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How To Resin A Bracelet

Posted on 19 Oct 12:06

Learn how to create your own copper cuff bracelet, hand painted with alcohol ink and sealed with a thin coat of epoxy resin. Artist Sue Board prefers working with copper blanks because they're malleable to bend into a cuff shape. A base coat of white, glossy primer provides the same effect as yupo paper, allowing the alcohol ink to maintain its bright color. ArtResin's crystal clear finish brings the jewelry to life, providing a shiny, protective coating. The result is a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art with an intense depth of color and a look reminiscent of stained glass.  

In 4 steps, Sue walks us through the supplies you'll need, with step-by-step video instructions on how to create your own hand painted, copper cuff resin bracelet.

Let's get started!


 

Materials

4 steps
30 mins (plus cure time)

  • copper cuff blanks (available online or at craft stores)
  • white, glossy spray primer for metal
  • alcohol ink in 2-3 colors that blend well together
  • a fine tip paintbrush
  • paint pots with caps for holding the ink (available online or at craft stores)
  • canvas board
  • painter's tape
  • ink cleaner in a small plastic cup
  • ArtResin (each bracelet requires 1/4 fl oz. mixed resin)
  • disposable gloves
  • plastic cups for measuring and mixing
  • stir stick
  • torch
  • plastic container to use as a dust cover
  • bracelet bender

materials to make hand painted resin copper cuff bracelet

Step 1 - Assemble Your Materials

Prime the copper blanks using a white spray primer that will adhere to metal. Use a smooth, glossy primer that replicates the smooth, glossy surface of yupo paper. Allow to dry thoroughly, for at least 3 hours, to prevent any chance of the alcohol ink from absorbing into the primer.

copper cuff bracelets epoxy resin alcohol ink
prime copper cuffs with white primer for metal

Place a piece of painter's tape, sticky side up, onto the canvas board. Tape down both ends with painter's tape.

make a sticky board with painters tape for holding bracelet in place

Mount the cuff onto the sticky painter's tape to hold it in place while you paint.

mount metal cuff to sticky board for painting
mount copper cuff to sticky board to hold it in place

Pour a little of each of your alcohol ink colors into small, lidded paint pots. These make an ideal place to store your alcohol ink while you work. Not only can you create your own custom blends right in the pot, but they are air tight and will prevent the alcohol ink from drying out - if it does evaporate, you can simply add a little more ink to re-animate it. 

💡TIP:  When making custom color blends, take note of how many drops of each color you add so it’s easy to reproduce.

paint pots for alcohol ink painting

Keep a small cup of ink cleaner close by while you work. Clean your brush often, not only between ink colors but every time you load your brush up with ink. Since the alcohol evaporates so quickly, the ink can get thick and pasty in the brush. Keeping the brush clean will ensure your alcohol ink stays fluid. 

wash brushes often in ink cleaner when using alcohol ink

Step 2 - Paint Your Design

We're ready to paint! You can paint one or two bracelets at a time, painting each one in a pattern as simple or as detailed as you like. Repeating geometric shapes, such as circles, squares, or rectangles, is an easy and interesting pattern.
Sue's advice: 
Start with an idea in mind and let it unfold. Work with how you feel and how the colors are working together. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect. 

Starting with the darkest color you've chosen, apply a few circles or squares as your base layer. 
💡TIP:  avoid black ink as it has a tendency to overpower the other colors.

paint design on copper blanks using alcohol ink

paint geometric design on copper cuffs with alcohol ink

Repeat the pattern with successively lighter colors, following the shape of the circles and squares. As you paint, the colors will blend and if you choose your colors well, the results are beautiful.  

painting a geometric design onto a copper cuff bracelet with alcohol ink

painting alcohol ink on copper cuff bracelet

Repeat the pattern until you've filled the space. If you have any white showing, you can either blend and drag the colors beside the white area to fill it in or you can add a lighter color ink to cover it up. 

fill in white spaces with alcohol ink

Let the ink dry for 6-8 hours before you apply the resin.

alcohol ink on copper cuffs before applying epoxy resin

________________________________________________________________________

What if you're not happy with your design?
 You can wipe it away and start again, but try to wipe it off in just one swipe or you may end up removing the primer.  Keep in mind you may still see the ink colors you've been using, so you may find you'll have to re-prime and start from scratch. Most often, it's easier to work with your mistakes. Sometimes it's best to leave the piece to dry, come back another time and re-work it: add more colors, take color away, or blend so that the lines aren’t as defined.
_________________________________________________________________________



Step 3 - Apply The Resin

Wearing gloves, measure equal amounts of resin and hardener in a plastic cup.

measuring artresin and hardener

Mix for 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing cup as your stir.

stir art resin for 3 minutes

Pour a strip of resin down the middle of the cuff, using an old paintbrush to push the resin right out to the edges without going over the sides. Instantly, you'll see that the colors become brighter and more intense as soon as the resin is applied.

applying epoxy resin to copper cuff bracelet resin jewelry

Torch to remove any bubbles.

remove bubbles with a butane torch

Cover the with a dust cover and allow to cure for 12 hours, until the resin is dry to the touch but still has enough flexibility to bend the bracelet.
💡TIP: Leave the cup of leftover resin beside your project to test the resin cure rather than disturbing your work.

let resin cure under a dust cover


Step 4 - Bend Your Bracelet

Once the resin is dry to the touch, pop the semi cured bracelet off of the canvas board, inserting one end into the bracelet bender and carefully curving one side. 

bracelet bender

insert one end of copper blank into bracelet bender and curve

Turn the bracelet around and bend the other side. Handle the bracelet carefully as the resin is
 still soft and vulnerable to indenting.

insert other side into bracelet bender and curve
curve bracelet in bender

Allow to cure for another 12 hours. 
Once the bracelet has fully cured, clean up the edges with wire wool that may still have bits of ink or resin on them.

adjust size of copper bracelet to fit wrist

Adjust the size of the cuff to fit your wrist - a 1" gap is standard. ArtResin has been formulated with a bit of flexibility so you can adjust without fear of cracking the resin finish or causing any damage to the bracelet.

sue board sue b designs copper cuff bracelet resin alcohol ink

We hope you feel inspired to create a piece of hand painted resin jewelry of your own!  Please leave any questions or comments below.

To see more of Sue's work:
Visit her website: Sue B Designs
Follow her on Instagram: @suebdesigns_


@em_a_art Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 15 Oct 16:51
Congratulations to @em_a_artour latest Instagram winner! Emily Arenberg is an artist from Cape May County, New Jersey who creates beach inspired resin art.


Emily, who has been drawing for as long as she can remember, graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC with a BA in Studio Art, concentration in Painting, and an Art History minor.  

In college, Emily painted primarily in oils and watercolor but became obsesed with resin when she stumbled upon it 5 years ago: "I found this newer love for resin and was able to transition so easily. It has the rich properties and thickness of an oil paint but holds the fluidity of watercolors. [Resin] completely changed the direction of my art. I've always been inspired by nature and I was painting a lot of landscapes but resin has given me the ability to capture nature in a nonconventional way." 



Emily often incorporates locally sourced sea life into her work: "
paint on swordfish bills and local scallop shells, so whether my viewer sees a piece and is reminded of the first time they caught a swordfish or are brought to a memory at their favorite beach, my hope is to bring my viewer to a place they feel at peace."


Emily preps her piece, whether it's a wood surface or a swordfish bill, by sanding it smooth with fine grit sandpaper. Taping the back of the piece prevents resin or paint drips from getting on the underside of the painting.

If she's creating an ocean piece, she'll paint the design first in acrylic for placement. She typically tints her resin with a mixture of high flow acrylics and mica powder. She pours onto the surface, following the outline she painted with acrylics, torching out bubbles and using a heat gun on the white resin to create a wave effect.


Emily says she gets a sense of joy, freedom and purpose whenever she sits down to paint: "I love getting into a trance-like state where I feel like I’m almost a vessel. All anxieties or overthinking falls to the wayside and I just move in this energetically creative flow."


Emily sells her work on her website and Instagram page and at festivals and stores in New Jersey. "I'm soooo grateful to finally call myself a full time artist for almost a year now."

To see more of Emily's work:
Visit her website: www.emilyarenbergart.com

Follow her on Instagram: @em_a_art

Congratulations on your win, Emily!


To celebrate our amazing resin artists, every month we send out a 
32 oz kit to a couple of folks who have tagged us on Instagram—and then we share their work with the world! 



Don't forget, tag YOUR ArtResin work with @art_resin on Instagram, and YOU could be our next winner!!


ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.


 


How To Clean Up Epoxy Resin

Posted on 5 Oct 20:30

Working with epoxy resin can be sticky.  A few simple steps before you start pouring will help to ensure your tools, work space, hands and clothes stay clean. We're sharing our top tips on:

  1. how to keep your clothes and hair clean
  2. how to protect your work surface
  3. how to clean your resin tools and mixing containers
  4. how to clean resin off of your skin
  5. how to remove resin drips from the back of your artwork
  6. how to clean up resin spills, both wet and cured
  7. how to properly dispose of leftover resin and resin bottles


Let's get started!



1. Keep Your Skin, Clothes & Hair Clean:

Resin is sticky so always wear gloves when you’re handling resin or resin bottles and when you're cleaning up. Gloves will protect your hands from a sticky mess and possible skin irritation. Have multiple pairs of gloves on hand and replace them often - clean gloves will prevent your work environment from getting covered in resin.

always wear gloves when handling resin

Protect your clothing by wearing an apron or old clothes while you work: resin is very difficult to remove from clothing, and this includes your footwear - wear a pair of disposable protectors or an old pair of shoes you don't mind getting resin drips on.
If you have long hair, throw it up in a ponytail to keep the resin out of your hair and your hair out of the resin.

wear an apron, gloves and put your hair up when you resin


2. Protect Your Work Surface


Protect your work surface from resin drips or spills with a plastic liner.
We like using a clear, smooth vinyl shower curtain because it’s inexpensive, sturdy and can be used over and over again. Plastic drop sheets or pieces of cardboard laid on the floor will protect against unwanted resin drips. It's a good idea to keep a roll of paper towel and alcohol in a spray bottle close by for cleaning up accidental spills.

line your work surface with plastic, a silicone mat or parchment

For smaller projects, kitchen parchment paper works very nicely. The next day, cured resin drips and tools peel off with ease.

parchment paper non-stick for small resin projects

resin peels off of parchment paper

3. Cleaning Up Tools


From stir sticks to spreaders to plastic drop sheets, 
we recommend using plastic tools when working with resin.
Epoxy resin doesn't adhere to plastic which makes clean up a breeze (and who doesn't like easy clean up?) It also means you can use your tools over and over again.


use plastic tool when you resin

You have two choices when it comes to cleaning off plastic resin tools: first, remove as much resin as you can with paper towel. 

wipe excess resin from mixing container with paper towel

Next, spritz wet tools with denatured alcohol to remove resin residue and wipe dry with paper towel. Repeat as often as necessary to remove all traces of resin. 

remove resin residue with alcohol and paper towel

When there is no more resin residue left, wash tools in hot soapy water and allow to dry thoroughly before using them again

wash resin tools in hot soapy water

let resin tools dry thoroughly

The second method is to lay the wet tools on plastic or parchment overnight and allow the resin to cure. The next day, the resin will peel right off. This is our favorite method here at ArtResin - it's the easiest and requires no paper towel.

cured resin peels off of plastic tools

resin peels easily off of plastic tools

💡TIP: Be aware that resin doesn’t peel off of all plastic equally. It's much easier to peel resin from polypropylene plastic (this is the clouded plastic that has a little bend to it - many re-usable food containers are made of #5 polypropylene). 

peeling resin out of measuring cup

peeling resin easily out of polypropylene

Plastics like acrylic will release the resin, but you may find some areas that stick and removing it take a little more effort.

resin doesn't peel well out of acrylic measuring cup

5. Cleaning Up Hands


The best way to keep your hands clean is to wear disposable gloves
, changing them out for a clean pair as often as needed. We like using nitrile gloves here at ArtResin - they're strong, offer excellent chemical resistance and don't have the allergenic compounds often associated with latex.

always wear gloves when handling resin

If you accidentally get resin on your skin, remove it immediately to prevent potential skin irritation. The best cleanser for removing resin from hands is one that contains an exfoliant. Orange hand cleaner from the hardware store works very nicely.  ⚠️ IMPORTANT: Never use a solvent such as acetone, alcohol, or even vinegar to clean your hands. It breaks down resin and allows it to be absorbed by your skin.


exfoliant hand cleaner to remove resin from hands


You can create your own scrub by combining a small amount of poppyseeds or coarse salt in your hands with some liquid dish soap
. Rub over your hands until all traces of resin are gone, then rinse under warm water.


salt scrub to remove resin

poppy seed scrub to remove resin from hands

1. Cleaning Up Cured Resin Drips


The best way to avoid unwanted drips on the back of your artwork is to tape off the bottom of your piece with good quality painter's tape. As gravity pulls the resin down the sides, drips will start to accumulate along the bottom. The tape will catch these drips and once the resin is dry to the touch, pull the tape off and the drips right along with it.

painters tape

peel off painters tape with resin drips

What happens if you want to get rid of drips and you haven't used tape?
At the 24 hour mark, the resin will be dry to the touch but still flexible and you'll be able to flick them off with a utility knife.
⚠️ Exercise caution using this method: always ensure the blade is pointed away from you; don't attempt to remove fully cured resin drips with a blade.

remove resin drips with utility knife

After the 24 hour mark, resin will start to harden up: use a heat gun to soften the resin, running a metal scraper along the perimeter to remove drips.

remove resin drips with heat gun and scraper

You can also use a sander or a Dremel tool to remove cured resin drips.
⚠️ IMPORTANT: always wear a mask while sanding resin to avoid breathing in sanding dust.


use a dremel to remove cured resin drips

7. Cleaning Up Spills


From time to time, accidents happen and you may need to clean up resin spills on the floor or your work surface.
It's much easier to remove resin while it's still wet. You can pour sand or kitty litter on spills, scraping up as much as possible, followed up with acetone or alcohol to break down any remaining residue.

how to clean spilled resin
pour kitty litter on resin spill to clean up
use kitty litter to clean up a resin spill

If the resin has already cured, your best bet is to use a heat gun to soften the resin while gently pulling it up with a scraping tool. You can also try soaking it with alcohol or acetone to break it down before scraping it up with a razor or scraping tool. 
⚠️ Be aware that either method may end up damaging the surface that the resin is stuck to.

use heat gun and scraper to remove cured resin spill from floor

8. Safe Disposal Of Resin Bottles


⚠️ PLEASE NOTE:  Don't ever pour leftover epoxy resin down the drain. 
If you have a small amount of leftover resin and hardener in your bottles, you have a few options.  If you plan to continue resining, you can drain the contents of the old bottles into newer bottles by either stacking the bottles on top of one another or by using a funnel. Once drained, the empty bottles can go into the recycling (check regulations with your local region.)


drain old bottle of resin into new bottle

drain old resin bottle into new resin bottle

draining resin with funnel into new bottle
drain resin into bottle with a funnel
recycle empty resin bottles

If you don't have a use for the leftover resin, please don’t dispose of it in its liquid state. Best bet is to cure the resin and hardener together and dispose of the solid resin in the trash. 


toss cured resin into the trash

Please leave any questions or tips you'd like to share in the comments below!

ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.


@beaches.and.blooms Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 27 Sep 13:43
Congratulations to @beaches.and.bloomsour latest Instagram winner! Dylan Nieman is an artist based in Redondo Beach, California who used the pandemic as an opportunity to turn a lifelong passion for art into a business.



What inspired you to start your business?
"My name is Dylan Nieman and I am from Redondo Beach, California. I started Beaches + Blooms last November after living back home with my parents during Covid for a few months. I’m slowly turning these odd times into something priceless and magical. Growing up, I always watched my dad create art for fun in the garage. He is the most fearless, humble artist in all of the lands. I finally got the opportunity to explore and turn my passion into something more! I am completely self-taught, when I say we had a lot of trial & error, I mean we had a LOT of trial and a LOT of error."



Are you a full-time resin artist?
I started this small business while being a Kindergarten teacher. When I was off from teaching my kiddos at 3pm, I would spend hours woodworking, creating art, handling customer relations, photographing, posting on social media, planning workshops, keeping the website current, organizing emails, advertising, restocking items, applying for markets, managing admin, packaging, shipping, delivering, (SO much) sanding, executing new projects, etc... My brain was mush but it felt so right. I decided over the summer to quit my teaching job and take on this company 110% as a full time artist. We have to keep working towards our dreams right!? My perspective and respect for small business owners has grown exponentially this past year.
 



When did you discover resin?  How has it impacted your work?

"I have been working with resin for less than a year now, and truly the sky is the limit. I love creating those pacific cells, making beaches on serving trays, corn holes, and custom items like guitars, tables, phone cases, you name it!"



"Equally, I love playing with resin and flowers. As weddings start picking up again, I absolutely LOVE taking bridal bouquets and preserving those delicate blooms! There is something about harnessing the fragility of those special flowers that keeps me drawn to working with resin."


"Most excitingly, I have been teaching Sip & Pour workshops and private Sip & Pour events all summer long. Who doesn’t love wine & art with friends?! It has been so meaningful watching the community come back together to learn how to use ArtResin with me as their teacher. My creative heart adores that “ah hah” moment each of my students have. Similarly, I cherish each unique piece that gets shipped to its new home and I truly hope each customer feels the same connection."


"Being born and raised on the beach, always with flowers in my hair, I could not think of a more fitting company to start. So here we are, going full force! I am excited to take this journey together. Thanks to my dad’s inspiration, the endless support from my boyfriend, my mom who considers herself “the shipping department,” and my love for creating... Beaches + Blooms was born."


Where do you sell your work?

"I sell my art at occasional markets in the South Bay but mostly online, at beachesandblooms.org. We always do free shipping in California & are constantly accepting custom orders. Stay tuned to my instagram for daily live videos and current projects."


To see more of Dylan's art:
visit her website: beachesandblooms.org
follow her on Instagram: @beaches.and.blooms

Congratulations on your win, Dylan!

To celebrate all of our amazing resin artists, every month we will be sending out a 32 oz kit to a couple of folks who have tagged us on Instagram—and we'll share their work with the world! 



Don't forget, tag YOUR ArtResin work with @art_resin on Instagram, and YOU could be our next winner!!


ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.




Why Does My Cured Resin Look Yellow?

Posted on 23 Sep 12:11

From time to time, you may find that your cured resined piece has changed unexpectedly in appearance from clear to yellow. Why can cured epoxy resin turn yellow? More importantly, what can be done to help prevent yellowing? There are several different reasons why epoxy resin can appear discolored: 

  • Exposure to UV light
  • Exposure to high temperatures
  • Over torching
  • Using a sealant that yellows
  • Not allowing paint adequate time to dry
  • Using titanium white paint
  • Layering resin coats (which causes a bulking effect)

The most important step in preventing a resined piece from yellowing is to understand why it can happen. Let's take a closer look at the most common conditions that cause cured epoxy resin to appear yellow. 


1. Exposure To UV Light

UV light damages epoxy resin

UV light exposure is the most common cause of yellowing, with sunlight being the biggest culprit.
UV light is powerful and when it hits resin, can break down the polymers causing gloss loss, delamination, cracking, surface chalking and yellowing. The more UV light the cured epoxy resin is exposed to, the worse the damage will be.

ArtResin is chemically engineered with 2 light stabilizers to protect against UV light's damaging effects: a UV Light Stabilizer and an advanced additive called HALS (or Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer.)  The UV Stabilizer delays the effects from UV light, while the Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer discourages discoloration by interrupting the degradation process at the onset. Together, the UV Stabilizer and HALS in ArtResin are a powerful force to help mitigate the effects of UV exposure.

Best practice is to avoid exposing artwork to direct sunlight altogether. After all, putting your artwork in an environment that may cause damage doesn't make sense and makes the job much more difficult for ArtResin's UV stabilizers.

2. Exposure To High Temperatures

storing artwork in a hot environment causes resin to yellow

Continuous exposure to high temperatures or placing artwork too close to a heat source can cause discoloration in epoxy resin. Some examples of this include:

  • Storing your artwork in a space that isn't climate controlled, such as outdoors or in an attic
  • Hanging your piece above a heat vent
  • Hanging your piece in a warm spot such as a conservatory or in a sunny window
  • Hanging your piece under a light source that generates heat, such as gallery lights. The heat generated by the bulbs can eventually cause the resin to discolor in the spots where the light hits the resin.

Best practice is to keep cured resin art away from sources of heat for extended periods of time. 

3. Over Torching

over torching causes resin to yellow

Over torching happens when a flame torch or heat gun is held too closely to a freshly resined surface. Over torching can cause resin to cure with a rippled effect and, in time, can lead to yellowing or discoloration. If your resined piece has only yellowed in certain spots and not throughout, those areas may have been over torched. 

Best practice is to hold the torch a few inches away from the surface so that the flame is just kissing the resin. The bubbles should disappear right away - if they don't, move in a bit closer. Keep the torch moving in a back and forth fashion across the entire surface, as if you're ironing clothes. Remember, when it comes to torching, less is more! 

4. Using A Sealant That Yellows

spraying sealant over artwork

Sometimes it's not the resin that has yellowed but the sealant, resulting in a discolored appearance overall. In most cases, you don't need to use a sealant before applying ArtResin, however it's a good idea over paper that may absorb resin, over loose materials, and over natural objects (such as wood) that may release trapped air and cause bubbles. We recommend doing a test on a scrap piece before resining to determine whether you need to seal first.

Best practice when it comes to sealing includes:

  • Choosing a sealant that dries clear
  • Using a spray sealant on fragile artwork that could be damaged by brushing on sealant
  • Choosing a sealant that's appropriate for your artwork - a sealant designed for an acrylic painting might not be suitable for a photograph.
  • Using a sealant that specifies "non-yellowing" on the label. We've had good results from the following non-yellowing sealants: Krylon Crystal Clear spray, Krylon Matte spray and Krylon UV Resistant spray. 

5. Not Letting Paint Adequately Dry

allow acrylic paint to thoroughly dry

Discoloration can occur if resin is applied to paint that isn't completely dry. Even if paint seems dry to the touch, this could simply be the initial skin that has formed over the surface. The paint in the center may still be evaporating and if it comes into contact with resin before it is sufficiently dried, the result could be a cloudy cure or eventual discoloration/yellowing.

Best practice is to allow the paint to completely dry before resining. If the paint gives under pressure, feels tacky, soft, or cool to the touch, this can be an indication that the paint has not dried all the way through. Dry time can be longer than one might think: depending on the temperature, humidity, and how thick the paint has been applied, it can take weeks (and even years in the case of oil paint) to completely dry.  

6. Using Titanium White 

titanium white paint turning resin yellow

Yellowing can occur as a result of an interaction between Titanium Dioxide, found in titanium white paint, and ANY brand of epoxy resin. Ti0
2 acts as a catalyst in most situations and can accelerate natural degradation when in direct contact with the resin.

Best practice when using titanium white paint under resin is to apply an appropriate sealant to act as a barrier between the 
Ti02 and the resin.

7. Bulking in Layered Resin

layers of resin look yellow

Although ArtResin was designed as a surface coating and meant to be poured in thin applications, many artists like to get a thicker coat by pouring multiple layers. Be aware, however, that if resin starts to discolor, a thick layer can amplify even a gentle yellowing. Just as the ocean looks blue but a cup of water looks clear, the yellowing you see in a thick layer of resin can look worse than it is because you're seeing it in bulk. 

Your Resin Has Yellowed ... Now What?


Unfortunately, once resin has yellowed, there isn't much that can be done to reverse it.
 
You can try sanding out the yellowed resin (being careful not to damage your artwork) and applying a fresh coat: you may not be able to salvage a piece with badly yellowed areas, but you might be able to lessen the discoloration. Your best bet, however, is to limit UV light and heat exposure in order to slow down further yellowing. 


Since most things on earth change in appearance as they age, no manufacturer of epoxy resin can guarantee that their product will never yellow. Our goal for ArtResin has always been to offer the best protection on the market against yellowing. We are confident in our product's performance because of the high quality ingredients and the chemistry behind our formula. Still, taking a few precautions will avoid compromising the yellowing protection inherent in ArtResin, and will help prolong the clarity of your work for the longterm.

 

ArtResin:  Made By Artists, For Artists.

 


How To Make A Resin Crystal

Posted on 22 Sep 08:46

Inspired by rock formations found in nature, geode resin art is popular for good reason. Using tinted resin, glitter, crushed glass and real crystals, the possibilities are endless and the results are beautiful.

You can buy crystals and gemstones to create geode art but they're expensive and since each one is unique, you might not always find exactly what you want. Now, thanks to Mold Making Material, when you find a crystal you love, you can duplicate it (and even customize the color) as many times as you wish.

We’re going to show you 2 ways to make your own crystals for geode art:

  1. how to copy a quartz cluster.
  2. how to copy several small gemstones or pieces of glass.

Let's get started.



Quartz Crystal Cluster

quartz crystal cluster made of resin


What You'll Need:

  • A quartz crystal cluster
  • A plastic container slightly bigger than the crystal
  • Mold Making Material
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • ArtResin epoxy resin 
  • Disposable gloves
  • Stir Sticks
  • Mixing cup with easy to read measurement lines 
  • ResinTint (optional)

supplies you need to make your own resin crystal


1. Prepare The Mold Making Material:

Measure out equal amounts of Mold Making Material and stir it up. Conveniently, Mold Making Material comes in a Part A and Part B that are 2 different colors: white and dark blue. You'll know when the mixture is ready once the color becomes a consistent medium blue hue. 


Mold Makin Material diy silicone molds

pour part A of mold making material
pour part B of mold making material
mix mold making material together until one consistent hue

Mold Making Material is a 2 part silicone product that makes durable, flexible molds that stretch without tearing and can be used over and over again. It's non-toxic, odorless and safe for home use. There are no VOCs, no BPAs, and no fumes.


2. Prepare Crystal & Container

Find a plastic container just slightly bigger than the crystal. The box should provide a snug fit while still leaving about 1/2" of space on each side to create a strong, durable mold that can be used again and again. You can use plastic or plastic lined items such as reusable food containers, yogurt cups or milk containers cut to size. Place the crystal into the container. 
💡TIP: Depending on the weight of your crystal, you may or may not need to glue it down to the bottom of your plastic container.

quartz crystal points cluster for geode resin art

place crystal into container to make silcone mold


3. Pour Into The Container:

Pour the Mold Making Material into one corner and let it flow over the crystal. Let it sit for 3-4 hours at room temperature. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s no longer tacky to the touch.

pour Mold Making Material into a container

To remove the mold, gently pry it from the container until it releases.


remove silicone mold from container


Once the mold is released, the crystal needs to be removed.  Using a utility knife, carefully cut the mold across the top of the crystal and pry it out.  

cut silicone mold to remove crystal
remove crystal from silicone mold

When you look inside, you can see that all of the details of your crystal have been captured perfectly. Congratulations - your mold is complete and you're ready to make replicas!

look inside the silicone mold to see the detail


Making A Replica


You can use many different substances to fill the mold, but we recommend ArtResin epoxy resin. Whether you tint it or use it straight out of the bottle, ArtResin gives your crystal replica a glass like finish that’s as shiny as the real thing.

artresin and resintint to make resin molds


Just like Mold Making Material, ArtResin is a simple 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener. Measure out equal parts of both solutions and mix thoroughly for 3 minutes. You’ll have approximately 45 minutes of working time with the resin mixture before it will begin to set.

pouring resin into measuring cup

pouring hardener into measuring cup
mixing epoxy resin for 3 minutes

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One of the great benefits of making your own crystals is that you can customize them to suit your own colour palette using ResinTint, our line of premium liquid colorants.  Add a few drops of ResinTint into the ArtResin and mix together until you have one consistent hue. ResinTint is a highly saturated colorant so always start with less than you think you'll need - you can always add more if necessary. 
💡TIP:  No matter which colorant you use, don't exceed 6% of the total combined volume of resin and hardener, otherwise your resin may not cure properly.  For example, if you have 50 ml resin + 50 ml hardener for a total of 100 ml, don't exceed 6 ml of colorant.

tint your resin and pour into a silicone mold
_______________________________________________________________________

Pour your clear or tinted resin into the mold and let it sit for at least 24 hours. ArtResin is hard to the touch after 24 hours, but a full, hardened cure will take 72.

pour resin into silicone mold

Once 24 hours has passed, the resin will be hard to the touch and the crystal casting can be removed from the mold.
 You can repeat this process many times over - the mold is strong enough to make multiple copies.

remove resin crystal from silicone mold

final resin crystal

We were so happy with the incredible detail we were able to capture with our molds that we decided to create a piece of geode art of our own. 

geode resin art

Crushed Glass

making diy resin crushed glass pieces for geode art


What You'll Need:

  • Crushed glass pieces or gemstones
  • A shallow plastic container 
  • Mold Making Material
  • Hot glue gun
  • ArtResin epoxy resin 
  • Disposable gloves
  • Stir Sticks
  • Mixing cup with easy to read measurement lines 
  • ResinTint (optional)


1. Prepare Glass Pieces & The Container

Find a shallow plastic container to fit several glass pieces. The container should be big enough to fit your pieces while still leaving about 1/2" of space on each side to create a strong, durable mold that can be used again and again. You can use plastic or plastic lined items such as reusable food containers, yogurt cups or milk containers cut to size.

Glue down the glass pieces with a hot glue gun: because they are lightweight, they will shift under the weight of the Mold Making Material. 

fireglass pieces for geode resin art
hot glue your glass pieces to container before pouring silicone mold making material

hot glue gun down glass pieces to bottom of container

2. Prepare The Mold Making Material:

Measure out equal amounts of Mold Making Material and stir it up. Conveniently, Mold Making Material comes in a Part A and Part B that are 2 different colors: white and dark blue. You'll know when the mixture is ready once the color becomes a consistent medium blue hue. 

making diy silicone molds
making silicone molds with mold making material

mixing up mold making material

Mold Making Material is a 2 part silicone product that makes durable, flexible molds that stretch without tearing and can be used over and over again. It's non-toxic, odorless and safe for home use. There are no VOCs, no BPAs, and no fumes.

3. Pour Into The Container:

Pour the Mold Making Material into one corner and let it flow over the crushed glass pieces. Let it sit for 3-4 hours at room temperature. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s no longer tacky to the touch.

pouring silicone mold making material to make diy resin glass for geode art

pouring mold making material to make resin fireglass for geode art

To remove the mold, gently pry it from the container until it releases.


remove silicone mold from container

Once the mold is released, the glass pieces need to be removed. Because the individual glass pieces have flat bottoms, they simply pop right out of the mold. Congratulations - your mold is complete and you're ready to make replicas! 

silicone mold ready for resin pour

Making A Replica


You can use many different substances to fill the mold, but we recommend ArtResin epoxy resin. Whether you tint it or use it straight out of the bottle, ArtResin gives your crystal replica a glass like finish that’s as shiny as the real thing.

artresin and resintint to make resin molds


Just like Mold Making Material, ArtResin is a simple 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener. Measure out equal parts of both solutions and mix thoroughly for 3 minutes. You’ll have approximately 45 minutes of working time with the resin mixture before it will begin to set.

 mixed artresin

Pour your tinted resin into the mold and let it sit for at least 24 hours. ArtResin is hard to the touch after 24 hours, but a full, hardened cure will take 72.

pouring epoxy resin into silicone mold

Once 24 hours has passed, the resin will be hard to the touch and the crystal casting can be removed from the mold. You can repeat this process many times over - the mold is strong enough to make multiple copies.

removing cured resin pieces from mold

cured resin pieced removed from silicone mold


One of the great benefits of making your own crystals is that you can customize them to suit your own colour palette using ResinTint, our line of premium liquid colorants.  Add a few drops of ResinTint into the ArtResin and mix together until you have one consistent hue. ResinTint is a highly saturated colorant so always start with less than you think you'll need - you can always add more if necessary. 
💡TIP:  No matter which colorant you use, don't exceed 6% of the total combined volume of resin and hardener, otherwise your resin may not cure properly.  For example, if you have 50 ml resin + 50 ml hardener for a total of 100 ml, don't exceed 6 ml of colorant.

epoxy resin tinted gold

pouring tinted resin into silicone mold

cured gold resin fireglass replicas


We were so happy with the incredible detail we were able to capture with our molds that we decided to create a piece of geode art of our own. 

resin geode art

resin geode art

Who knew cloning could be such fun?!

Well, we did. And that’s why there’s Mold Making Material.

So go ahead. Make a copy.
And then make another, and another, and another, and another…


@rarebirdart Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 17 Sep 16:01
Congratulations to Amber Cunninghamour latest Instagram winner!  Amber is a self-taught artist based in Flower Mound, Texas who makes sculpture out of handmade, paper clay made from shredded and recycled materials.



Amber Cunningham not only taught herself the art of sculpture, but also how to make her own clay, which she dubs "trashclay". Amber says: "I adore sculpting and using my handmade trashclay. I save everything and cringe when I have to throw things away that I know fills up the landfills. I don’t follow a recipe exactly, but it’s mainly shredded, pulverized papers, various adhesives, plaster and water."

 

 

Amber uses various techniques to sculpt her trashclay onto substrates that include canvas, wood, metal or armatures she makes from recycled materials. After her pieces harden in her drying room, she dremels the areas she would like smoothed out before priming, painting and finishing with ArtResin.

Amber says: "I have this fondness for the unruliness and challenge of my textural paper based clay. 
I am an extremely tactile person. I’m affectionate with the people I care about and the material I work with. I love using my hands and feeling the clay change form. Sometimes I even close my eyes as I sculpt allowing my touch to guide over my vision."



Amber first used ArtResin about six or seven years ago after finding it on social media and felt it took her art to another level. She has been experimenting with layers and additives in the resin but still feels she has yet to truly explore possibilities.  Amber says: "I'm starting to see it as an essential step to my sculptural reliefs and will be including and offering it more often for all pieces. I love the clarity and richness that it brings!"


Though Amber juggled creating her art around multiple jobs for many years, her art is now a full-time priority. Like most artists, creating is as necessary for her as breathing: "When I’m not in a flow state of creating or I’ve had a long hiatus (ahem, the past couple of years were stifled a bit) I feel unhealthy. My lungs and heart and brain just don’t seem to function properly."

The response she hopes to evoke in the viewer often depends on the piece: with her @rarebirdart work she hopes to inspire thought and wonder, whereas the commissioned and holiday work she creates through @scatterbirdie has more of a joyful, lighthearted purpose. Amber says: "I want people to laugh and release the heavy."

 

Amber says: "I recently used ArtResin for a 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' commissioned piece and it was perfect for bringing out more depth in his colors and making him look like he had just emerged from the depths! My customers loved it too."



Before Covid, Amber had two booths in Fredericksburg, TX that were open once a month but these days, most of her work sells online through her social media pages and her Etsy shop. She says: "I tend to have a challenge keeping a surplus of inventory since I make everything completely from scratch. I don’t currently use molds, templates, or make prints of my work." Still, Amber is a huge fan of selling face to face and is keeping her eyes and ears open for possible art shows and retail space in her area and as travel becomes more accessible. 


To see more of Amber's work ...
Follow her on Instagram: @rarebirdart
Like her on Facebook: @RareBirdArt
Visit her on Etsy: RareBirdArt

Congratulations on your win, Amber!

To celebrate all of our amazing resin artists, every month we will be sending out a 32 oz kit to a couple of folks who have tagged us on Instagram—and we'll share their work with the world! 



Don't forget, tag YOUR ArtResin work with @art_resin on Instagram, and YOU could be our next winner!!


ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

 


How To Paint With Alcohol Ink On Yupo Paper

Posted on 9 Sep 08:04

Have you ever wondered how to paint with alcohol ink? With the right tools and techniques, painting with alcohol ink is fun and easy with stunning results, even for beginners. Alcohol ink's deep, saturated color can be diluted with isopropyl alcohol to increase the transparency. This flexibility means you can create alcohol ink paintings that are soft and ethereal or bright and intensely colorful. Artist Jessica McGaw dropped by ArtResin to demonstrate two different painting techniques using alcohol ink and yupo paper, a smooth, non-porous paper:

1) using a blow tool to create a soft, blended, fluid art painting
2) using various techniques to apply alcohol ink on yupo to create a colorful, abstract collage

Jessica goes over all of the tools you'll need to create a painting and a collage and shares valuable tips from her many years' experience working with alcohol ink and yupo.

Let's get started!



Alcohol Ink Fluid Art Painting

alcohol ink abstract painting on yupo paper


What You Need: 

 ArtResin® Alcohol Ink in blue, purple, green and yellow
• yupo paper
• 5 x needle dropper bottles
• 99% isopropyl alcohol
• alcohol ink blending solution (also known as extender)
• handheld alcohol ink air blower
• cotton pads, to soak up extra ink or alcohol 
• paint palette, for blending colors or to clean off a paintbrush
• gold leaf & gilding paste
• small, fine tipped paint brush
• soft brush for applying gold leaf
• wide brush for sweeping off excess gold leaf 
• microfiber cloth cleaning up gold leaf remnants
• utility knife
• wood panel smaller than your yupo paper
• ArtResin epoxy resin 
 a pair of nitrile gloves, a stir stick and spreader
• a measuring cup with easy to read measurement lines 
• a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
• toothpicks
• a clean, empty plastic tote to protect your piece while it dries

 

alcohol ink needle point bottles
alcohol ink abstract painting on yupo


1. Fill Your Needle Dropper Bottles


needle point bottles for alcohol ink

You'll need 3 main colors and 1 accent color for this piece: Jessica chose alcohol ink in blue, purple, and green, and accented her piece with yellow that she had dulled down with a little black. The fine tip on these needle bottles drop only a small amount of ink at a time, giving you far more control over your painting and allowing you to react a little quicker. You'll need one bottle per color, one bottle for the isopropyl alcohol and one for the blending solution. 

💡TIP: Choose 3-4 main colors that you know work well together to help achieve soft blends. Some colors can get muddy once combined so do a little experimenting first. 


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What's the difference between isopropyl alcohol and blending solution?

Both isopropyl alcohol and blending solution will blend colors, increase transparency and revive dried ink, but there are a couple of key differences: 
Isopropyl alcohol increases the fluidity and pushes the alcohol ink so it spreads. It has a short dry time so you need to work quickly and use your blow tool to control the flow of the ink. 
Blending solution is stickier than isopropyl alcohol so will blend the colors without causing them to spread. It doesn't dry as quickly so won't create hard lines between colors which can sometimes happen with isopropyl alcohol.
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2. Start Your Design


Work on a piece of yupo paper that’s bigger than your panel
 so you have a choice as to what part of the composition you mount. Start with a dot of blue on the page, keeping the dot small and controlled to prevent the ink from spreading.

💡TIP: Alcohol ink dries fast so it's best to w
ork quickly. 


applying alcohol ink to yupo

Next, add a few small drops of isopropyl alcohol in and around the dot to push the ink and guide the colors.

💡TIP:  If the ink or alcohol is flowing too fast from the needle point bottle, fill it up. This will reduce the amount of air in the bottle and slow down the flow.


isopropyl alcohol and alcohol ink on yupo

Add another drop of green next to the first, keeping the colors separate at first so they don't blend together too much. 
Dot more isopropyl alcohol around the drop of green. As you add isopropyl alcohol, the ink gets more diluted which encourages the two colors to blend. 

applying more alcohol ink

Use your hand blower to blend the colors out. If you feel there is too much ink pooling, use a cotton pad to pull out some of the excess ink.

using a hand blower on alcohol ink on yupo paper

Next, add a drop of purple, followed by several small dots of isopropyl alcohol and the hand blower to build your design. The isopropyl alcohol will help the blow tool do its job. If the ink is wet when you add the isopropyl alcohol, it will blend softly.  If it's dry, it won't blend as well and this is when you can end up with jagged edges.

💡TIP: Some jagged lines can look interesting but too many can be visually distracting. For a wispy, ethereal look, soften jagged lines with isopropyl alcohol to blend them out at any time. 


adding alcohol ink to yupo paper


dilute alcohol ink with isopropyl alcohol

Build your design, working your way up the center of the page.  Control the movement by using tiny amounts of alcohol ink and isopropyl alcohol. Be patient and allow the design to develop.

Look for areas that are heavy with ink and dilute them out by adding isopropyl alcohol. When the isopropyl alcohol hits the page, use the blow tool to spread out heavy areas of ink, blending while the ink is wet to prevent heavy lines.

using isopropyl alcohol to blend alcohol ink

use hand blow tool to blend alcohol ink colors

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Why use a hand blower instead of a hair dryer?

• Hair dryers are often used with alcohol ink, but they can dry out the ink very quickly, creating hard lines. A blow tool pushes the color without drying the ink out to achieve a soft, blended look between colors. If you don’t dry your ink as fast, it has more time to settle into the page and blend out nicely for a flowy effect. 
• The point on the blow tool also allows for fine detail work:
blowing little gusts of air around the circle of ink prevents it from spreading too far, whereas blowing in the middle of the dot pushes the color out.

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use blow tool to blend alcohol ink colors

3. Build Out Your Design


Once your core design is established, begin building the pattern out to the rest of the page.
Add more color, using isopropyl alcohol and the blow tool to blend it out while the ink is still wet, repeating this process to create new and different colors on the page.

Keep the colors balanced:
if you have too much of one color in an area, add some of the other colors to help balance it out. 
Turn the page and look at it from a different perspective to help you decide where you need to build the pattern, soften concentrated areas, fade out color etc. 

 


building an alcohol ink design

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Tips for working with alcohol ink:

• Alcohol ink dries fast so work quickly
• Keep color drops separate and blend using isopropyl alcohol and the blow tool.
• Blend while the inks are wet to achieve a soft look and avoid hard lines between colors. If hard lines do occur, add a few drops of isopropyl alcohol or blending solution to soften them out. 
• The isopropyl alcohol dictates what the ink is going to do: dropping it in the center of the drop will push the ink away. Dropping it around the edges will dilute the ink and create a faded, blended look.
• Focus on small areas at a time, trying not to place too much isopropyl alcohol down at once. If you have excess alcohol or ink, use a cotton pad to pick it up.

"Alcohol inks dry quickly so in some senses you have to make quick decisions. They may not always feel like the right decision at the time but if you keep going with a piece, you can get it to a place where you’ll be happy with it in the end.  Some of the pieces that I’ve made where I've thought they weren’t going to turn out, [I found that] if I just stick with them and keep blending and trying my techniques, it helps them turn out.” - Jessica McGaw

_________________________________________________________________________


drop isopropyl alcohol into alcohol ink to blend colors


4. Add details


Once you're happy with the composition, add fine detail work to create areas of interest. 
This gives you an opportunity to change areas you're not 100% happy with. Stay away from areas that you really like so you don’t accidentally change anything.


Create faded edges to soften harsh lines and fan the colors out. Dot plain isopropyl alcohol onto the page, connecting it up to the edges of the ink color and using the blow tool to gently push it outward. The more isopropyl alcohol you dot around the page, the more it will blend. You can also use a gloved finger to help spread it out to ensure it’s nice and faded. A cotton pad soaks up excess alcohol, helps to soften up the edges and helps it dry.

soften edges of alcohol ink with isopropyl alcohol

Create a wash by diluting blue ink with isopropyl alcohol
so the color is barely there. Wipe it onto a cotton pad, adding the slightest bit of color onto the page to break up the white and give your piece a softer, organic look. Add more dots of isopropyl alcohol around the wash to create a light veining effect, using a cotton pad to blend out any areas that are too harsh.

cotton pad to fade out alcohol ink

Drop isopropyl alcohol in areas where there isn't much color: the alcohol will pick up the ink to create a bubbly texture and a wispy fade.  

use isopropyl alcohol on edge of alcohol ink painting to create a fade

Dot isopropyl alcohol throughout the piece to create visual interest and texture within the ink, keeping the dots small and fairly close together.

creating a pattern with isopropyl alcohol
_________________________________________________________________________

Fixing Mistakes

• The great thing about alcohol ink is that it’s not permanent, so it's fairly easy to fix mistakes. 
• If you don't like a certain area, you can correct it by adding a bit of isopropyl alcohol onto a cotton pad and rub at a line to soften or blend it. 
• Remember that l
earning comes from practice and failure. Each time you create a piece you’re not 100% happy with, you learn something. Practice helps you know what to do next. It’s not hard to learn, you just need to stick with it.

There are no rules about how you make these pieces. You kind of have to surrender to the inks a little bit. Sometimes they won’t do exactly what you want, but that’s the beauty of it. Follow the ink and use your blow tool to guide you, but part of this whole process is that you’re giving up a bit of control when you’re using alcohol inks. That’s part of the reason I like them so much.” - Jessica McGaw

_________________________________________________________________________



5. Add Accent Color


An accent color provides a subtle, unexpected pop and creates visual interest.
Choose an accent color that's brighter but still complements your main colors. For our piece, we mixed yellow with a slight amount of black to dull it down so it would flow with the blue, green and purple color palette.

Drop the accent color into the palette using a fine brush, dotting it randomly onto the page wherever it feels like it will work. You can also lightly splatter it onto the page, taking care not to load the brush up too much - you want the splatters to be subtle.

For a softer look, drop isopropyl alcohol in the center of the yellow dots to push the color out, following with the blow tool to fade it out. 


add accent color to alcohol ink painting

6. Seal Your Painting


Wearing a mask, spray Kamar varnish over the entire piece
in a light sweeping motion. Allow it to dry according to label instructions.

spraying varnish on alcohol ink piece
spraying varnish on alcohol ink abstract painting

7. Apply Gold Leaf


A raised gold accent adds texture and visual interest.
 Slowly squeeze gilding paste in an organic fashion to create thin, raised lines. Less is more - you don’t want to overwhelm your piece with gold.
Allow the paste to dry to a point where it’s clear and tacky - approximately 1-2 hours depending on how thick you’ve applied the paste. You'll know the paste is ready for the gold leaf when it's transparent but feels tacky to the touch: if it’s too soft, the relief paste will squish under the gold leaf. If it's too dry, the gold leaf will not adhere.

applying gilding paste to alcohol ink

Apply the gold leaf sheets over the paste. Be aware, gold leaf is somewhat finicky and will fly everywhere as you apply it.


applying gold leaf to alcohol ink abstract painting

Use a soft brush to lift off the excess gold leaf.

use mop brush to pull off excess gold leaf


Use a microfibre cloth to clean up any remaining bits of gold leaf, then a wide, flat brush to sweep up any remaining bits.

use a microfiber cloth to clean up gold leaf
use a wide brush to brush off excess gold leaf

8. Mount Your Painting


The next step is to determine what portion of the artwork you’ll mount onto the wood panel. 
Lay a piece of bristol board over your painting with a window cut to the same dimension as your wood panel: this will help you visualize a composition you like best. Use a pencil to mark the corner points. Line up the canvas with the pencil marks and cut the composition with a utility knife, cutting slightly wider than the panel.


creating a window to determine composition of painting

Apply a layer of gel medium or adhesive evenly to the board
. Line up the paper to the panel as best you can. Press to adhere it, ensuring there are no air pockets and the paper is evenly bonded to the panel.

Once adhered, flip it over and trim the excess paper off with a utility knife so that it matches the size of the panel perfectly.

mount painting to wood panel

cut painting to fit wood panel

 

9. Resin Your Art

 

Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup: measure equal parts of resin and hardener, by volume. Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go.


measuring resin in mixing cup
measuring hardener into mixing cup
mixing artresin in cup

Apply ArtResin evenly to the front of your panel using a plastic spreader, nudging the resin right up to the sides without going over. If you wish, you can apply it to the edges using a foam brush or gloved hands. You'll have about 45 minutes of working time before the resin gets too thick to work with.

pouring resin over artwork
spreading resin over artwork

Pass a butane torch over the top of the resined surface quickly to remove any bubbles. Looking under a light source, use a toothpick to remove dust or pop stray bubbles. Cover your resin art with a clean dust cover and allow to dry for 24 hours. The next day, admire your work!  

torching out bubbles from resin on artwork

cover artwork and let it dry for 24 hours

alcohol ink abstract

Alcohol Ink Collage


For this project, Jessica builds an abstract collage using cut outs from 4 different techniques for applying alcohol ink to yupo paper:

1) using a palette knife to push the ink around the page
2) using a brush to create some texture
3) using a foam brush to create a gradient
4) using plastic wrap to create a mosaic texture

alcohol ink collage

What You Need: 

 ArtResin® Alcohol Ink 
• yupo paper
• needle dropper bottles
• 99% isopropyl alcohol
• handheld alcohol ink air blower
• cotton pads, to soak up extra ink or alcohol 
• paint palette, for blending colors or to clean off a paintbrush
• palette knife
• small flat paint brush
• foam brush
• plastic kitchen wrap
• scissors
• utility knife
• wood panel smaller than your yupo paper
• ArtResin epoxy resin 
 a pair of nitrile gloves, a stir stick and spreader
• a measuring cup with easy to read measurement lines 
• a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
• toothpicks
• a clean, empty plastic tote to protect your piece while it dries


1. Palette Knife Technique



palette knife to apply alcohol ink to yupo paper

Choose 3 colors that work well together:  a good rule of thumb is to choose 2 colors that blend well together, with the third being a contrasting color. For example, use pink, yellow and blue: if the pink and yellow blend, they'll create an orange color. Apply the contrasting color last, just in case it turns any of the colors muddy.

Start with a base of one color, applying a generous amount of ink to the paper. Use a palette knife to drag the ink across the page. This should be a quick, forceful push to disperse the ink and create texture. Don't leave any pools of ink that may spread. Leave some blocks of white for the remaining two colors.

Repeat the same process with the second and third colors, using less ink each time - the contrasting color should be minimal in case it creates any muddiness. It may look really busy but that's ok - you'll be cutting it up and focusing on small areas so don't worry too much if you don't love the color or composition.

 

2. Paintbrush Technique



brushing alcohol ink onto yupo paper

Choose 3 colors maximum to keep it simple, keeping in mind that 2 complimentary colors and 1 contrasting color works best. Add a few drops to a palette, diluting them with some isopropyl alcohol to make them easier to spread.

Load the first color of alcohol ink onto a flat brush and paint in lines across the yupo.
Add some isopropyl alcohol to blend it and create some texture. 

Clean your brush and repeat with the second color. Adding a line of isopropyl alcohol will push the ink upward into the color above to create blended lines. 

Clean your brush again and apply thin lines and dots of the third color throughout as an accent.  

Add isopropyl alcohol to soften out harsh lines and to create visual interest. Add lines or dots of isopropyl alcohol - be generous with it because your goal is to cover the page with texture.

 

3. Foam Brush Gradient





Choose colors that blend well together to avoid any muddiness: we used 2 colors but you can use more if you wish. 

Load the ink colors directly onto a foam brush, saturating it. Drop a small amount of isopropyl alcohol into the sponge brush to help the ink move smoothly across the page.  The more isopropyl alcohol you add, the more diluted the ink color will be. 

Glide the brush across the page in stripes, applying a little bit of pressure. If you end up with concentrated ink on the side of the page, lift it up to prevent it from pooling. 

 

4. Plastic Wrap Technique






Choose two colors that blend well together:
we used blue and yellow and blue and purple.

Apply them in random lines on the page using a foam brush loaded up with ink and isopropyl alcohol or with a flat paintbrush to keep the colors separate. The ink should be fairly saturated so that the page is slightly wet.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of the ink, crinkling it slightly. The wrap will cling to the ink. You can pick the wrap up and reposition it, but make sure it is contact with the entire page.

Once fully dry, remove the plastic wrap and reveal the cool mosaic effect!


Creating The Collage

 

Create your collage on a piece of yupo paper: use white or one that you’ve already washed with color. Trace the wood panel out onto the yupo (slightly larger than the panel itself) and cut it out.

Cut out shapes to create a design that you like: organic shapes or geometric shapes, repeat a pattern of similar sized shapes or vary the sizes. As you cut, look for visually interesting parts of your alcohol ink work and start to plan out your design. Remember, if something isn't working out, it's easy to swap it out.








Use gel medium to affix your design onto the yupo once you're happy with how it looks. Gel medium is like school glue but doesn't yellow. Try not to get gel medium on the ink side of your yupo paper or the ink may run.

Apply a thin, even coat of gel medium over the entire panel. Mount your collage, applying some pressure to ensure a good bond and to remove any air pockets.  

Once mounted, flip it over and use a utility knife to trim off the excess paper.

Seal with a light, even coat of Kamar varnish and allow to dry according to the label directions.



Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup: measure equal parts of resin and hardener, by volume. Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go.

Apply ArtResin evenly to the front of your panel using a plastic spreader, 
nudging the resin right up to the sides without going over. If you wish, you can apply it to the edges using a foam brush or gloved hands. You'll have about 45 minutes of working time before the resin gets too thick to work with.




Pass a butane torch over the top of the resined surface quickly to remove any bubbles. Looking under a light source, use a toothpick to remove dust or pop stray bubbles. Cover your resin art with a clean dust cover and allow to dry for 24 hours.



The next day, admire your work!  The resin coat not only makes the color pop, but it brings out some of the finer details in the alcohol ink work.  ArtResin also provides a level of UV protection which helps as alcohol ink is prone to susceptible to fading in bright conditions.




We hope you enjoyed learning all the tips and techniques for applying alcohol ink to yupo paper, and that you're inspired to create a painting or a collage of your own!

Please leave any questions in the comments below. Let us know which technique you liked best!

ArtResin: Made For Artists, By Artists.

 


@platterduran65 Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 1 Sep 22:06

Congratulations to Amanda Duranour latest Instagram winner! Amanda is a self-taught artist from Sydney, Australia who makes beautiful floral inlay charcuterie boards.

 

Amanda's passion for entertaining long provided an opportunity to express her creativity, particularly her cheese and fruit charcuterie boards embellished with greenery and edible flowers. Since she was unable to entertain during lockdown last year, Amanda found herself in need of keeping busy. Inspired by her platters, Amanda had the idea to incorporate flowers into wood boards using resin. She says, "These are difficult times, however, they can present opportunity in many ways." 

 
Amanda says: "So began, during our daily walks, the collection of all the beautiful native wattle, bottlebrush and various flowers that our local birds, especially the cockatoos, break off the trees." Amanda decided to press and dry her flowers - though it's a long process, she felt it yielded the best results. She says: "I had flowers all over the place: in books, under bricks, even under our mattress!"



Amanda's husband, who is a carpenter by trade, helps bring her ideas to life, cutting out shapes in acacia wood, which is also native to Australia.


Amanda started to research products and came across ArtResin. She loves that ArtResin is safe for direct food contact once cured, is easy to work with and, as she creates all of her boards in her home, has a low odour. Amanda says: "I love ArtResin. This product has taken my platters to the next level. The clarity really highlights the natural beauty in the flora, which is truly stunning. When a flower is suspended in the resin, it adds so much depth and dimension to my art, and this gives me the confidence to create ... as we Aussies say 'have a go'."


Amanda says: "I would describe my platters as being rustic, uniquely highlighting the beauty and individual character of the native Australian bush flora coupled with the varying wood grain of the Acacia. Especially when paired with some delicious local produce."



Though Amanda hasn't
 had any formal training, she believes the best way to learn is through hands-on experience. She says, "I found that creating has been great for my wellbeing. I've also started to incorporate flowers into beautiful old fashion cut crystal glasses and platters, which is also stunning. In time, I would love to have a dedicated work space. I’m even dreaming about a room just to dry flowers."



To see more of Amanda's work, follow her on Instagram:
@platterduran65

Congratulations on your win, Amanda!

To celebrate all the amazing artists staying home and creating, every month we will be sending out a 32 oz kit to a couple of artists who have tagged us on Instagram—and we'll share their work with the world!


5 Resin Art Projects For Beginners

Posted on 24 Aug 09:14

Are you new to resin art and looking for a fun, easy way to get started?
Or maybe you already use resin but you'd like a few different project ideas to try?

We know you're going to love these resin art projects with lots of useful tips for working with epoxy resin. Make these pieces as simple or as detailed as you'd like - either way, you'll end up with something you'll be proud to display. We hope they inspire you to start (and continue) getting creative with resin!


1. Textured Resin Art

Create colorful and eye-catching textured art with drywall compound, a wood panel and ArtResin - once you see how easy it is, you'll want to make these over and over again.

What You Need:

  • A wood art panel
  • Drywall compound
  • Spatula or small trowel
  • Acrylic Paint or ResinTint
  • Paintbrushes
  • ArtResin epoxy resin 
  • Disposable gloves
  • Stir Stick
  • Mixing cup with easy to read measurement lines 
  • Foam brush
  • Artist Torch (recommended)
  • A clean box or plastic tote to protect your resin art while it dries


How To Make It:

1. Using a spatula, apply a thick coat of drywall compound to the front and sides of the wood panel. Draw your design into the drywall compound while it's still soft using the handle end of a paintbrush.

2. Using acrylics, paint your color pattern onto the dried plaster design. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before applying ArtResin. OR if you prefer, you can fill in your design with tinted resin.

3. Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup (equal parts resin and hardener). Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go. Apply ArtResin evenly to the front and sides of the panel using a foam brush or gloved hands. 
💡TIP: Use our Resin Calculator and enter the length and width of your piece to determine how much ArtResin you’ll need. 

5. Pass a butane torch over the top of the resined surface quickly to remove any bubbles. Looking under a light source, use a toothpick to remove dust or pop stray bubbles. Cover your resin art with a clean dust cover and allow to dry for 24 hours.

6. Admire your art (and be prepared that you'll want to make more and more!)

Watch the full video:


 


2. Ocean Art

Ocean art involves pouring layers of resin tinted in shades of blue, then finishing with white to replicate wave crests. The color and shine will make you want to dive right in! This technique is fun to watch and even more fun to do - the best part is that no two pieces will look the same.

What You Need: 

  • ArtResin epoxy resin
  • ResinTint liquid colorants
  • a wooden panel, round or square
  • a hairdryer
  • disposable gloves
  • measuring cup
  • small plastic cups and stir sticks, enough for each colour
  • toothpick
  • a piece of plastic to line your work surface with
  • plastic stands to prop your work up on (painter's pyramids or plastic cups)
  • Artist Torch (recommended)
  • dust cover large enough to cover your piece


How To Make It:
 

1. Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup (equal parts resin and hardener). Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go.
💡TIP: Enter the dimensions of your panel into our Resin Calculator to determine exactly how much you'll need.

2. Pour the ArtResin into four plastic cups, tinting with ResinTint in light blue, dark blue, white and sand. There's no wrong or right - add and adjust until you see the color you're happiest with. You'll need more resin tinted light blue and dark blue and less of sand and white. 

3. Start with the sand color to create the beach on one edge of the panel, spreading it out and over the sides.

4. On the edge opposite to the sand, pour the darker blue on about half the panel, spreading out and over the sides.

5. Apply the light blue to the remainder of the canvas, blending with the dark blue for an even transition between the two colors. Leave a little separation between the sand and light blue or you'll end up with a muddy look.

6. Drop a thin line of white in the gap between the light blue and the sand, and a second or third line where ever else you want to create a wave.

7. With the hairdryer set on low, stay close to the white resin and push it in and out, spreading it over the blue resin.

8. Use a toothpick to drag through the white seafoam, exaggerating and elongating it through the wave.

9. Torch out any bubbles, cover and allow your piece to cure 24 hours.

10. Admire and enjoy your very own aerial seascape!

    Watch the full video:


    3. Pointillism Art 

    Pointillism is the technique of applying small dots that, when viewed from a distance, blend together to form an image. The technique may seem difficult at first glance, but it really is more time consuming than it is challenging. After watching this video tutorial, anyone will be able to recreate a piece like this.



    What You Need:

    • A 12 x 12" cradled wood panel painted white (a cradled panel has a lip to contain the resin)
    • a selection of markers
    • ArtResin epoxy resin 
    • A pair of nitrile gloves, a stir stick and spreader
    • a measuring cup with easy to read measurement lines 
    • a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
    • toothpicks
    • a clean, empty plastic tote to protect your piece while it dries


    How To Make It:

    1. Trace or freehand your design directly onto the wood panel and fill it in. Resting your hand on a piece of paper helps keep your artwork clean while you dot your design.

    2. Using our Resin Calculator, enter the length and width of your piece to determine how much ArtResin you’ll need. A standard 1/8" coating for a 12" x 12" panel requires 5 oz resin (2.5 oz resin and 2.5 oz hardener). 

    3. Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup (equal parts resin and hardener). Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go. Apply ArtResin evenly to the front and sides of the panel using a foam brush or gloved hands. You can tilt the panel to spread it or use a plastic spreading tool. You'll have about 45 minutes of working time before the resin gets too thick to work with.

    4. Pass a butane torch over the top of the resined surface quickly to remove any bubbles. Looking under a light source, use a toothpick to remove dust or pop stray bubbles. Cover your resin art with a clean dust cover and allow to dry for 24 hours.

    5. Wait 24hrs and then admire your work!  

    Watch the full video:


    4. Petri Dish Art

    Petri Dish Art is made by dropping alcohol ink into ArtResin in a silicone mold. The white ink pushes the colors through the resin creating colorful "petrified" squiggles. This technique might look complicated, but it's actually quite simple and the results are stunning, even for a beginner!

     

    What You Need: 


      How To Make It:

      1. Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup (equal parts resin and hardener). Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go.

      2. Pour approximately 3oz of ArtResin into each mold cavity.

      3. Drop your favorite colors of alcohol ink directly from the bottle into your resin. Drop white Alcohol Ink Sinker over your color drops to drive the colors through the resin.
      💡TIP: Use approximately 1 drop of Ink Sinker per 2 drops of alcohol ink.

      4. Cover your mold and leave it to cure overnight.

      5. 24 hours later, remove your cured petri dish art from the silicone mold and see how they turned out!

      6. Do it again and again! Experiment and get funky :)

        Watch the full video:


        5. Alcohol Ink & Yupo Paper Collage

        Yupo paper is a smooth, plastic based paper that makes an ideal painting surface for alcohol ink. This video will show you how to recreate this geometric collage, finishing it with a coat of resin to make the colors pop! There's a lot of flexibility when it comes to creating abstract art, making this an ideal project for every skill level.

        alcohol ink on yupo paper resin art

        What You Need: 


        How To Make It:

        1. Using a paint brush or foam brush, create a series of abstract designs on a few sheets of yupo paper in a variety of color palettes. Here's a chance to get creative by trying out some different techniques:

        • drip the alcohol ink directly out of the bottle, using a brush or tilting the paper to spread it out.
        • load up a foam brush with a few different ink colors to create fun, multi-colored stripes
        • use a palette knife to spread out the ink
        • flick the ink off the bristles of the brush to create splatters
        • spritz rubbing alcohol from a small spray bottle or drip it onto the alcohol ink to create some cool effects.
        • apply the alcohol ink with a cotton ball to create a wash of color.


        2. Once your paintings are completely dry, cut them into geometric or organic shapes. Assemble your collage design and once you're happy with how it looks, glue the pieces one by one onto the wood panel and allow to dry.

        3. Using our Resin Calculator, enter the length and width of your panel to determine how much ArtResin you’ll need. 

        4. Wearing gloves, mix up a batch of ArtResin into your mixing cup (equal parts resin and hardener). Stir for at least 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom as you go. Apply ArtResin evenly to the front using a plastic spreader. If you wish, you can apply it to the sides of the panel using a foam brush or gloved hands. You'll have about 45 minutes of working time before the resin gets too thick to work with.

        5. Pass a butane torch over the top of the resined surface quickly to remove any bubbles. Looking under a light source, use a toothpick to remove dust or pop stray bubbles. Cover your resin art with a clean dust cover and allow to dry for 24 hours.

        6. Wait 24hrs and then admire your work! 

        Watch the video, starting at 2:40:

         

        We hope you enjoyed this collection of easy resin ideas for beginners!
        Which one would you like to try first?
        Please leave any questions or comments below.

        ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.