Swiping with thinner paints – does it make a difference?

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In the video I released yesterday I was trying to emulate the swipe technique of the King of Swipes, Casey. His paints seemed much thinner than mine, so if I thinned mine to more like his, would I get the larger cells? Only one way to find out.

Video. Do thinner paints make for better swipes in acrylic pouring Do you get more cells Bigger cells or better cells Watch the video to find out more about swiping with acrylic paints.

Today I’m working in a similar simple color scheme of Bahama Blue, Blue Bird, a little silver, plus black and white. And wow, when I do my first swipe, look at those cells pop up! After swiping with the black, I’m reluctant to add the white and swipe the other way. – but in the name of true experimentation, I do anyway.

It’s gorgeous! I’m very happy with the much bigger cells and I don’t even want to torch it in case I break them up with lots of little ones instead.

So it does look like paint thickness can matter when you swipe. My thicker paint created a lot of very small and well-defined cells and I had to torch to get them. The thinner paint created cells much more easily without any torching, and they were larger.

But I feel that the cells weren’t so detailed, weren’t so well defined as they were in the red one with the thicker paints. What do you think? Especially looking at it after it was dry, it looks like the cells had a tendency to bleed and separate and they had much softer edges than when it was wet. Thinner paint leads to more changes while it dries and less defined cells?

Perhaps a third experiment with the thickness somewhere in the middle to try to find that perfect nirvana moment of large and well-defined cells in a simple swipe? There must be an ideal consistency where the cells are large and instantly created on swiping and yet hold the same definition of the smaller cells with the thicker paint. Any excuse to get back in the studio and paint some more 🙂

I used up my leftover paints to create a couple of matching mini 3 inch canvases and you can also see pictures of these below.

Check out the slideshow below for pictures wet, dry and some close-ups of the details. I’d love to hear your feedback so do leave me a comment on the video – do you like these cells better, or in the red and black one?

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41 thoughts on “Swiping with thinner paints – does it make a difference?”

    1. It changes up from time to time. In this one I was using 2 parts paint to 1 part Floetrol, and then a little water as needed. The paints in this example had some extra water because I was comparing to the swipe I did the previous day to see if the cells were different.

  1. Hı I think it s amazing technic. I like this very much. Do you use acrilic or oil? I am sorry, I couldn’t understand .

    1. I do not speak Spanish so I cannot translate my blog articles for you. However Chrome browser has a translate function built in to translate any foreign language websites, or you can use the translate tool here – https://translate.google.com/
      No hablo español así que no puedo traducir mis artículos del blog para usted. Sin embargo, el navegador Chrome tiene una función de traducción integrada para traducir cualquier sitio web de idioma extranjero, o puede utilizar la herramienta de traducción aquí

  2. Hello, just subscribed and I’m​ a beginner. I enjoy watching your videos and learning different​ amazing experiments from you. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  3. Hi. I love these! Is there a way to make to make the tiles a permanent color? Seal them? It would be amazing to use as a kitchen backsplash. Thanks.

    1. I do seal them for display but I don’t think it would be hardwearing enough for something that needed constant cleaning like in a kitchen, or was often damp like in a bathroom. You could probably get them sealed professionally somehow, but I wouldn’t know where to start on that. Sorry. But wow, yes, wouldn’t it be awesome to paint your own custom kitchen tiles.

  4. I love your videos and clear instructions and your willingness to share that even for you it is not all perfection at first go around! What was your reason for not putting in Silicone in the black for this swipe? I thought you put them in all the colours all the time?

    1. I’ve found that you really don’t seem to need it in the color that you swipe with. And the less silicone I have, the less I have to clean off later 🙂

    1. In this example the paint was mixed with 50% floetrol compared to paint volume, plus water to get the right pouring consistency and a few drops of silicone oil.

        1. Floetrol is a paint conditioner for acrylic/layex paints found in the DIY store. Many painters use it to thin their paints to a pouring consistency.

  5. Me quedo una duda que diferencia hay entre colocar silicona o tunero ,el efecto es parecido ? .si es así como se debería realizar la técnica y xq el arrastre de pintura con papel ? Gracias .Me encantan tus pinturas .

  6. Hello, just subscribed . I enjoy watching your videos and learning different​ amazing experiments from you. Thank you so much for sharing!!!So can you send me all equipments & tools you use ??

    1. Thank you for subscribing, I do appreciate that. But no, I can’t afford to send you supplies, sorry, you will need to buy your own.

  7. They are both great! I think I prefer the larger cells on the blue to the smaller in the red although they both look cool!!

  8. Wow! I am glad I watched this! I had no idea that you gave me a second ‘shout out’ video and blog! I am so honored.

    This is beautiful and it was so cool to feel your immediate excitement when you took that first swipe!

    I agree, finding the happy balance in viscosity between your red and this blue is the goal!

  9. Hello Deby,
    beautiful work, thank you for sharing. I have a problem that you might have answer for. I did different technics and different mixing combinations, acrylic, floetrol, pouring medium, H2O, never got nice big cells, but most of all when I was watching different methods , everybody using torch kept producing more cells, they just pooping like crazy, when I used my torch , not even one cell is popping. Would like like to give me some tips please.

    1. It all depends on your mix I think Lillian. I like my paints a little thinner and they tend to create cells without torching. If the paints are a little thicker, then heating can make more cells appear. So it depends on your paint consistency, and also your brand of paints. Each one reacts differently. I am the same as you, torching makes no real difference except to pop a few bubbles. Try varying your paint consistency and see if that makes a difference for you.

  10. I’m a beginner, I’ve painted for years but only just trying the pouring technique. Thank you for your demonstrations, they are very clear and informative. I just need to create table space where I can safely make a mess! See you on FB! 🇬🇧

  11. I really enjoyed your tutorial and would like to try this method . Where do you purchase silicone oil please?
    Also have you used this method on a canvas

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