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DIY: Abstract Swirl Paintings | Centsational style

I get so inspired by other artists when I see them doing abstracts, so I thought I’d try a different method. These abstract swirl paintings are a type of fluid art that resembles a Dutch pouring method.

I made these paintings by watering down acrylic paint, layering strips of paint, and then using a straw to diffuse the paint with air. It’s a method that will leave you with unpredictable but very cool results!

Supplies to recreate: white canvas panels in your choice of sizes (I used 5×7 and 8×10); 16 ounces. 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 for lifting canvas panels; plastic tarpaulin; Plastic straws cut in half.

Gather your supplies and cover a table with a plastic tarp. Lay the canvases on raised paper or plastic boards that are turned upside down to allow the paint to drip off the edges.

Blend the 16 oz. white craft paint with 2 oz. water and stir to dilute the acrylic paint a little more. Do the same with all the craft size acrylic paints, add 3-4 tablespoons of water and shake.

I bought a set of squeeze bottles from Michaels and used them to mix paint and water. They give you more control with the pointed tips, but these are not required. You can also squeeze just a little bit of craft paint out of the original bottle and add water instead. Shake well!

Pour white paint over the canvases, use a foam brush to smooth the first layer if necessary. After the white color is level, use the colors you like and squeeze color swirls and streaks. I recommend not doing more than four canvases at a time.

Using a plastic straw cut in half, gently blow through the straw onto the color swirls to blend with the white layer below. With practice, you’ll be able to control how much you diffuse the color with your breath.

If the paint comes out too thin or doesn’t do what you want, feel free to add a few drops of white at a time and further distribute the paint by blowing through the straw. It’s messy, but it’s fun!

When you are happy with the swirls, allow the paint to drip off the canvas and sit for a few hours before moving it. What appear to be valleys of color will settle and flatten out over time, giving you beautiful abstract swirl canvases for framing or displaying.

Allow the paintings to dry at room temperature for two full days. Do not let them dry outdoors or in the cold to avoid dirt settling in the paint and cracking. If the paint gets too cold it will crack, so let it dry indoors undisturbed for two days.

If you would like to print and frame any of these three of my fluid abstract art creations, download the 8×10 inch fine art prints below. Only for personal use!

green & pink 8×10″ abstract

apricot aqua abstract

pink orange abstract

This is a fun project to do alone or as a craft night with friends!

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