Using Silicone to Save a Boring Pour

Have you ever started pouring and just thought, nope, not what I wanted?  Maybe you used the wrong color combination, the wrong approach to a pour, or even just as you tilted you knew it wasn’t going to be anywhere near what you were hoping for.  This is what happened on this project.

I had planned an article on creating a circular swipe, but it took a different turn the second I started to pour. Guess who forgot to add any silicone to the paint before I poured.  

Materials Used

I had poured several layers on top of each other, starting each in the middle of the canvas, with the white as the final layer in the center.  

Pic 1 the pour

As I mentioned earlier, I forgot to add the silicone to the paint prior to the pour. After thinking through my options, I decided to go ahead with the spiral swipe, as even without silicone you can still obtain some cells if you use Titanium White.   

Sorry, I didn’t take pictures as I swirled, I needed one hand to swipe and one to turn the painting.  The premise is simple though, you literally start in the middle using your preferred swiping methodplastic sheeting, spatula, etc. 

I started in the center slowly swiping in a circular motion.  Trying to make sure I continued to pull the white paint throughout the rest of the canvas. 

Pic 2 start swirl

I used a small three inch piece of flexible, medium weight plastic to do the swipe. This was simply something I cut off of a piece of packaging, nothing special. This way I could control the force I applied throughout and I thought using the plastic might keep my colors cleaner to the end. I don’t know if it would have made a difference, but I was worried if I used the damp paper towel method it might make things muddy the farther from the center you get. Haven’t tried it, just a worry because you pick up a lot of paint as you do the circular motion and the larger the painting, the more paint you mix as you go.

The little 3×3 inch plastic piece worked great.

Pic 3 post swirl

After the swipe I tilted and only the edges were developing cells. The middle was okay, but since it was already an experimentI decided to do something I don’t normally do for a variety of reasons. 

Adding silicone on top of your pour is another way to create cells. There are several ways to do this and of course you can use whichever you wish. It can be a game changer, but it can also ruin a painting if not done correctly.

Pic 4 blah middle

After a quick torching, it was obvious nothing was going to form in the center. I use a Henna tattoo bottle to drop silicone as its always consistent and forms the same size cells.

Pic 5 silicone

The drops can be evenly spaced, random or in specific areas where you want additional cells. 

Pic 6 adding silicone

Simply add one drop at a time, being careful not to touch the paint with the tip of the applicator.  If you touch the paint, you may pierce through the layers and end up with silicone on the canvas.

Keep in mind the drop may look small, but as it settles and spreadsopening the top layer of paint, it will be a larger cell formation. As you can see the initial drop which doesn’t do much at first. Take a look directly above it to the drops in white which where done about 30 seconds prior, you can see how much each drop of silicone spreads and opens up to the red below.  As always, you have to be patient with cell formation.

Pic 7 center cells

I continued all around the center by simply following the natural flow of the spiral. One week later, I thoroughly washed three times, letting it dry between, then sealed with Liquitex varnish.

It’s not always about following the rules, you can break a few as long as you fix it before you seal it! Wash, rinse, repeat!

11 thoughts on “Using Silicone to Save a Boring Pour”

  1. great design and explanation of your pouring, with your trying to go our own way (not to copy) had never heard of using the cocoanut milk, thanks, picked up numerous tips, still haven’t tried to do it yet, still learning, thanks, gail

    1. why, does my response to you have to be reviewed before it gets posted????? seems like you are afraid of a negative type response which ought to mean that someone does not get it, but needs to be responded to, sort of disappointed, thanks, gail

    1. Tina Swearingen

      Debbi, I actually purchase them through because they are so inexpensive, but they can take weeks to get to you. You can also purchase them from any beauty supply company.

    1. Gretchen Dietz

      You have to wash your canvas before sealing it to get all the silicone off. Otherwise the sealant doesn’t adhere to the canvas. You can wash with water and a little Blue Dawn or some people use rubbing alcohol or baby wipes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *