How To Resin Mixed Media Paintings - Step by Step Tutorial


What is mixed media?


Mixed media is a style of artwork created by combining two or more different art forms or mediums. Mixed media art can be as simple as painting on a photograph or made more complex by incorporating elements such as paper, wood, fabric, and glass or techniques like sculpture and collage.


Epoxy resin is an ideal way to finish mixed media art, providing a beautiful, glossy finish that adds both depth and dimension. Resin has the added benefit of sealing in and securing elements that may become loose while its strength and durability protects artwork for years to come.

Mixed media artist Gillian Schultze draws inspiration from the wilderness of northern Canada where she lives. With acrylic paint and upcycled textiles representing rocks, sky, water and trees, Gillian creates landscapes rich with texture and color. Her mixed media paintings are finished with a coat of resin to seal and protect them, while enriching their color and depth.


Mixed media textile artist Gillian Schultze



Gillian creates her mixed media paintings on wood panels. The wood provides a strong, smooth surface that allows the paint to spread with ease, as well as supporting the weight of the resin without sagging, like stretched canvas often can. Gillian enjoys how the wood grain becomes stained by the paint, creating an interesting texture and look which she incorporates as part of her piece.


Gillian walks us through her creative process, painting two different mixed media landscapes, from start to resined finish. If you've never painted before, this is an ideal project to start with: Gillian draws inspiration from nature where nothing is perfect, so your painting doesn't need to be perfect either! 

Let's get started.





What materials do I need to create a mixed media and resin painting?

•  Wood panels
•  Acrylic paint in teal, dark green, white, black, beige (either artist or craft acrylic)
•  Assorted paint brushes
•  Palette knife
•  Water in a spray bottle
•  Squeeze bottle of green paint thinned with water to a thin, liquid, consistency
•  Squeeze bottle with navy dye thinned with water to a thin, liquid consistency
•  Small cups for mixing paint
•  Cotton cloth for to clean up paint drips
•  Sandpaper (80 grit)
•  A variety of scrap material to compliment your color palette
•  Scissors
•  White school glue
•  Epoxy Resin
•  Disposable gloves
•  Measuring Cup
•  Mixing Stick
•  Artist’s Torch
•  Painter’s Tape
•  Stands
•  Toothpick
•  Dustcover (a clean plastic tote or empty cardboard box works well)


Mixed Media Painting 1


How to resin a mixed media painting


Step 1: Lay down a base layer of paint.



Add a dab of teal acrylic tube paint into a mixing cup and add water until it’s a thin consistency.

how to make a mixed media painting adding acrylic paint to mixing cup
dilute acrylic paint with water for mixed media painting

Apply 2-3 lines of paint to the panel, turning the brush as you apply.

how to paint an abstract mixed media painting


Spritz the panel with water to help the paint spread.

spritz water onto wet acrylic paint to help it spread across the panel


Add a few drops of green paint from the squeeze bottle onto the panel.

add drops of diluted acrylic paint to panel to create a mixed media painting


Add a few drops of navy blue dye from the squeeze bottle for contrast.

add contrast color with drops of diluted dye mixed media painting


Create texture by pulling the color across the panel with a palette knife.

use a palette knife to pull paint across the panel for mixed media painting


💡TIP: If you find one color is too dominant, use the palette knife to scrape some of the paint off the panel and onto a cloth. 

mixed media painting scrape off excess paint with a palette knife

use a palette knife to scrape off excess paint onto cloth


Add a little more water to the residual teal paint left in the mixing cup until it's thin enough to pour.  

how to create a mixed media resin painting
how to paint a mixed media piece with resin


Squeeze a few more drops of green paint onto the panel.

experiment with paint when making a mixed media painting


Apply white acrylic craft paint to the panel with a brush to replicate clouds.

brush on white acrylic paint to create clouds


Add a few drops of navy dye to the white paint, working it with the brush. Continue adding more white and navy as needed until you like what you’re seeing.

drop navy blue dye into white paint to create clouds
blend in blue dye with white acrylic paint to create clouds


Allow the first layer of paint to dry.

Allow acrylic paint to dry before applying epoxy resin


Step 2: Apply fabric to the panel.



Select fabric that best suits your work and paint palette. Start by cutting fabric shapes and arranging them on the panel. The fabric pieces can represent rocks, sky, water and trees so experiment with the placement, moving and overlapping  them until you're happy with what you see.


cut fabric to add to mixed media resin painting

place fabric pieces on mixed media piece until you're happy with the arrangement


Add some white glue to a plastic mixing cup, adding enough water until it's a thin consistency.

mix school glue and water in mixing cup to apply to fabric for mixed media art


With the fabric in place on the panel, spritz them with a bit of water: wetting the fabric makes it easier to saturate it with glue. It also gives you an idea of what the fabric will look like under the resin - some fabric may become really dark.

Brush the glue mixture onto each piece of fabric, ensuring it’s well coated and laying flat on the panel. Don’t worry if the fabric extends over the edges of the piece - you can trim these up later.

brush glue and water mixture onto fabric swatches to adhere them to wood panel


Step 3: Add in details.



Add a little more white to touch up the cloud details.

touch up any areas that need it on mixed media paintings


Using a color similar to the wood (Gillian used Golden's Titan Buff) paint a tree and add some abstract details around the piece. 

paint a tree using beige paint

add in abstract details on mixed media painting


Blend in some teal and white paint until you’re happy with what you see.


blend in some teal with white paint


Add some dark green paint to the tree to give it some definition.

add dark green contrast to the tree


At this point, you can leave the piece as it is, or you continue to work it until you’re happy with what you see. You can move the fabric around or add in fine details such as contrasts and highlights etc.

rearrange fabric placement on mixed media piece
add in details before applying resin
 

Step 4: Prepare the panel for resin.



Paint the edges black to complete the look.  When the paint is thoroughly dry, prepare the panel for resin by taping off the bottom with painter's tape. Prop the panel up and off the work surface using painter's pyramids or small plastic cups.  

 
Last, ensure the fabric swatches are laying flat on the piece. Glue them down, if necessary. 


be aware of fabric lifting off of the panel in mixed media art
glue down any loose pieces before applying epoxy resin to mixed media piece

 

Step 5: Apply the ArtResin.

 

Wearing gloves, measure the ArtResin according to the label instructions. Not sure how much you need? Simply enter the dimensions of the board into our Resin Calculator to determine exactly how much resin and hardener you require. 

pour resin into measuring cup to resin mixed media painting
add hardener to resin in mixing cup to resin mixed media painting



Mix the resin and hardener together slowly, 
scraping the sides and bottom as you mix. 

stir resin and hardener together for 3 minutes scraping the sides


Pour the resin onto the center of the panel. Be careful not to scrape the resin out of the mixing cup, as you would if you were scraping batter from a bowl.  There may be traces of unmixed resin or hardener stuck to the sides that could create soft, sticky spots in your resin. 


pour resin in the center of the mixed media panel


Using a gloved hand or a plastic spreader, gently guide the resin out to the edges of your piece. You have approximately 45 minutes to spread the resin before it gets too thick to work with.


spread resin over mixed media panel with gloved hand or spreader tool
spread resin over the edges of the mixed media panel with gloved hands or foam brush


Run a flame torch quickly over the surface of the resin to remove bubbles.  Don't hold the flame too closely to the resin and keep it moving at all times. 

use a flame torch to remove surface bubbles from wet resin


Looking at the resin under the light, remove any bits of dust or hair. 

remove dust from resin surface with a toothpick


Place a clean plastic tote over the wet resin in order to protect it from dust as it cures.  

use an empty cardboard box as a dustcover


Allow the piece to cure overnight.

let resin cure overnight under dust cover



Step 6: Reveal your piece.



After 24 hours, the resin will be dry to the touch
and ready to display or hang on the wall!  NOTE: If you're planning to ship your artwork, wait until the resin has fully cured - typically at the 72 hour mark.


Want to learn more about the do's and don'ts of shipping resined art?
See our blog How Can I Safely Pack My Resin Art For Shipping?


after 24 hours the resin will be dry to the touch
how to paint and resin a mixed media painting

 

 



Mixed Media Painting 2


seal a mixed media painting with epoxy resin


Step 1: Apply the base layer of paint.



Squeeze dabs of teal, blue and dark green acrylic paint
from the tube directly onto the wood panel.


add dabs of acrylic paint directly onto wood panel to start mixed media painting



Using a piece of cardboard or a palette knife, spread the paint across the panel. The cardboard works well to spread the paint and creates an interesting pattern and texture.


use a piece of cardboard to spread paint to create interesting texture in mixed media painting
cardboard makes texture and spreads acrylic paint in mixed media painting



Spritz water from spray bottle onto the panel to create movement in the paint. Use a palette knife to help spread the paint out, if desired.


spritz water onto acrylic paint to help paint spread on mixed media painting



If needed, add a little more paint to create some contrast, using the palette knife to work it in.

add more paint as needed when creating a mixed media painting
use a palette knife to work in and blend acrylic paint


Allow the first layer of paint to dry.

acrylic paint must be completely dried before applying resin



Step 2: Fix imperfections.



Once paint has dried, sand off any areas (such as fingerprints) you may want to remove or don’t like.

sand off dried paint you don't want from wood panel



Step 3: Apply the fabric to the panel.



Select the fabric that best suits your work and paint palette. Start by cutting fabric into shapes and arranging them on the panel. The fabric pieces can represent rocks, sky, water and trees so experiment with the placement, moving and overlapping  them until you're happy with what you see.

cutting fabric shapes to add to mixed media painting

place fabric shapes onto mixed media panel until you're happy with the placement


Add some white glue to a plastic mixing cup, adding enough water until it takes on a thin consistency.

mix white school glue and water to adhere fabric to wood panel


Spritz the fabric on the panel with a bit of water: wetting it makes it easier to saturate the fabric with glue and will also give you an idea of what the fabric will look like under resin.

spritz water on fabric swatches before applying glue


Brush the glue mixture onto each piece of fabric, ensuring it’s well coated and laying flat on the panel. Don’t worry if the fabric extends over the edges of the piece - you can trim these up later.

brush white school glue mixture onto fabric swatches to adhere them to mixed media painting

 

Step 4: Add in details.

 

Here is where we can paint in some detail work to create contrast and depth and to help the piece come to life.

Squeeze out a dab of white acrylic paint into a mixing cup, adding a little water to thin it out.  

squeeze white paint into a mixing cup


Using a line brush, create a few thin white lines across the panel. It's a good idea to add paint onto the fabric edges to help it blend in. Leave some of the wood showing to add another textural element.

create white detail lines across the panel in mixed media piece




Using a pointed brush, create some small trees in the background using black craft paint.

paint some tree details in the background of the painting
paint black trees in the foreground



Add a few black paint lines to provide some definition in areas that need it.

paint black lines in areas where it needs contrast and definition



Next, add touch ups wherever they might be needed. Sometimes it's helpful to set the piece aside and come back to it with fresh eyes. 

add white details where needed in mixed media piece

 

When you’re happy with what you see, allow the paint to dry.

allow paintings to dry before applying resin


Step 4: Trim excess fabric.



Trim off any excess fabric from sides of piece

trim excess fabric from edge of panel before applying resin


 

Step 5: Paint the edges black.



Paint the edges black to help the piece look complete.  Last, prepare the panel by taping off the bottom with painter's tape. Prop the panel off of the work surface using painter's pyramids or small plastic cups.  

paint the edges black to make artwork look complete

 

Step 6: Apply the ArtResin.

 

Wearing gloves, measure the ArtResin according to the label instructions. Not sure how much you need? Simply enter the dimensions of the board into our Resin Calculator to determine exactly how much resin and hardener you require. 

add resin to measuring cup
add equal amounts of resin and hardener to measuring cup

Mix the resin and hardener together slowly, scraping the sides and bottom as you mix. 

stir resin and hardener together slowly to avoid creating excess bubbles


Pour the resin onto the center of the panel. Be careful not to scrape the resin out of the mixing cup, as you would if you were scraping batter from a bowl.  There may be traces of unmixed resin or hardener stuck to the sides that could create soft, sticky spots in your resin. 


pour resin in the center of mixed media panel


Using a gloved hand or a plastic spreader, gently guide the resin out to the edges of your piece. You have approximately 45 minutes to spread the resin before it gets too thick to work with.


use a gloved hand to spread resin over the surface of the panel


Use a gloved hand to spread the resin over the edges. 

use a gloved hand to spread resin over the edges of the panel



Run a flame torch quickly over the surface of the resin to remove bubbles.  Don't hold the flame too closely to the resin and keep it moving at all times. 


use a flame torch to remove bubbles from epoxy resin surface



Looking at the resin under the light, remove any bits of dust or hair. 


look for dust and remove with a toothpick from wet resin


Place a clean plastic tote over the wet resin in order to protect it from dust as it cures.  

a dust cover protect wet resin from dust, hair, insects while it cures

 

Allow the piece to cure overnight.

resin will cure dry to the touch after 24 hours


Step 7: Reveal your piece.

 

After 24 hours, the resin will be dry to the touch and ready to display or hang on the wall!  NOTE: If you're planning to ship your artwork, wait until the resin has fully cured - typically at the 72 hour mark.


Want to learn more about the do's and don'ts of shipping resined art?
See our blog How Can I Safely Pack My Resin Art For Shipping?


after 24 hours the resin will be cured

resin will be fully cured after 72 hours


We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and feel inspired to create a mixed media piece of your own!  Remember, as Gillian demonstrated, even if you don't like what you see in front of you, never give up on your art.  Art is fluid and ever changing and the best way to get started is by following the basics, letting go of the end result, trying out different things and above all, enjoying the creative journey. 

As Gillian says, "Just see what happens!"



To see more of Gillian's work:
visit her website: www.gillianschultze.com
follow her on Instagram: @gillian_schultze

 

Do you want to learn more about resin art techniques. See below our how-to tutorials: 

 

ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

About the author: Joanne Wright

I'm Joanne, the Marketing Content Writer at ArtResin. Originally from Canada, my home is now Indianapolis, Indiana. My love of all things creative and my entrepreneurial heart means I’ve worn many hats over the years including fashion producer & stylist, retail store owner, t-shirt designer, and even vegan baker! I...