View Full Version : Wipe Out Technique

05-17-2015, 09:58 PM
Does anyone have any experience using the wipe out technique? I have watched videos of oil painters who paint a dark ground, and then use a rag to wipe out the lights. I tried it tonight with acrylics on a sheet of canvas pad. I tried adding retarder to heavy body mars black, and tried the following on a piece of paper towel: (a) water, (b) rubbing alcohol, (c) Atelier unlocking formula (although my paint was Golden heavy body, not Atelier Interactive). I did not get good results -- I maybe made the black go from a value 1 to a value 1-1/2. I did not thin the paint much -- maybe I should have? Any suggestions? Does anyone do this successfully? Or am I on a fool's errand trying to do this with acrylics? Many thanks for your thoughts.

05-17-2015, 11:39 PM
It's tricky to do that with acrylics , use thinned paint and wipe & work fast???
It is doable and a cool/colder environment will help too by slowing the dry time..

I played around with wiping after watching this video-

05-17-2015, 11:52 PM
Save yourself the frustration and don't try to use oil painting techniques with acrylics.

05-18-2015, 11:42 AM
You might be able to do it with Golden Opens. But regular acrylics...probably not.

Charlie's Mum
05-18-2015, 12:53 PM
Maybe with Atelier Interactives too - they stay open longer - but I think it's not worth the hassle!
I've done it on a small scale - 7x5 - where you can keep the base quite damp (not necessarily black either) - but using three tones and building is easier!:)

05-18-2015, 01:00 PM
I have done it with Golden Opens (transparent red oxide). I lifted with a wet brush. I still had to work fairly fast. I have also done something similar with Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Medium mixed with heavy body acrylics (transparent red oxide). I did not like either option as much as working in oils.

05-18-2015, 08:54 PM
I am wondering if glazing medium might be of some value. It extends the drying time a bit. Still work fast and furious but it may just work.

05-18-2015, 08:56 PM
Good suggestions and insights. Thank you, all.

05-19-2015, 02:15 AM
I would try applying a very thin layer of retarder first the the canvas pad - so that the paint doesn't have the chance to 'dig in'. Also applying retarder to the paint might help too.

I use Golden Retarder very liberally...much more than they recommend, and I haven't had any problems with it not drying or adhesion problems...the paint seems to eventually (after a few days) dry just as completely as if I didn't use any retarder. Just my experience.

Jon Bradley
05-19-2015, 01:54 PM
Yeah, it works well enough for me on dark grounds. It does behave differently than oil though.

I find it easier to either do a mid-consistency wash and pick-up to form shape, or some fat dry brush stuff.

05-19-2015, 03:19 PM
The wash and pickup tecnique has worked for me also. Better on more porous grounds. You can get a similar effect/look with matte medium, but it's a more-is-darker approach. Also you have to work fast, even with a retarder.

05-19-2015, 05:02 PM
Yes, I loved using the wipeout technique. First I coat my canvas although I preferred milk carton paper (not easy to come by)...the paper they make milk cartons out of before it's waxed. A heavy smooth paper would do, I use a product called novaplex. I first coast the canvas with that because it makes a hard, smooth finish, and when you wipe the paint back it holds your brush strokes. I'll try to find an example of my work done this way.
Then I paint over the drived surface with whatever color I wish to use. I love burnt umber mixed with thalo blue, thin coat but not too thin, just not the heavy bodied acrylics or a thick layer of paint. Let dry, then wipe back with alcohol.

05-19-2015, 05:43 PM
The wash and pickup tecnique has worked for me also. Better on more porous grounds. You can get a similar effect/look with matte medium, but it's a more-is-darker approach. Also you have to work fast, even with a retarder.
Not sure I follow. Can you describe the wash and pick up technique?

05-19-2015, 05:46 PM
I had never heard of Nova. Is Novaplex an acrylic medium, or a glazing liquid, or some such?

05-19-2015, 06:23 PM
Novaplex is something I LOVE for a smooth hard surface. I use it to glue fabrics to my surface, or just make a smooth finish. It comes from Novacolor (just google it) in California. I get the 235 (I think) kind, or hard finish kind.
I coat my canvas or paper surface with novaplex. Let it dry thoroughly, Apply my paint over it, coating it with a fluid coat, not thinned down too much and not thick. Let that dry completely, then wipe it back or out with alcohol. It leaves marks from the brush I applied the novaplex with. If I want more brush strokes, I just make more rough strokes in the initial coating. See the black part in the bottom part of the circle. The whiter areas I have smoothed the novaplex out more, leaving some dry canvas where I want it to appear dark. You can almost wipe it all off, but it still leaves a rich staining and nice brushstrokes

05-19-2015, 07:15 PM
Sounds like you are counting on the smoothness of the surface to allow the wipeout, if that's the case I'd imagine Yupo would work as a surface, possibly even Speedball hardboard panels. I'm a little concerned about the use of alcohol though, that doesn't sound like an archival practice since alcohol breaks down the polymer binder.

05-19-2015, 07:24 PM
No need to worry about the alcohol because it takes away the broken down acrylic, leaves a clean surface, evaporates, and I always finished my paintings with matte varnish.

05-19-2015, 11:38 PM
I do it sometimes but I work fast and in small area like 16x24 area on a canvas.
I put the paint on a little heavy, Yes i waste paint but i get what i wish for

05-23-2015, 07:42 PM
Maybe with Atelier Interactives too - they stay open longer - but I think it's not worth the hassle! I tried it today using Chroma Atelier Interactives, and have posted my WIP here. If I decide to finish this, it needs a lot of work, but the wiping out part worked well. I mixed a little Chroma thick slow dry medium into the paint, kept it wet with a spray bottle, and used a damp or dry paper towel to wipe out, depending on how white I wanted to get it. I ended up adding back darks and midtones here and there with a brush. An interesting and worthwhile experiment, and it makes me want to spend more time with the Chroma Interactive. Here is the WIP:


05-23-2015, 10:05 PM
Here it is after a little more work. This is after 3 or 4 hours of drying, and I simply wet a paper towel and did more wiping out. Worked well. I should have mentioned that this is about 8" X 12" on a gessoed canvas board. C&C welcome.