New Technique: Invading Tree Ring Acrylic Pouring

Once in a while, you just need to try something new, something out of your comfort zone. This is a two part series on doing just that. The first pour is a technique I call Invading Tree Rings. It is the first of two techniques I want to share.

Part two will be explaining the second technique called grafting which literally builds on the invading tree ring pour.

Where did these ideas come from? I love tree ring and geode pours, but I have tried many times to get something closer to how a tree physically grafts with those amazing swirls, gnarls, and cracks in the stumps. I’m obsessed with Burl wood’s beautiful swirls and those crazy cracks that form throughout the Sequoia stumps. They just have so much character!  

Pic 0 Burl wood

I’ve been trying to find a way to mimic them in my pouring. While nothing will be exact, both the invading tree ring and grafting techniques come close.

Supplies Used

Pour Cup

I used equal amounts of orange, red, purple, yellow, and orange, layered in this order and repeating sequence. The pour cup was a total of six ounces of paint to cover the 10×20 canvas. A few drizzles of white and green were added between layers.  

Pic 1 Paints

No silicone was used, and the ratio of Floetrol to paint was 3:1 for Sargent paints. The Liquitex paints were a 4:1 ratio. 

Canvas Prep

The 10×20 canvas board was covered in two ounces of the Liquitex Titanium White. No silicone added.  

Even though I filter the Floetrol, that doesn’t get rid of all the bubbles from having to shake it to mix well. A quick torching right before the pour will take care of those bubbles.    

The Pour

Basically with the invading tree ring technique, you will think of the Burl Wood—swirl after swirl. You will not lift your pour cup during the entire pour, this in one continuous pour.  

Pic 2 Rogue 1

Start with one simple small tree ring, then slowly turn your attention to the edge of the tree ring by moving the ring to the edge, and then literally start another ring—moving ring center to edge of current ring—start another tree ring, repeat over and over.  Never lifting your cup!  

Pic 3 Rogue 2

Continue to create ring within ring, on the edge of rings. When you start running out of room, you can do a few funnel rings along the edges of the previous rings. Funnel rings are where you continue to pour a tree ring, so the circular motion, but you slowly move your hand in whatever direction you want the funnel look to go. 

The big difference between the invading tree ring pour and the geode pour is you never lift your pour cup in the invading tree ring, there are no separations between the rings.

Pic 4 multi rings

This is a geode pour with several different rings, each separated by the white as they were individual ring pours—not a continuous pour.

Not to worry if you do end up with a little base color sneak in like the white did here. As long as it’s only a small section, it will cover when you start to tilt.

Pic 5 white

Start tilting side to side, and pay attention to where you want your color and particular rings to be your focus. Be patient with your tilting so you don’t let your favorite rings flow right off the canvas. After tilting, I did a quick torching and then let it dry.

Pic 6 Final Rogue 1

Give the invading tree ring pour a try, see what you come up with. In Part two we’ll cover the grafting technique. You’ll learn how to graft by simply adding two additional steps to the invading tree ring. Here’s a preview of grafting, be sure to read Part two!

Pic 7 Graftings

9 thoughts on “New Technique: Invading Tree Ring Acrylic Pouring”

  1. Hi Everyone,

    Anyone ever make a pour on a 30 x 40 canvas ?
    I have never done anything that big and need any advise I can get

    1. Tina Swearingen

      Hi Lynn, I have done a couple that size. My best advise:
      1. Gesso your canvas prior to pouring, OR at least paint the edges and corners with your base color and let them dry before pouring. This ensures your pour will cover evenly over the edges and corners.
      2. Use a base color without silicone. This creates a smooth surface for the pour to run over, and no silicone makes sure you don’t have canvas showing through when its dried.
      3. Be patient with your tilting. Its easy to get in a hurry, take your time!

    2. When I’ve done really big canvases, I usually do multiple cup dirty pour, flip and drags. I’ve gotten some very interesting paintings from that.

    3. I did a 30×40 mountain sunset… the top half was a sunset swipe and the bottom half was swiped mountains.
      It was a gift for a friend and she loved it. Wish I could post a photo, but can’t figure out how to do that here.
      Use plenty of paint so you don’t have to overstretch, and be sure the bottom of your canvas is well supported.

    4. Tina Swearingen

      Alexa, I wish you could post pics on here too, but it’s not set up for them. Be sure to post it on the Facebook page so everyone can see. I bet it turned out beautiful!

  2. Tina, thank you so much for sharing your techniques. I am looking forward to trying this one. It looks amazing.

    1. Gisela Sirrenberg

      You should not use canvas for that size. Instead use a wooden board. Canvas will dip in the center. I have done several dirty pours that size. I used 9 and 12 cups. Came out great.

  3. I have done huge canvases (re-enforced on back with extra wood) as well as pours on concrete and I don’t tilt I use a hair dryer oneach section after puddle pours. I always use Floetrol and hair serum in my colours (except white) and prepare canvas or concrete with a layer of acrylic house paint. Any left over pale colour will do. After drying for days I use paver sealer on concrete or Jo sonya sealer on canvas. Hope this helps. Lynne Faux (Queensland Australia)

  4. I always do large pours as more people request large canvases. I think the most important thing for me is having plenty of paint in 2 large cups ready to go and dont tilt like crazy,be patient, or you loose beautiful rings and features over the sides. I use supports behind canvas prior to painting and leave them in till dry, then spray varnish. Have struggled with larger canvas to do my favourite resin finish because of not beinb able to get perfectly flat surface. Boohoo!

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