a willingness to take on my biggest fail as a pourer. For this pour, I wanted to go for a technique that I knew I could pull off, but with a twist. Obviously a standard swipe wouldn’t work, everything would get dragged in one direction. But then I thought, what if I swiped from the center, like the core of a firework exploding into the sky. I’d never actually seen a center swipe done the way I had in my mind and with what my resources would allow. I was flying a bit blind but I had confidence in my vision.

I wanted a contrast of dark and bright, but I didn’t have enough black for it to be my swipe color. I wound up recreating the color scheme from my previous Van Gogh pour, which I loved and knew would have the glitter I needed for a firework imitation.

The process started with a big blue puddle in the middle, and I’m happy to say that I finally got the right swipe color consistency, yay me! If surrounded the blue with swirls of the rest of my paint, haphazard ribbons of turquoise, bronze and gold stretching across the canvas.

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Since this was a swipe of multiple points I knew I’d need a couple of swipe cloths so I readied my station with three damp paper towels that I wound up having to tear in half to get at the little nooks and crannies.  

One of the things I love most about this art form is that even if you do everything right, formula, technique, station preparation, it still might not go right. But that’s okay! Because what you’ve got could still be something beautiful. Which is exactly what happened here.

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It doesn’t look like a firework to be certain, it looks more like a depths of a geyser or the roof of the cavern that Ariel sings through in The Little Mermaid. But I’m still in love with the colors and the swirls, the glittery cells, even the muddy bits are working in this pour.

I’ve learned a lot from this project and know what I have to do when I try for this firework effect again. But I just love this deep dark blue, I don’t know how it could go wrong with any project I do if I’m honest. This blue contains the whole of the universe, all of my hopes and dreams and the possibilities of being an artist.

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The next time I try this (and there will be a next time, I won’t be able to get this image out of my head until it’s done) it will have to be with air manipulation. Which means I’ve got a lot of homework to do, and color schemes to decide on, and black paint to buy. Wish me luck!

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