Acrylic Layers Online Workshop Resources




Welcome to the Acrylic Layers Workshop Resources Page!




Welcome!  I am so excited you are joining me on this creative journey of exploration and creative freedom!

This Acrylic Layers Workshop Resource webpage is designed to be your “hub” for this Acrylic Layers journey with all of the information you need to make the most of the workshop mini-series and the resources available to you.

The Acrylic Layers process consists of working with physically distinct layers in developing a painting, creating actual dimensionality, seeing through physical layers to see what lies beneath, hiding some things, discovering other things, all creating exciting possibilities.

I developed and refined the “Acrylic Layers” process as I created my “Equine Layers” and “Fleeting Glimpses” Series.  People want to know how to achieve these unique effects so this workshop became the vehicle to share my discoveries.

This Online Workshop takes the material covered in the original 2-Day Intensive Acrylic Layers Workshop I have conducted for several years and adapts it for sharing online via live ZOOM sessions.  Spreading the material and activities over five sessions allows ample drying time between layers when working with the acrylic gel medium.

Robyn Ryan Fleeting Glimpses

In addition, this format allows you as participants the space between sessions to digest the material, identify questions, explore further on their own, and nurture the ideas and inspirations which inevitably emerge!

You will have ample opportunity to explore the variations of under-paintings, gel layer techniques, and art media layer (paint, drawing, collage, etc.) techniques presented.

The only constraints and limitations with this acrylic gel medium are ensuring complete drying of the gel (to prevent cloudiness, impacts thickness of application decisions) and you cannot use oil based media until the VERY END as the very last art media layer (if you choose to do that your finishing process would have to account for the oil based medium)




Workshop Supplies



Since participants from varied backgrounds and experiences participate in this workshop, I have organized the supplies information into the BASIC supplies and the OPTIONAL supplies.

Acrylic Layers Workshop Students at Work
Acrylic Layers Workshop Students at Work

The supplies list is organized into three sections:  Workspace & Miscellaneous, Basic (Minimum Needed), and Optional (The Fun Stuff!)

The Workspace & Miscellaneous portion addresses setting up your space to make your workshop experience as effective (and easy clean up!) as possible.

To get the gist of this process you do not need a ton of supplies.   In addition, the flexibility you have in adapting even a minimal set of supplies to your mixed media applications is endless.  I have captured the basic set you need for the workshop in the “BASIC” list.

I have also prepared an “OPTIONAL” list for you… What has been hugely fun in these workshops in-person has been allowing participants to try supplies they might not have in their own supply selection.   So, if you are feeling adventurous, see if you have any of the optional supplies in your stash.  If you do not, I would recommend picking at least one or two to purchase and play with during the workshop from the support and art media categories.  You will be exposed to several you can refer to through the demo at your convenience when you decide to invest more!

Download the supplies list by clicking on the icons below.  I’ve prepared two versions for your convenience.  The “clean” list with no hyperlinks and the version with hyperlinks to many of the items on the website should you want to see the items I’m referring to and order them.




I’ve created this supplies overview video to help you determine what you already have on hand and what you may want to invest in.



Workshop Schedule



The ZOOM Links for each session will be e-mailed to you prior to each session!

Here is an overview of the schedule of activities for what we will be doing together throughout the workshop.

Each Four hour session is organized in the following pattern:

  • Session Welcome & Introduction
  • Module #1 (Demos & Creating)
  • Short Break
  • Module #2 (Demos & Creating)
  • Short Break
  • Module #3 (Demos & Creating)
  • Session Wrap Up


Acrylic Layers Workshop Students at Work

Workshop Format:  Since there is the significant drying time required for each gel layer, we will be working on several small pieces throughout the five sessions.  That means we will have multiple pieces in progress at the same time!  This is fun but can also become confusing if we don’t keep track of what we are doing along the way!  The schedule and handouts are organized to help us keep track of where we are on each piece along the way!  Trust me!  If you follow my lead I won’t let you get lost, PROMISE!

Each Session has a focus objective and will build upon the previous session.  The overarching pattern of Under-Painting, Gel Layer, Media Layer, Gel Layer, Media Layer, and so on will become clear!

Here is a brief summary of the focus for each session:

  • Session #1 ~ Review of supplies, Overview of Acrylic Layers Process, Under-painting and Gel Layer variations
  • Session #2 ~ Complete Under-painting and Gel Layer variations, begin Media Layers and next Gel Layers
  • Session #3 ~ Complete Media Layers and Decision Making
  • Session #4 ~ Mindset… “Just do it” and “What if I…”
  • Session #5 ~ Finishing and Other Applications/Tailoring to your own process

Go to “Printables” section below to download the “Schedule at a Glance” with more details!



Workshop Preparations… Before We Start…



Let’s get ready!  So as not to surprise you on day one of the workshop mini-series, I want to provide some hints for preparing your art-making space and your mindset for what we will be doing over this five week workshop mini-series!

First, Prepare your Space…
You will need a space to work AND a space to set up as a “Drying” station for your works in progress.

Your Work Space

    • Table covering (plastic of some sort: drop cloth, plastic trash bags, etc.) to protect your work surface from the gel, paint, and other media we will be working with.
    • Plenty of natural and/or task lighting
    • Connectivity
        • Hard wired to the internet is ideal
        • Computer is best for Zoom in order to watch the demos
        • Chargers for your devices
        • Extension cords if necessary

Your Drying Space

    • Floor Covering:  Drop Cloth, cardboard, plastic to protect your “drying” surface (table, floor, whatever!)  This is where you will place your pieces to”rest and dry” after you GEL them.
      A fan can help in the drying process, especially if you want to work on your pieces between sessions!
    • NOTE!  Be sure this spot is somewhere that the kids, pets, and fellow residents won’t literally stumble upon! (Unless you want “spontaneous footprints, hair, and impressions!!!)



Acrylic Layers Workshop Prep - Space

Next, Prepare Yourself!
What on earth?  Quite honestly, our attitudes and mindsets set the stage for our progress or sadly our frustrations as we embark into new territory with our art.  So I encourage you to take a moment and do a quick inventory of where you are in your mindset as we embark on this creative journey together.

You can use the form provided to capture your goals and mindset inventory for the workshop

Here is a checklist to assist in checking on your attitudes towards yourself, your art, and art making process

Our attitudes related to ourselves as creatives and towards the results of our creative efforts sets the stage and trajectory for our creative pursuits… We all get to choose our mindset!

In this workshop, I want to help you embrace the creative process as a place of wonder, exploration, joy, and revelation!

Other than physical media limitations, the sky is the limit in this workshop… we will embrace the “I could try… ” and “what if I…” from a place of wonder and joy!


Acrylic Layers Workshop Goals-Inventory
Acrylic Layers Workshop Prep - Attitude



Workshop Interaction Game Plan



In the online ZOOM environment it will be really important to ensure workshop participants are able to learn, interact, raise questions, and have them answered.  Our approach to this will include several strategies as follows:

During Workshop Sessions:

During teaching/demonstration portions of the sessions, we will take advantage of the CHAT function within ZOOM to capture questions which I will monitor throughout the demos to address.

During the open/working portions of the sessions, we will operate less formally and you can simply un-mute yourself and ask your question verbally!

In Between Workshop Sessions:

E-mail – As questions occur to you in between workshop sessions, simply e-mail them to me!  I will answer and if it will be helpful to the group, may include the answer in the introduction for the next session for everyone’s benefit and the FAQs!

Facebook GroupMembership is one of your bonuses!  You can share your questions with the entire group through the Facebook Group.  This will be especially useful for discussion generation if you want to know what others’ experiences are.

Live Q&A SessionsThis is another one of your bonuses!  I schedule ZOOM Q&A sessions during the week (Monday evenings 6:30 – 7:30 pm Eastern)  following each workshop session to address questions along the way (download Workshop Calendar below.)  There is also a PRE-Workshop Q&A Session scheduled to address questions prior to the first Workshop session.

FAQ’s – I will capture and document questions and answers in FAQ section below here on the Resources Webpage:


Click Icon Above to Go to Our Private Facebook Group

Click Icon Above to Download the Workshop Calendar



Workshop “Printables”



Doing this workshop over ZOOM makes it especially important to make sure you have all of the materials and aids needed to help you navigate along the way!

Normally, I could run to your table to assist and guide you.  Based on the sorts of assistance normally provided, I’ve identified the following aids for you to refer to during the workshop sessions and in between.  You can download these files and print them out for reference, we will go over them during the first session to clarify how each is intended to assist you.


Acrylic Layers Workshop Schedule at a Glance

Schedule At A Glance ~ I have summarized the entire workshop on ONE SHEET OF PAPER!  This overarching view captures  the primary objective for each session along with the specifics planned to be covered… We have a lot we will cover and there is plenty of room to flex if needed.


Acrylic Layers Workshop handout

Process Overview Handout ~ This is a package I developed describing the process end to end that I will walk you through during the first session.  It is a handy guide to refer back to as you work on your multiple acrylic layer pieces.



Acrylic Layers Process Sequence

Process Sequence Table ~ This is a one sheet summary of the overall process you can use to track your progress on each piece you are working on.  It will be extremely helpful to track where you are on each piece and record any notes as you go.


Acrylic Layers Layer Variations

Layer Variation Options ~ This is a little cheat sheet I created for you which lists the Under-Painting, Gel Layer, and Art Media Layer options we will be going over throughout the sessions.  You can use it to refer to as you proceed with adding additional layers to your pieces and to start additional ones if you are feeling adventurous!


Acrylic Layers Layer Variations

Collage Paper “Printables” ~ In case you don’t have a stash of collage papers, I am capturing some interesting designs for you to print out and use.


Sample Acrylic Layers Progression Examples ~ Examples are always helpful aren’t they?  I wanted to share the progression for several of my Fleeting Glimpses pieces with you to help you envision the possibilities for starting and proceeding through the multiple layers to achieve a variety of results.


Robyn Ryan's Bobcat ALWS Progression
Robyn Ryan's Heron IV ALWS Progression
Robyn Ryan's Eight Points ALWS Progression






Your bonuses for participating in the Acrylic Layers Online Workshop include:


Downloads (Click the Cover Images to Download the Files):

  • Three Illustrated Quick Reference Guides Summarizing the Variations for Under-Paintings, Gel Layers, and Art Media Layers
  • Creative Inner Dialogue & Perspective Aids for keeping you motivated and on track!
  • Tutorial on how to make your own stamps to emboss your gel layers!



Under-Painting Variations Quick Reference Guide

Gel Layer Variations Quick Reference Guide

Art Media Layer Variations Quick Reference Guide

Creative Inner Dialogue and Perspective Aids

Create Your Own Stamps Tutorial

Interaction, & Opportunity:

  • Membership in the Acrylic Layers Workshop Alumni Facebook Group (Sharing works in progress, inspiration, and support as you are adapting the Acrylic Layers Process and techniques into your own work)
  • Live Q&A Sessions to answer questions arising in between workshop sessions and after!
  • Complimentary 30-minute One-on-One Consultation Session with Robyn!
  • Notification of future Acrylic Layers Workshop related events with Alumni Discount!


Access & Watch:

  • Continued Exclusive Access to THIS Acrylic Layers Workshop Resources Website
  • Exclusive Alumni Access to Workshop Demo Videos during & after the workshop (Links will be posted below)
  • Exclusive Alumni Access to Workshop Q&A Videos during & after the workshop (Links will be posted below)


Workshop Session Videos

Q&A Session Videos



Spring 2022 Acrylic Layers Works in Progress Progressions

This Spring 2022 Acrylic Layers Workshop has been incredibly productive!  Everyone made terrific progress employing the new approach to making art in distinct physical layers!  Each of you adapted the new techniques to your own subject matter and styles… BRAVO and WELL DONE!  I’ve compiled several work in progress progression slides of your work this session from the images you shared on our private Facebook Group.  There is much to enjoy, learn, and appreciate in examining these progressions.  Can’t wait to see where your creative adventures take you next!

Click the Cover Image to the right to Open/Download the .pdf WIP Progression Slides and enjoy!





Explore Acrylic Layers Further…



I have created other material related to the Acrylic Layers Process that you my find helpful as you learn and employ this process.  Follow the links below to learn more…





What is SO Special About THIS Acrylic Layers Process?   Learn More…





Initial Steps for “To the Finish” (aka “Point to Point”) Acrylic Layers Painting






“Heron I” Acrylic Layers Painting Step by Step





Frequently Asked Questions



This section will be added to throughout the workshop

as we identify key questions and answers all can benefit from!

I’ve never used acrylics before, is that a problem?

That is NOT a problem, I will be showing you how to use all of the art media during the workshop in the context of this Acrylic Layers process.  NOTE:  This will not be a detailed “how to” course on acrylic painting.


Will we be producing a piece of art painting along with you?

This workshop focuses on using the Acrylic Layers process and techniques to express your own personal creative intentions.  You certainly are welcome to model your pieces after the pieces I develop during the demonstrations (there will be MANY!) but I am certain once you get started your own ideas and inspirations are going to take over.  This is why I like to classify this workshop as a “Creative Growth” workshop as much as a “Process” workshop.


Sounds like a LOT will be covered in this workshop, will I be overwhelmed?

We will cover a lot of ground, however, I’ve structured it and organized it so you will have a very methodical framework to follow.  In addition, you will have additional resources including:

  • Downloadable handouts and Quick Reference Guides from the Resource Webpage to provide immediate access to reference material to guide you at your fingertips
  • The weekly ZOOM Workshop Sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the Resources Webpage for you to refer back to at your convenience
  • The weekly ZOOM Q&A Sessions (These are in addition to our Saturday workshop days!  They are scheduled for Mondays 6:30 – 7:30 pm) will also be recorded and uploaded to the Resources Webpage for your easy access
  • The private Facebook Group for participants to share progress and questions… I will be responding to your posts daily throughout the course.


I am very experienced in my media and subject matter, how will this Acrylic Layers process help me?

I truly believe if you are OPEN to trying something new which you have not tried before, there will always be something to learn and add to your artistic tool box whether it is a new technique, method, media, or thought process you can incorporate into your own creative practice.  The workshop provides a safe and fun environment to experiment with new approaches which typically yields insight into how you approach your art regardless of technique or media used.  In addition to the Acrylic Layers process itself, this workshop leads you through a new way of thinking through making your art to be intentional in decision making more clearly and confidently along the way.  The experienced artists who have participated have all gleaned a fresh outlook and found “pearls” to tailor and integrate into their personal art practices.


I am an absolute beginner and have never picked up a brush, is this workshop for me?

I don’t recommend this workshop for absolute beginners who are looking for detailed “how to paint” or “how to draw” basics.  Although I have had absolute beginners participate in the live version of this workshop and enjoy it immensely in the past, I don’t feel I could provide you enough support with getting started in the basics along with getting all that is intended for participants of this workshop.  That said, if you have already had some basic art instruction and are comfortable with basic painting/drawing principles, you can definitely take advantage of this workshop as a basis for how your approach your art making moving forward.  Still not sure?  E-mail me and we can discuss one-on-one if this workshop is right for you!


What if I cannot make a ZOOM Workshop or Q&A Session?

All of the ZOOM sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the Resources Webpage for you to watch at your convenience as often as you like, during and following the workshop for as long as the Resources Webpage exists!


What if I cannot assemble all of the suggested supplies and materials in time for the workshop?

No Worries!  I know this can be a challenge, especially with shipping uncertainties these days!  That is why the supply list is organized into essential and optional sections.  The absolute essentials of the acrylic gel, a few acrylic paints, and something to draw with is enough to get started for the first session.  You can assemble more supplies as we go and as you get inspired!  In addition to the supply list, I will provide a video on the Resources Webpage to discuss the essential and optional supplies listed.


Can I use oil-based media with this process?

We will NOT be using any oil-based media during the workshop.  You cannot embed oil-based media between layers of acrylic gel.  If you are feeling adventurous, oil-based media could be used as a FINAL media layer on top of your FINAL acrylic gel layer BUT it cannot be covered with acrylic gel and would have to be sealed as you normally seal and finish and oil-based media work.

Pin It on Pinterest