Do You Need to Use Silicone for Acrylic Pouring Swipe Paintings?

I’ve been wondering this for a while. Do I need to use silicone oil in my swipe paintings? Do I need to use it in my swipe color or just the other colors? What would happen if I left out the silicone oil and did a swipe without out? Could I make cells?

Pin MeAcrylic pouring side by side experiment. Do you need to add <a href=silicone oil to your swipe color or to any of your colors to create cells in an acrylic swipe painting” width=”600″ height=”856″ />

I set up a quick side by side test using some paints that I am not too fond of – greens naturally. In my tests and experiments, I often use my leftover paints or my ugly colors, and I like to paint on ceramic tiles because they are easy to clean off failed projects and use them again. I suspected at least 1 of these wouldn’t work out.

I tried:
1 – no silicone in any of the colors or the swipe color
2 – silicone in the colors but not in the white I was swiping with
3 – silicone in all the paints

Materials used in this painting:
Liquitex Basics in Light Aqua Green and Light Green Permanent
Pebeo Studio Acrylics in Blue Green iridescent
Titanium white
Treadmill belt lubricant
Ceramic tiles

All the paints were mixed 1 part Floetrol to 2 parts paint plus water as needed. I added silicone to the paints in turn, according to the terms of the experiment.

Well, I was actually a bit surprised that experiment number two, with silicone in the colors but not in the white, didn’t turn out better. To be fair, it was one quick test under not exactly laboratory conditions, but it certainly looks like adding silicone to all of the colors, including the swipe color, gives the best results if cells are what you are looking for.

16 thoughts on “Do You Need to Use Silicone for Acrylic Pouring Swipe Paintings?”

  1. Thanks Deby. I really do love watching all your expirements. It is so good of you to share your knowledge like you do. And what I love the most is if you don’t know how or why, you try and find the answers. Thanks again for all your help in my newfound (very addictive) paint pouring hobby! We here in Australia are going into summer (very hot and dry) so it will be interesting to see how my painting goes in that weather. I may have to have a break (never, buy an air conditioner). Looking forward to watching your next video. Kim

  2. It would have been interesting to see these dried to see which cells remained. Wet results as we know mean little.. interezting never the less. Thank u for the experiment

    1. I almost never get any changes to the paintings when dry. My mix is just where I want it now and doesn’t move, so I can say with confidence, what you saw wet would have looked exactly the same when dry.

    2. Great experiment, and I’d like to say… I always enjoy your videos…. you get great results, and you’re FUN to watch!?…additionally, as an American, I LOVE to hear u speak ??

    1. I always mix the silicone in well. Leaving it on the surface of the paint or barely mixing it has never produced good results for me.

    1. It’s a combination of things to create the cells. Silicone is the one that contributes the most, but also paint densities and consistency come into play to help move the paints through each other.

    2. I wonder what the result would have been if only the white, with its heavier pigment density, had silicone and not the colors.

  3. Thank you for your video. I see that you did it quite a while ago, but as I am new, I am just now viewing. I really appreciate the experiments and all your videos. They are a great way to learn.

  4. I am so very delighted to have engaged in your tutorials and beginners course.
    Over several months I have purchased a ‘stash’ of supplies as I have been very keen to give this craft a try. Your tuition is awesome. Cannot wait to commence.
    Many thanks Deby

  5. Deby, your paint color selection for this demo is by far my favorite!!!! I’m not sure why you don’t like greens, but they make my hear happy! I have just discovered this type of art and I’m heading out to get supplies!!!

    1. We’re happy to hear that, Marty! If you ever need “color scheme inspiration,” check out the Pinterest board we put together here for just that. Good luck with your pour!

  6. Hi…I am new to painting and I have become interested in this style. I feel stupid asking this but when you say 1 part floehoe and two part paint. How much is that of each? Thank you ahead of time for helping

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