Deep Under the Sea Blue Starburst Swipe

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Did you see the original rainbow starburst swipe painting? It created quite a stir in the groups and I was so delighted to see so many people being inspired to give it a try themselves. Today I am using a much simpler color palette and creating a similar effect in all blues.

How to create a starburst swipe using acrylic paints to create cells. Video tutorial.

As a keen scuba diver, there is almost nothing more beautiful than being in the warm, clear water of the Caribbean, admiring the fish and the coral reef and then looking up towards the rays of sunshine filtering down through the water. In the center, the sunlight looks bright white and the rays filter outwards from the center, though the clear water. As you look up, the water looks lighter in the center and then gradually darkens until its a rich deep blue on the outside of your vision. It’s magical. I wanted to recreate that image in this pour.

The sort of image I would love to recreate with a starburst swipe

Materials used in this painting:
12-inch canvas
Art Alternatives paints in white and ultramarine blue,
Blick Student Acrylics paints in black and cobalt blue
Sargent Art Turquoise
Apple Barrel paint in Cloudless
Floetrol
Treadmill belt silicone
8oz squeeze bottles
4 oz cups with lids
UV-Resistant clear gloss spray finish
Recipe for the paints:
All paints were mixed approx 1 part Floetrol to 2 parts paint, plus water added as needed for the pouring consistency. 1-2 drops of silicone oil per tablespoon of original paint.

Well, as usual, it didn’t turn out exactly the plan. That very light blue went a bit crazy and tried to take over, but I was able to recover by adding some other paints on top and swiping again. I think the end result still looks good and still much like the photo I was trying to replicate.

As usual, enjoy a slideshow below with photos of this painting, both wet and dry, and close ups of the details.

Comments

  1. I love this technique. Can’t wait to give it a go myself but I have to get my fur baby better before I can paint again. At least this gives me something to look forward to doing. Thanks Deby for your courage to try so many new things.

    1. Thanks Mariette. I usually wait 4 weeks between painting, before cleaning and varnishing.

  2. Hi Deby,
    I’m a newbie and have watched many of your videos, but apparently not in chronological order 🙂 I noticed that you did not use PVA Glue in this one. What is the reason for that?
    Thanks!
    Rhonda

    1. I rarely do Rhonda. I think I’ve tried it may be twice. I don’t get good results with it and am also concerned about how it would stand up longer term. I think it might crack, shrink or yellow, so I prefer not to use it. But there are other painters who get great results.

  3. I read somewhere that Floetrol is about the same as Liquitex Flow-Aid. The directions on the Flow Aid bottle says not to use it without diluting first with water. It says to use one part Flow-Aid to 20 parts water. Is it the same with the Floetrol? Do you have to dilute it?

    1. Hmm, no, those products sound completely different. You don’t need to dilute floetrol at all. You may choose to use additional water to thin your paint if you need to, but certainly not in the ratio of 20:1, I think that would be far too much water to add.

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