Assemblage can provide a unique three-dimensional addition to any illustration. The sculptural presence, textural finishes and custom patinas make an assemblage accent a desirable element for the mixed-media milieu. 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 can be added to illustrative works of art!

The Courageous
30.25″ x 19” x 2.5”
acrylic, oil, collage & assemblage on
canvas over masonite & board with wooden framework

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. There are, however, some great dimensional accents that can be found at the local hardware store and online. Wooden trim and other such accents can be treated with an aging varnish or a crackle patina to give them a time-honored look.

Self Awareness  30.5″ x 21.5” x 1.75” acrylic, oil, collage & assemblage on canvas over masonite & board with wooden framework

Meditative Pathways  20″ x 17” x 2”
acrylic, oil, ink, graphite, collage & assemblage on canvas
over masonite & board with wooden framework & inlaid boxes

Detail of an assemblage accent with wire and beads. Finished art is featured above.

Custom finish using sponging techniques with various metallic acrylic paints.

I also love to add my own custom patinas and faux finishes using techniques such as sponging, glazing, dry brush, distressing and rusting just to name a few. Sources of inspiration for unique finishes can be found almost everywhere!

Hardware before custom painted finishes.

Hardware after custom painted finishes. Custom finish was created using sponging techniques with various metallic and non-metallic acrylic paints.


Adding an acrylic patina to a hand-embossed and debossed metal accent.  The metal is called tooling foil.

Backside shown of embossing and debossing metal using an embossing tool and drawing stump. To create the effect, a mouse pad was used for smooth debossing/embossing and a hard surface for a textured look.


Dimensional Accents can also be created with liquid polymer. The dimensional accents are painted in black acrylic gesso and acrylics then dry-brushed on top with gold.

Custom sculpted accent created with self-drying clay and painted with a patina using sponging techniques.

Add a custom finish to hardware knockers using dry brush techniques.

I like to use metallic paint in my custom finishes. Oftentimes, I make my own metallic paint using iridescent acrylic medium and a custom acrylic mixture.

Below is a video of my mixed-media painting entitled The Warrior. The framework is embellished with assemblage accents. many of which I created.

The Warrior   24″ x 12” x 2” (art) with 48″ x 25” x 6” (frame)


If you want to learn more about using assemblage accents, check out my video series!


This video series explore bas-relief techniques onto the painted surface. In the first video, the artist demonstrates working in various gel and fluid mediums to build texture onto the painted surface. She also shows how to employ pastes, lava gel, gel pens, matter painting and crackle texture to the dimensional surface in layers. (41.22 minutes)

In the second video, the artist demonstrates the sculptural application of various cloth and trim to the working surface to create a unique topography. In addition, she will show how bas-relief techniques can be used to make a custom collagraph plate for embossing watercolor paper that can later be painted in acrylics. (34.56 minutes)

In the third video, the artist employs assemblage accents, creates flexible accents from molds, incorporates unique sculptural details and applies custom textures onto the surfaces of a unique construct. (44.34 minutes)

The fourth video in the series demonstrates how to create unique faux finishes onto custom and repurposed assemblage accents. (53.54 minutes)

The series of high-definition videos are available through online streaming. Gmail is required for private access. No refunds will be accepted after purchase.


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