Here are a few techniques from the 2 day "Seductive Surfaces" workshop I taught recently in Syracuse, NY. The participants did such beautiful work, I had a hard time choosing from all of their samples. During the workshop we covered about 15 different acrylic techniques, which involved using a wide array of gels, pastes, mediums and paints.
The butterflies were a lesson in how to use interference (and iridescent) paints to simulate the opalescent, shimmery effects found in nature. The center image shows a resist technique using polymer medium as a drawing tool, combined with acrylic fluid washes. The example at the right shows a combination of two techniques, sgraffito and glazing. There is never enough time to cover all the techniques that are possible, because there are endless combinations that can be layered one over the other, to create new variations. Collaging with Skins, Image Transfers, Scumbling effects over Fiber paste, Sgraffito with Heavy Gels, washes over Acrylic Ground for Pastels, Sculptural texture with Light Molding Paste, layering with Glass Bead, feathering with OPEN paints... these are just the tip of the iceberg.
However, we covered plenty. Most artists don't realize the creative doorways that burst open when they start combining various acrylic grounds and mediums, regardless of whether they are abstract or representational painters. One student mumbled as he was walking out the door - " my head is so full, I can't even talk." I think (hope) he meant that in a good way.