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What is the Tree Ring Acrylic Pour Painting Technique?

(also known as the Ring Pour Technique or the Tree Ring Acrylic Pour)

Have you ever tried the Tree Ring Acrylic Paint Pouring Technique yet? If not, you should go try it as soon as you read this article and then go post your results in our community Facebook group. I would LOVE to see your work!

Acrylic Paint Pouring Tips for Beginners Desert Hippie Arts 1
The Tree Ring Acrylic Paint Pouring Technique 6

The Tree Ring Paint Pour technique is easy to do with stunning results. Paint is layered into the pour cup, and then slowly poured onto the canvas creating rings that mimic the rings on a tree. When the canvas is tilted, the bands of color grow and stretch.

This technique is an excellent beginner’s paint pouring technique to learn and master. It involves the artist learning how to layer the cup, how to pour the paint onto the canvas without mixing the colors, and how to tilt the canvas without over-stretching the bands of color.

How do you do a Ring Pour?

The Tree Ring Pour recipe is similar to the other recipes for acrylic pour painting. Mix the acrylic paint to a fluid consistency, and then layer the paints into the pour cup. When you are ready, pour the paint slowly onto the canvas creating rings that mimic the rings on a tree.

Tree Ring Pouring Tips

traveling tree ring pour paint consistency erika tenney
Acrylic paint is mixed with a pouring medium until it is a consistency similar to warm honey.

Thicker paint = easier layering of the paint in the pour cup.

What does this mean? When you mix your paint to a fluid consistency, most fluid artists will use the term “warm honey” to describe the consistency.

With most acrylic paint pouring techniques, this consistency will work well, but with the Tree Ring Pour technique, the paint will need to be slightly thicker than warm honey but still fluid enough to run off of the stick.

Use a cup with a spout or a specialty cup with dividers.

Pouring fluid acrylic paint from a cup without a spout can be a bit tricky. If the cup is too full, the paint will run down the side of the cup. This can be very frustrating to the artist because of the loss of control of where the paint goes.

It is much easier to use a cup that has a spout, a paper cup that you can pinch a spout into the top, or a cup that has dividers in it already.

split cup traveling tree ring erika tenney
The Tree Ring Acrylic Paint Pouring Technique 7

Cover the Corners and Edges of Square Surfaces Before You Pour the Fluid Paint

It can be very challenging to make sure the entire surface of the canvas is covered with color when tilting the fluid paint. I have better results when I cover the edges and corners first during the Tree Ring Acrylic Paint Pouring technique. This helps to prevent overstretching the paint and helps me focus more on the design of the technique.

Quality Paint Does Matter

When first learning Acrylic Paint Pouring, I always recommend using craft acrylic paints to save money. Craft paints are excellent for beginners, but they have less pigment than the heavy-bodied acrylic paints that professional artists use. Using an opaque or more pigmented acrylic paint will help to achieve the crisp lines that the Tree Ring Pour technique is known for.

Tree Ring Paint Pour
The Tree Ring Acrylic Paint Pouring Technique 8
Tree Ring Paint Pour
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Tree Ring Acrylic Paint Pouring YouTube Playlist


Variations to the Tree Ring Pour Technique

This technique is so much fun to do, and there are a few variations of this technique that have stunning results. The Cloud Effect technique uses the Tree Ring process but adds Satin Enamel paint into the mix. The Gold Pearls technique uses the Tree Ring Process but adds 24K Gold paint before the ring pour is started. Traveling Ring Pours are created by using the Tree Ring technique, but the surface is lifted on one side of the canvas.

These are just a few examples of the variations of the Tree Ring Pour technique. Here are a few of my projects that use the Tree Ring Pour Technique but with some of these variations:

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