I get so inspired by fellow artists when I see them making abstracts so I thought I’d give a try to a different method. These abstract swirl paintings are a type of fluid art similar to a dutch pour method.
I made these paintings by watering down acrylic paint, layering streaks of color, then using a straw to spread the color around with air. It’s a method that leaves you with unpredictable but very cool results!
Supplies to recreate: white canvas panels in sizes of choice (I used 5×7 and 8×10); 16 oz. white acrylic paint, a variety of 2oz. bottles of acrylic paint, mini squeeze bottles (not necessary but helpful); large plastic cup; stir stick; foam brushes; paper or plastic plates to elevate canvas panels; plastic tarp; plastic straws cut in half.
Gather your supplies and layer a table with a plastic tarp. Place the canvas panels on raised paper or plastic plates turned upside down to allow the paint to drip off the edges.
Mix the 16 oz. of white craft paint with 2 oz. of water and stir so the acrylic paint is slightly more watered down. Do the same for any of the craft size acrylic paints, add 3-4 tablespoons of water and shake.
I bought a set of squeeze bottles at Michaels and used them to mix the paint and water, they give you more control with the pointed tips, but these aren’t necessary. You can also squeeze just a little craft paint out of its original bottle and add water to that instead. Shake well!
Pour white paint over the canvases, use a foam brush to even out the first layer if necessary. After the white paint is level, use whatever colors appeal to you, squeeze swirls and stripes of color. I recommend doing no more than four canvases at a time.
Using a plastic straw that’s been cut in half, gently blow through the straw on the paint swirls to make it blend with the white layer underneath. With practice you can control how much you spread the paint around with your breath.
If the paint starts to thin or isn’t doing what you want, feel free to add a few drips of white at a time and continue spreading the paint around by blowing through the straw. It’s messy but it’s fun!
Once you’re satisfied with the swirls, allow the paint to drip off the canvas and settle for a few hours before moving them. Over time what looks like valleys of paint will settle and become flat, leaving you with lovely abstract swirl canvases for framing or display.
Allow two full days for paintings to dry at room temperature. Don’t allow them to dry outdoors or in cold to avoid debris settling into the paint and cracking. If the paint gets too cold it will cause cracks, so allow it them to dry indoors undisturbed for two days.
If you’d like to print and frame any of these three of my fluid abstract art creations, download the 8×10” art prints below. For personal use only!
This is a fun project to do on your own or as a craft night with friends!