How to Use a Paper Towel to Swipe an Acrylic Pour Painting

Today I’m going to try a new way of swiping. One of the group members wrote and told me about swiping with a wet paper towel and I’m intrigued to give it a try. It has some advantages that I think could make this a great method for swiping large canvases.

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If you’ve been following for a while, you’ll know that I like to use a small card for my swipes. Usually one of those paint sample cards from the DIY store, or a playing card. I really do like the variety I get over a painting, by having multiple smaller swipes with all the areas in between the swipes, or where the swipes overlap each other. Today let’s try something different – a single swipe that covers the whole width of the painting. That will be a new look for me and I love to try out new things.

Materials used in this painting:
Acrylic paints – various brands and colors
Treadmill silicone oil
Gallery wrapped canvas
Paper towel (kitchen towel/kitchen roll – whatever you call it where you are)
Polycrylic protective finish

Well, that worked well. I spoiled it a little bit by not giving myself enough room to swipe right off the bottom of the painting because all of my bottles of paint were in the way, so remember that and give yourself plenty of room to work. The wet paper towel was the perfect weight for swiping with the added bonus that you can make it to any size you like for making large single swipes too. I did get a very uniform look and lots of little cells, so if that’s what you are looking for, the wet paper towel is the perfect swipe too.

As usual here is a slideshow of some images from this pour.

14 thoughts on “How to Use a Paper Towel to Swipe an Acrylic Pour Painting”

  1. Claire Vanfleteren

    Hi Deby
    I think this is the best thing that has ever been done because you can pull across the line.
    A big congratulations for the lady who passed it on.
    I am also trying something and then send it to people

    1. It depends on how much paint I mix up. If I start with a tablespoon of paint, then add the mediums, water etc, then that would get 1 or 2 drops. If I mix up a whole 8 oz bottle then I might add 10-12 drops in the bottle and shake it through. Hope that helps.

  2. Maureen Dunleavy

    Could you tell me if tread mill oil is (in Australia ) I’m guessing it’s sewing machine oil is this correct.
    Thank you love your YouTube

    1. There are several silicone oils for sale on Amazon Aus so you might get lucky there. I’m honestly not sure if sewing machine oil is the same thing. You would have to take a look and see if it gave you any clue as to what sort of oil it was. You might be better trying one of the spray lubricants or the hair serum products if you can’t get the treadmill oil. Those would be more easily available.

  3. Hi Deby,
    Firstly, thanks for selflessly sharing; we all really appreciate your lessons.
    I was wondering about your thoughts on tilting the canvas back towards the black to get rid of the hard black line. Would the elongated cells spoil the effect?
    Thanks 🙂

    1. I think it’s just personal taste really, there is no right or wrong way. I quite like the black area, but if you don’t want so much, you can add another canvas next to the one you want to work on, pour the black on that one, and swipe it over your colors and then all the solid black is on the other canvas, and you just take it away.

  4. Really interested in learning this! If I click on the materials suggested it takes me to amazon. Are these the correct materials such as the treadmill oil is that what comes up on amazon like actually for a treadmill? Just making sure before I order it I have never heard of such a thing so wanted to verify. And did you mix the treadmill oil with just the black or other colors as well?

    1. Yes that’s the right stuff. It’s used to lubricate the belts on running machines. I mix my oil in with all the colors.

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