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Abstract Foam Painting

D. DelReverda-Jennings textures plaster to create an abstract foam painting.

Born in Alaska, D. DelReverda-Jennings absorbed the native Eskimo culture around her, as well as the culture of her African-American and Dominican/Latino family. She is the founder of and also works as a master art instructor for Urbane D'Art/Urbane D'Art Kids Inc., an arts service organization. Her diverse background is reflected in her artwork.

Materials and Tools:

table saw or jigsaw
saw horses
measuring tape or ruler
plywood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) board
1/2" to 1" nails
small to medium size hanging brackets
plaster or hydrostone
white glue
texturing materials - sponges or rubber stamps
white latex paint
black spray paint
insulating expansion sealant (such as Great Stuff Foam Sealant)
water (to clean brushes)
cloth or paper towels (for cleanup)
acrylic paints: purple, lavender, dark green, light green, silver
black webbing spray paint
spray gloss or matte clear coat sealer
safety glasses


1. Cut a piece of 1/2 inch thick plywood or MDF measuring 12" x 12" using a table saw or jigsaw. Wear appropriate safety glasses for eye protection.

2. Paint the back of the board and the edges with white latex paint. Let dry.

3. Mix up the plaster or hydrostone with water and white glue to a dough-like consistency.

Figure A

4. Apply the mixture (plaster or hydrostone) to the panel. Create and enhance the design or depth of texture with spatulas, scrapers, trowels, etc. (figure A).

5. Create added abstract details with scrapers, screwdrivers, forks and knives to imprint the applied ground mixture while it is still wet. Working time to create extra texture is short since the mixture will be setting up. Let dry completely.

6. Paint the entire surface with gesso or white latex paint. Let dry.

Figure B

7. Spray insulating expansion sealant in a desired pattern on the surface of the wall hanging. Let dry (figure B).

8. Paint the foam texture with gesso or latex paint. Let dry.

Figure C

9. Spray paint the raised textural surface with black paint (figure C). Let dry.

10. Paint the remaining surface of the piece with various colors of acrylic paint.

  • Mix dark and light hues of purples to create depth of color on one section.
  • Mix dark and light hues of green in the section on the other side of the raised texture. Let dry.

Figure F

11. Embellish the raised textural surfaces with luminescent or metallic paints as highlights (figure F). Let dry.

12. Spray patches of black webbing spray paint over the entire work.

13. Seal the abstract foam painting with spray gloss or matte clear coat. Let dry.

14. Screw the hanging brackets onto the back of the mixed-media foam painting.

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