Assemblage Accents: Employing Faux Finishes and Patinas!

by Lisa L. Cyr

Assemblage Accents

Assemblage accents can provide a unique three-dimensional addition to any mixed-media painting. The sculptural presence, textural finishes and custom patinas make an assemblage accent a desirable element for the mixed-media milieu.

In my paintings, I like to use vintage as well as newly repurposed accents, incorporating metal, plaster, clay and wood in unique combinations. To harvest a unique collection of trinkets and time-treated treasures, I go to flea markets, antique shops and the like. I just love it when I find just the right trinket that I can make into a one-of-a-kind treasure. I also pilfer from my great-grandmother’s button collection which has some amazing vintage pieces. Finding that perfectly aged piece when you need it is not always easy. But, there are some great dimensional accents that can be found at the local hardware store. Wooden trim and other such accents can be treated with an aging varnish or a crackle patina to give them a time-honored look.

In my recent online webinar entitled Assemblage Accents: Employing Faux Finishes and Patinas, I covered creatively customizing not only found objects and assemblage accents and but also custom sculptural creations with unique finishes and patinas.

The webinar is now available for download! Check it out here.



The three-dimensional landscape captivates an audience with its engaging constructs, intriguing enclosures, tactile surfaces and custom add-ons, where the sculptural projection adds not only depth and dimension but also meaning to the work. From repurposed and custom-treated natural and man-made elements to hand sculpted creations in self-drying and polymer clay, a diverse array of exciting techniques and materials are explored in this video.



Adding custom patinas and faux finishes using techniques such as sponging, glazing, dry brush, distressing and rusting just to name a few. In addition, sources of inspiration for unique finishes will also be discussed.


CYR_patinaThroughout the video, dimensional and multilayered stenciling, embossing and debossing into acrylic pastes and gels, matter painting, sculpted fabric and other bas-relief treatments are shown. Working with rigid substrates such as wood, clay, metal and polystyrene foam, employing multi-layered panels, creating inlaid boxes, attaching assemblage accents that use free-moving, battery-operated, lenticular, video and sound chips add-ons and addressing structural, constructive and aesthetic issues of three-dimensional works are also covered. If you are interested in projecting your mixed-media work into the third dimension, this video is for you!

CYR_basrelief Copyright 2013 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC

Artist Network Videos & Online Courses by Lisa L. Cyr:  

Creative Explorations in Mixed-Media: Collage Techniques for the Mixed-Media Artist

In the video, I go into detail about the intrinsic characteristics of various papers and the aesthetic possibilities and technical issues that go along with them. In collage works, weight, surface, texture, color permanence and opacity each play a part in the selection and use of paper and paper-based ephemera. Throughout the recording, I also discuss the use of handmade paper as well as the making of custom- treated papers. Paper treatments such as sponging, dripping, dry-brushing and custom stamping add

a signature look to any paper surface. When it comes to adhering various collage and paper elements to a surface, I discuss which adhesive is the best to use for specific papers and applications. Sealing procedures are also covered, including when to apply isolation coats between various mixed-media techniques.

Paper manipulation such as the use of tearing, scoring, punching and die-cutting are also explored with detailed examples of various applications. In addition, I discuss a variety of techniques such as folding, wrinkling, creasing, burning, aging and distressing. Unique processes are shown throughout, using both paper and metallic surfaces.

For a more densely collaged substrate, I present techniques such as peeling-back, sanding, scratching and scraping. I also discuss the use of multilayered and raised surfaces with custom inlays that employ carving, scoring, embossing and debossing of paper and foils. The addition of embellishments and accents as well as the employment of stitching, weaving and knotting are also covered.

This video covers a diverse array of creative and painterly approaches using both transparent and opaque applications. Shown on various surfaces, altered, repurposed and custom tools are used in inventive ways to create signature works of art. Automatism and freeform painting techniques are also discussed, creating wonder-filled, imaginative environments that enrich the working surface with color, pattern and texture.

Transforming the Surface with Mixed-Media Painting Techniques

Throughout the video, lushly painted passages and rich transitions boast mixed-media techniques such as dissolve treatments using acrylic, gouache and ink, lift-off applications using oil paint and gouache and resist treatments with rock salt and candle wax. Dripping, spattering, ghosting and dry-brushing with paint and water-soluble crayons as well as custom blotting, masking, stamping and monoprinting are each explored in this exciting 90 minute video.

For more decorative applications and faux finishes, marbling using self-leveling clear gel, acrylic matte medium and PVA glue, sponging techniques with natural and manmade sponges, combing and pouring techniques using acrylic gels and paint with varying viscosities, ink embossing, crackle applications as well as other aging and distressing techniques  are shown.

Creating custom collage papers with techniques such as veining and creasing along with mixed-media painting and surface treatments demonstrate exciting ways in which to infuse custom collage elements into a multimedia painting. The creation of custom acrylic skin surfaces, clear tape transfers and textured image transfers are also covered.

Techniques that creatively manipulate heavily-applied paint with a painting knife, comb and other non-traditional tools are also discussed. Utilizing alternative and unconventional tools and techniques, this video will certainly provide engaging and creative inspiration for artists who want to experiment and explore, igniting the creative juices!

Within the Layers: Inspirational  Mixed  Media  Art  Techniques

This online workshop will investigate exploratory methodologies, techniques and approaches in mixed-media art. Throughout the workshop, exciting in-depth demonstrations will be shown, providing an extensive array of visually-stimulating possibilities for artists to explore. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques will be covered. For artists that are looking to push their work to a new level, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Experimental Painting by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.

Click here to see work created in the class.

Exp Ptg

Experimental Painting by Lisa L. Cyr






Creative Explorations in Mixed Media: 2D, 3D and Beyond!

This online workshop will explore alternative, innovative ways of conceptualizing and creating content-driven mixed-media art that is on the cutting-edge. Throughout the workshop, insightful and thought-provoking profiles of leading artists and illustrators accompany exciting in-depth, step-by-step demonstrations, shedding light on signature processes and techniques. The workshop also provides insight into the historical influences behind contemporary thinking and approaches, investigating the origins of alternative, unconventional picture making throughout the decades. Offering a wide range of possibilities for exploration and experimentation, this workshop will reveal how alternative, mixed media aesthetics is uniting the disciplines of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, digital and new media art in inventive combinations. For those wanting to venture outside the norm, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Art Revolution by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.

Click here to see artwork created in this class.

ArtRevolution Art Revolution by Lisa L. Cyr



Lisa L. Cyr  ( is an accomplished multidisciplinary artist and author with a content-driven approach. Her highly imaginative, fantasy-inspired works use layers of metaphor and allegory to stimulate curiosity, provoke thought and encourage further inspection. A poetic, rhythmic synthesis of drawing, painting, collage and assemblage, Cyr’s visually tactile, mixed-media work is composed to collectively create a new reality with a more expressive, symbolic arrangement. An artist member of the Society of Illustrators NYC and the International Society of Experimental Artists, Cyr’s work has been featured in numerous magazines, books and online. She has authored seven books on art and design and writes for many of the creative industry’s leading art publications. In addition, Cyr gives workshops across the country and teaches in several of the top MFA graduate programs.



* Find great books, DVDs, downloads & more for mixed media artists!
* Sign up for your FREE email newsletter for great tips, projects & more…
* Download free mixed media desktop wallpapers!

You may also like these articles:

This entry was posted in Guest Posts, Mixed Media Blogs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.