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This summer I taught an acrylic mixed media and methods class once again using the gardens at Government House in Regina, Sask. as inspiration for my students. The 8.5 acres of Edwardian Gardens are beautiful with their many intimate garden rooms perfect for artists, writers and those seeking a peaceful location to rest.

On one of the full day classes I taught the following methods and wanted to share them here for my readers.  I hope that if you give them a try that you will send me a photo and share your thoughts on the process!

Sculptural Elements with Acrylic Pours:

"My Heart Needs...To Be Like an Open Lily" 9" x 12" acrylic mixed media copyright N.Jacquin 2014

“My Heart Needs…To Be Like an Open Lily”
9″ x 12″ acrylic mixed media
copyright N.Jacquin 2014


Detail of embossed ventilation tape and clear pours made of poring medium and beads.


Detail showing sculptural element made of beaded acrylic pour.

Detail showing sculptural element made of beaded acrylic pour.











Here I show an example of sculptural elements made form acrylic pours. Metallic details were created using ventilation tape. (Here clear pours with beads where cut and applied flat. Ventilation tape may be found in the plumbing and heating section of your hardware store. )

1. mix 1 fluid acrylic colour with GAC 800 or 500 (this creates opaque pours that are not see through) mix in a small container. Mix another colour in another container ie white paint with Pouring Medium (this will be transparent when dry if you don’t thoroughly mix but just run a knife through to marbleize.)

2. Drip or pour small amount onto a smooth plastic surface. I used margarine container lids. If you hold this over a larger container you can tilt this and move it to cause the paint colours to flow randomly together. You can spritz this with water to increase the flow. Let this dry flat.

3. On another lid pour Pouring Medium into a plastic lid, enough to cover the bottom. While this is wet drop desired fluid acrylic acrylics / iridescent / or metallics into the wet pour and swirl lightly with a toothpick. Let dry completely 24 – 48 hours.

4. Pop pour out and cut into shapes using scissors into desired shapes.

5. Cut pieces can be used as collage elements in a painting or shaped and applied in a 3 dimensional way (See example below).

6. You may then also paint the sculptural elements if it seems best to do so in your composition. (See example below). Use clear medium such as heavy gloss gel medium to adhere the pours to your painting. If you build this very heavily be sure to paint on a rigid surface like prepared Masonite etc.

6. Pours can be done directly onto canvas but use only 1 or 2 colours to avoid a muddy mess. Let dry and then pour new colours onto canvas if you wish. If a mess happens just wipe off before dried and begin again.

Additional ideas:

  • Drop pours onto a book page. Part of the print will come with the pour as in making an acrylic skin.
  • Spray soap or alcohol into wet pour to create spotted effect.
  • You can pour into bags or onto large pieces of plexi or plastic drop cloth for larger sheets of acrylic pours.
  • you may also try spray webbing into the wet pouring medium for added texture.
  • Try moving the paint in drips and runs, not just swirls for added interest.
  • Embed non-organic items into the pours such as beads and buttons. I am sure you will think of many other items too.
  • Apply pour to an item that has rust on it. Rust will be attached to our pour when you remove it creating interesting effects.

Metallic Effects with Ventilation Tape:

"Clematis Collage" 9" x 12" acrylci mixed media copyright N.Jacquin 2014

“Clematis Collage”
9″ x 12″ acrylci mixed media
copyright N.Jacquin 2014

Detail showing embossed and painted ventilation tape and sculpted painted acrylic pours.

Detail showing embossed and painted ventilation tape and sculpted painted acrylic pours. Here the embossed effect was created by doing a rubbing of stove element.

1. You can simply cut and apply this self adhesive ventilation tape to your painting surface as it is or it can be cut into any shape you like.

2. Create a rubbing on the tape before the backing is pulled off with various tools such as the back of a spoon etc over textured items like your stove elements (while element is off of course). In this way you are adding textural interest through by transferring a rubbing onto the tape.

3. Try embossing the tape. (Shown in first example detail in “My Hearts Needs to be An Open Lily” To do this place several layers of paper towel under the tape and draw or write into the ventilation tape with any sharp item such as the end of a pain brush.

4. You can overlap pieces for larger areas.

5. Once you have the shape and texture you like remove the backing and apply to painting or surface directly. Brushing a layer of paint or acrylic medium to the back can help adhesion. Burnish the edges by pressing them down to secure until dried.

6. Now the fun starts. Paint a layer of paint. Let it dry and then sand lightly so the raised designs on the ventilation tape show through. You can repeat this as many times as you like. You can also wipe off acrylic paint or India ink partially before it has dried with paper towel.

7. If you are familiar with acrylic skins, you can apply these over the tape also or use the tape as a functional collage item to adhere other images to your painting.


I am sure you will find many other possibilities as you apply these methods to other mixed media methods you know. I hope you will comment and share your results here.