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A Beginner’s Guide To Resin Art

Posted on 24 Jun 13:38

All You Need To Know About Epoxy Resin Artwork


Epoxy resin is an easy medium to learn. It's 
a fun way to tap into your artistic side, and you’ll be amazed at the beautiful artwork you can create, even as a beginner. The best part is that you’ll never run out of new ideas, new techniques and new projects to try.


Working with epoxy resin is simple and once you understand the basics, you’ll find the possibilities are endless! From 3-dimensional paintings and home decor to sparkling jewelry and one-of-a-kind furniture, epoxy resin has an unparalleled versatility and a beauty that is irresistible.

 

Our beginner’s guide to epoxy resin includes everything you’ll need to successfully start with resin art. Once you reach the bottom of the page, you’ll be able to confidently answer the following questions about epoxy resin art:

  1. What is epoxy resin made of?
  2. What is resin art?
  3. Is epoxy resin safe to use?
  4. What kind of resin should I get?   
  5. What epoxy resin supplies do beginners need?
  6. What colors and dyes are suitable for resin art?
  7. How can I create epoxy resin art as a beginner? (including how to calculate the resin amount, resin pouring & resin processing time.)
  8. How can I avoid epoxy resin bubbles?
  9. How easy is DIY resin art?
  10. Plus, get our bonus Top 10 Easy Resin Project Ideas For Beginners.


Ready to impress your friends - and potentially your customers - with some unique epoxy resin masterpieces? Read on to get inspired!



What Is Epoxy Resin Made Of? 


Epoxy resin is a clear liquid plastic made of two parts: resin and hardener. First, let’s dig into the term “resin”. 
There are two types of resin: natural resin and synthetic resin. 

Natural resin is a thick, sticky liquid that plants excrete for protection and healing. The core attribute of natural resin is that it can harden and transform into a transparent substance, used in various applications including jewelry, perfumes, lacquers and varnishes. Natural resin is difficult to obtain which makes it very expensive.


Synthetic resin - i.e. liquid plastic - is an artificial, more affordable version of natural resin, and comes in the form of viscous liquids that harden into a plastic surface. The most widely used synthetic resin is epoxy resin, usually made of polyester, silicone or polyurethane. Epoxy resin is popular because it is economical, versatile, and effectively imitates both the liquid and solid properties of natural resins.


Synthetic resin cannot transform into a solid without a hardener. Hardeners serve as the catalyst that cures resin. They are the epoxy curing agents, and are typically made of chemical compounds such as polyamides and amines.


When synthetic resin is mixed with a suitable hardener, a chemical reaction (aka curing) occurs. Curing transforms the two liquid materials into a hard, durable, shiny solid within a few hours at room temperature. The result is a crystal clear, high-gloss surface. When you use epoxy resin to create artwork, this is referred to as Resin Art.


 

What Is Epoxy Resin Art?


When artists and crafters refer to the resin they use to create "resin art", they’re almost always talking about epoxy resin.

 

Initially, epoxy resin was used in industrial applications. That is, until artists discovered that a shiny coat of resin provided a sleek, modern finish and made the color in paintings and photographs pop.


In recent years, resin art has soared in popularity and has become a true obsession for contemporary artists and designers, as well as for crafters and DIY hobbyists.


Epoxy resin can be used in a variety of ways to create artwork with exceptional depth and beauty.
 Here are some of the most popular resin art creations:

 

  • Coasters & Trays
  • Jewelry
  • Flow Art Projects
  • Abstract Art
  • Resin Castings
  • Resin Wood Lamps
  • Epoxy Countertops
  • Sculptures
  • Resin Geode Art
  • Mosaics
  • Charcuterie Platters / Serving Boards
  • Flowers Preserved in Resin
  • Epoxy Art Paintings
  • Wood River Tables
  • Resin Pens
  • Resin Bar Tops
  • Resin Tumblers

 

You can also use epoxy resin as a top coat for drawings, paintings and photos, giving them a shiny finish while also protecting them from damage and the effects of UV light.

The addition of resin colorants and inclusions creates mesmerizing effects. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, experimentation is key when working with epoxy resin.



 


Is Epoxy Resin Safe To Use?
 


Not all epoxy resin brands are created equally.
 Many brands on the market contain dangerous solvents and fillers in their formulas in order to stretch the product. They come with scary warnings on the label and pose some serious health risks to the user.

Thankfully, there is a brand on the market which is non-toxic and has been properly tested to ensure your health and safety won't be compromised. ArtResin® Epoxy Resin was designed specifically for artists and crafters. It's a pure, low-odor formula that is safe for use at home when used as directed. It contains no harmful solvents and releases no VOCs or fumes that can irritate your lungs. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most epoxy resin brands so before you start, always consult the Safety Data Sheet for the brand of resin you are using to ensure the product you're using is safe, or that you are protecting yourself with the correct personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles and respiratory protection.


All epoxy resins, regardless of brand, can cause skin irritation in some users, so make sure you follow these common-sense, safety precautions: 

  • Wear disposable, nitrile gloves.
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing.
  • Work in a well-ventilated space with open windows and doors.
  • Do not drink or eat while working with resin.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Remove all traces of resin from tools, work surfaces and clothes with paper towel and isopropyl alcohol.
  • Do not dispose of unused resin down the sink.

 

What Kind Of Resin Should I Get?   


When you’re first starting out with resin art, you may be tempted to buy the cheapest epoxy resin you can find. The truth is, this is exactly the type of resin to stay away from! 


Cheap epoxy resins are not designed for art. Typically, they are made with toxic ingredients, emit noxious fumes, and will turn yellow, ruining your artwork and wasting your money. This is exactly where the saying "You get what you pay for" rings true. 


In the end, it's worth paying a little extra for a product like ArtResin; high-quality, crystal clear, non-toxic and 100% safe epoxy resin to protect both your health and your artwork.

How do we know ArtResin is safe for home use? Find out in our blog ArtResin's Safety Certifications - What Do They Mean?

 

What Epoxy Resin Supplies Do Beginners Need?


No matter what you make, there are a few key tools you need when working with epoxy resin. As your confidence grows and you experiment with more projects, you can start adding in colorants, silicone molds, 3D inclusions and more!

 

Here are the basic resin supplies to buy:

  • Resin & hardener - ArtResin® Epoxy Resin
  • Plastic measuring cups
  • Plastic mixing container
  • Disposable gloves, stir stick & spreader
  • Plastic drop sheet - to protect your work surface
  • Level - to ensure your work is perfectly horizontal
  • Torch - to get rid of bubbles
  • Toothpicks - to fish out bits of dust
  • Dust cover - to protect your work while it cures
  • Paper towel & isopropyl alcohol - to clean sticky tools


Optional tools, depending on the project:
 

  • Plastic stands - to prop artwork off of the work surface
  • Masking tape - taping off the back of your piece will catch drips
  • Colorants - use colorants made for resin, like Art Resin™ ResinTint
  • Embellishments - enhance your resin with glitter, inks, pigments, stones, beads, shells, gold flakes, and more.
  • Small mixing cups & craft sticks - for mixing small amounts of tinted resin
  • Heat gun or hair dryer - to gently push your resin around for flow art
  • Silicone molds - for making coasters and jewelry 
  • Alcohol Ink - a must for making petri dish art

 

What Colors And Dyes Are Suitable For Resin Art?


Resin artists use many different types of colorants to tint epoxy resin. Each one has its own unique qualities and effects that will determine the final result. Some of the most popular resin colorants include:

 

  • Powdered pigment
  • Mica powder
  • Richly saturated ResinTint, designed specifically for use with resin
  • Alcohol Ink, the specific colorant required for petri dish art
  • Acrylic paint
  • Acrylic ink
  • Glitter, not a true colorant but still provides a colorful effect

 

Resin colorants are available in so many options including solid colors, metallics, neons/fluorescents, and pearlescent effects. The choice is yours!


To color epoxy resin, first, mix the resin and hardener, and then add the epoxy colorant of your choice. Stir slowly and thoroughly, until the resin and colorant are perfectly blended together. Read more about how to tint epoxy resin in our blog How To Color Clear Epoxy Resin.

  

How To Make Epoxy Resin Art For The First Time


Have you already starting envisioning a project or a design and the colors you might start with? We know just how special your first piece of epoxy resin artwork is. That’s why we've created a detailed 6-step guide explaining how to make resin art for the first time.

1: Prepare Your Work Area


When working with resin, it’s important that your workspace is clean, free of dust, and well-ventilated.
 The surface you’re working on should be protected with a plastic drop sheet and perfectly level so that the resin cures evenly. Protect the floor from resin drips with a drop sheet. 


Ensure that all the tools you’ll need are on hand and that your piece is prepped and ready to go, before you measure and mix.


Consult the resin’s Safety Data Sheet to ensure you have the required Personal Protective Equipment for the resin you are using.  ArtResin requires the use of disposable gloves, but some resin brands may require safety goggles and even respiratory protection. Stay safe and always check the SDS before you start!

 

2: Measure


Consult the instruction manual to determine the correct mixing ratio.
 Different brands of resin may have different mixing ratios so this is an important step. 
ArtResin epoxy resin, for example, has a 1:1 mixing ratio, measured by volume. This means you need equal amounts of resin (Part A) and hardener (Part B) mixed into a cup.

Wear disposable nitrile gloves to protect your skin before you measure and mix, and anytime you're handling wet resin tools or the resin bottles.

Measure accurately: Be aware that adding too much of either the resin or hardener will alter the chemical reaction and the mixture will not cure properly.

_________________________________________________________________________

❌  What NOT to do:  People often think they can speed up the 24-hour cure time by adding more hardener to the mixture. However, this throws off the delicate 1:1 mixing ratio, and your resin will not cure properly. 

✅  What To Do: The best way to encourage a quicker cure is to increase the room temperature, since curing is accelerated by heat.

_________________________________________________________________________

 

3: Mix


While imagination and creativity are important, patience is a trait that will truly benefit epoxy resin artists and DIY creators.


Mix the resin and hardener slowly until they are well blended. It's important to stir slowly to avoid introducing excess bubbles into the resin mixture. 

Mixing time can vary from brand to brand, so check the instruction manual before you start. 
ArtResin epoxy, for example, needs to be mixed for at least 3 minutes.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing vessel as you stir. Improperly mixed resin left on the sides and bottom will not catalyze properly, leaving sticky spots that will not harden.

 

You will likely see some bubbles in the resin mixture, even if you've mixed slowly. Not to worry - these bubbles will be taken care of after the resin is poured.


4: Resin Pouring For Beginners


Next, pour the resin mixture over your artwork.
 
Ensure your piece is dry and dust-free before you pour. 
If you’re working with ArtResin®, you’ll have about 40 minutes of working time before the resin becomes too thick to pour and spread.

Guide the resin into place using a flat object like a plastic spreader. ArtResin is self-levelling and will start to spread on its own, but spreading it will ensure the entire surface is coated evenly.

You can deal with the edges of your piece in a few different ways. Check out our video showing how to apply epoxy resin to the edges.

  • Protect the sides with tape, guiding the resin to edges so that the ArtResin sits domed on top of their piece. Remove the tape at the 24 hour mark to reveal the clean sides.

  • Tape off the underside of the piece and allow the resin to drip over the sides, spreading it smooth with a foam brush or a gloved finger. Check out our blog showing 5 different ways to finish the edges of your resin art.

     

5: Finish Your Epoxy Resin Work

 

A quick pass with a flame torch will remove air bubbles with ease. Many of these tiny air bubbles will pop on their own but an Artist Torch will provide a flawless, glass-like surface.

Use a toothpick to pick out any bits of dust or hair that may have settled into the wet resin. Looking at the spread out resin under a light source helps you see any imperfections. Your smartphone’s flashlight is a perfect tool for this!

Place a protective covering over your art piece, such as a cardboard box or plastic tote.  Ensure the cover is clean and within easy reach before you start to resin. This way, you won't have to leave your wet piece while you search for one. 



6: Wait For The Resin Artwork To Cure

Allow the resin art to sit for at least 24 hours in a dust-free space while it cures. 

In approximately 3-5 hours, the resin will be thick and tacky and, at this point, you'll be able to pour a second layer if you wish.  Read more about the 3 different ways to get a thick layer of resin. 


Within 24 hours, the resin will be dry to the touch and 95% cured. After 24 hours, you may display your piece or hang it on the wall without worry.  It will be fully cured within 72 hours, at which point you may safely ship it.  Read more about how to safely pack resin art for shipping.

 
For more information and valuable tips on how to make resin art for beginners, check out our blog Resin Art How-To.





5 Tips To Avoid Bubbles In Epoxy Resin


Bubbles can be one of the biggest challenges when working with epoxy resin.


There are 4 main reasons why you may experience bubbles in your resin:

  • Not following best epoxy resin practices
  • Cold temperatures
  • Pouring too thick
  • The artwork may be releasing trapped air (this is often the case with paper and organic materials like wood, leaves, dried flowers etc.)

 

Follow these guidelines to help prevent air bubbles when using resin:

  1. Use a Torch - A torch is the most efficient way to remove bubbles. The flame heats the resin surface up instantly, thinning the resin out and allowing bubbles to escape.

  2. Work in a Warm Environment - Epoxy resin loves warmth so make sure your workspace is slightly warmer than room temperature (75-85F or 24-30C) for a resin that with a crystal clear appearance and honey-like consistency, that pours and spreads with ease. You’ll know the temperature is too cold when the resin is thick, cloudy, and has a milky appearance from thousands of micro bubbles that you’ll never be able to torch out.

  3. Pour in ⅛” layers - If the resin is poured thicker than 1/8", bubbles won't be able to escape to surface, and they'll end up curing in your resin.
    💡
    Tip: For a thicker coat of epoxy resin, pour in layers, waiting 3-5 hours between each one. Find more information on epoxy resin layers here.

  4. Seal over natural objects - To prevent natural objects from breathing and releasing air bubbles into the resin, seal these items with a brush on or a spray sealant and allow to dry before applying epoxy resin. Read more about which sealant types work best.


Read more about preventing resin bubbles in our blog Tips To Prevent Resin Bubbles.

 

 

How Easy Is DIY Resin Art?


Epoxy resin art might seem intimidating at first, but once you try it, you'll soon see why it's such a 
fun, creative hobby for artists, crafters and DIY enthusiasts.  In fact, after you get the hang of it, you'll feel inspired to attempt larger projects and try out some new techniques!

At ArtResin, we've created a huge 
epoxy resin art library, full of valuable and comprehensive information and tips, in addition to a YouTube channel with over 750 resin art tutorials and interesting how-to videos.


With a bit of practice, you'll soon be measuring, mixing and pouring resin like a pro!

 





Top 10 Easy Resin Art Project Ideas For Beginners


Feeling inspired to try making resin art for yourself? From coating artwork to pouring coasters, flow art, trinket dishes and more, there are so many ways to  get creative with epoxy resin!

Heres a list of our top 10 creative resin art ideas, perfect for beginners and experienced resin artists alike. Which one do you want to try first?

 

1: Petri Dish Art  

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Petri Dish Art

Petri Dish Art is made by encapsulating alcohol ink in ArtResin within a reusable silicone mold. The ink pushes through the resin creating vibrant ribbons and colorful "petrified" squiggles.

 

 

2: Bottle Cap Coaster

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Bottle Cap Coaster

Instead of putting a cap on your beer, why not put your beer on a cap?

Coasters come in many different designs and colors, but one that’s guaranteed to catch everyone’s eye is a resin coaster filled with your favorite beer caps. If you are not a fan of beer, use your favorite soft drink caps.

 

3: Flow Art Tray

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Flow Art Tray

Let it flow!

Spruce up an inexpensive serving tray with some tinted ArtResin! They are functional, beautiful, and a great conversation piece.

 

4: Puzzle

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Puzzle

Puzzles are fun, beautiful, and do not need to be disassembled! Simply choose a puzzle that you’d love to hang on your wall and coat it in ArtResin so you can enjoy it long after you put in that final, satisfying piece.

 

5: Add A Resin Accent

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Resin Accents

Take an existing or a unique piece of artwork and add an ArtResin “accent” to it.

Select a small or big portion of the piece and embellish it with resin to provide some extra oomph. Not only is it shiny and smooth, but it adds depth to an otherwise flat piece.

 

6: Upgrade Your Art

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Artwork Upgrade

Upgrade a piece of art by adding a little paint or a shiny coat of resin!  It's a great option when you find a piece that's *almost* perfect, but just needs a little something extra. 


7: Charcuterie Board

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Charcuterie Board


It's easy to see why charcuterie boards are so popular among those who love to entertain!

A charcuterie platter is a show-stopper that's simple to prepare, delivering big on both flavor and looks - especially when you have a gorgeous piece of wood as your starting point. Now, making your own custom, food safe charcuterie board is easier than you think.

8: Crayon Art

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Crayon Art

Crayon art is so satisfying and fun that you may never stop creating these colorful art pieces. A rainbow of color is at your disposal to melt and design. Adding a little ArtResin pop is also a nice touch to set your work apart from the rest.



9: Jewelry Pendants

 

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Jewelry Pendants

Sometimes you just want to make something simple and small to level up your outfit. Jewelry pendants are a perfect way to show the world your creative talent and unique flair.

 

10: Trinket Dish

Top Ten Easy Resin Projects- Trinket Dish

Where do you put your change? Or your earrings? Or paper clips?

Creating your own trinket dish is fun, easy and so uniquely stylized that you’ll find yourself placing them all over your home or office. It's functional art!



For more information on what products to use, or how to make these ideas a reality, check out our detailed guide, “Top Ten Easy Resin Art Projects & Ideas.” Or watch our YouTube tutorials below.





We hope you found this resin guide for beginners informative and that it helped to explain and demystify what epoxy resin is all about. 

 

Like anything, practice makes perfect, but we hope you feel encouraged to try a resin project out for yourself. Before you know it, you'll be wondering why you didn't do it sooner!

 

Leave your questions and comments below. We’re more than happy to help answer questions and hear your feedback!

 

Other interesting and informative epoxy resin blog posts you might enjoy:



ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists

 

 

 

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@carolynjoeart Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 13 Jun 13:22

Congratulations to Carolyn Joe Daniel, our latest Instagram winner!  Based in Dallas, TX, Carolyn creates large-scale colorful abstracts with acrylic washes and resin: "I love drips & spills and paint that takes days to dry. It’s life-giving and brings me joy." 
 



Carolyn majored in painting and print-making at Wake Forest University, curated at art galleries in Sydney, Australia and even spent 2 years at culinary school, but her greatest joy is painting abstracts, seascapes and modern portraiture in her home studio: “Painting has been a 25 year-long, colorful ribbon tying together most of my memories…”




Carolyn first learned to paint in oils but because of its longer dry time and the toxic solvents and mediums, she made the transition to water based acrylic paint. After discovering resin, Carolyn fell in love with the glossy dimension it gives to her work and that it helps to preserve and protect it. 



Carolyn works with designers and private collectors for commissioned projects and licenses her art to several retailers: "My art has been adapted for yoga pants, rain boots, sports water bottles, calendars/journals as well as large scale commercial wall coverings for retail, hotels, hospital and office spaces."



Above all else, Carolyn hopes "to share my love for painting and the momentary joy color can bring to anyone passing by."

 


Giclee prints of Carolyn's work can be purchased on her 
website. Original paintings are available at Maestri Gallery in Dallas and at Carolyn’s studio by appointment. Her work can also be found at several retailers.

To see more of Carolyn's art:
Visit her website: www.carolynjoe.com
Follow her on Instagram: @carolynjoeart



Congratulations on your win, Carolyn!

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.

 

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10 Ways A Goal Can Make You A Better Artist

Posted on 1 Jun 07:53

Sometimes, the most challenging part of being an artist can simply be finding time to create. Between work, family and household obligations, freeing up space in a jam-packed schedule can seem downright impossible. 

But what if it is possible? 
What if, with some planning and intention, you can make creativity more routine and reap all the positive side effects that go along making art?

Like many of us, ArtResin co-founder Rebecca Zak had the best of intentions when she set her New Year's resolution this past January. Her goal was to create 52 paintings in 2022: as of May, her count was at zero. 

Rebecca says, "I love to paint, it's something that really means a lot to me and that's why I made the goal. So I guess I had a reckoning with myself last week and I said 'Am I doing this or not?'" 
Rebecca wanted to be able to look back on 2022 and see that she'd been productive in a way that made her heart happy, so she started her own art challenge.


Whether you've got a specific goal in mind, like Rebecca, or you just want to make more art, here are 10 ways a goal and a timeline can help you get there: 
 

  1. It encourages you to prioritize time for art.
  2. It can break a creative block.
  3. It will keep you on track.
  4. It creates a new habit.
  5. It helps improve your artistic skills.
  6. It can help you focus.
  7. It holds you accountable.
  8. It helps you finish projects.
  9. It gives you a huge sense of satisfaction.
  10. It has the potential to open up new possibilities.


After establishing a few guidelines to keep her on track, Rebecca invited the ArtResin community along for the ride to hold her accountable. 


Here's how she's going to do it:





How does a goal help you make more art?


Let's be honest: we could all do with a little nudge from time to time. Setting a clear, structured goal with a timeline attached gives us incentive to make it happen. Whether you're just getting started or you're starting all over again, here are 10 ways giving yourself a challenge can help achieve the goal of making more art:

1. It prioritizes creative time:  

Whether it's an hour a day or an hour a week is entirely up to you, but dedicating specific, realistic time blocks in your schedule is key. A clearly defined schedule helps you identify (and say no) to less important things in order to focus on what makes you happy. 


2. It can break a creative block:

An art challenge is the perfect opportunity to explore project ideas you've been thinking about, but have never put into action. However, if too many choices cause option paralysis or, conversely, you find yourself staring blankly at the canvas, a notebook with some prompts can help you get inspired. You may find that one of your ideas acts as a springboard to create an entirely new project or series!


3. A plan keeps you on track:

Having the art materials you'll need on hand as well as a dedicated space to work in is just as important as a game plan and a schedule. Embarking on an art challenge is an effective way to keep track of all those moving parts which, in turn, helps to keep you on track. Plan to succeed and you will succeed!


4. Creativity will become routine:

Consistently making time for your art will create a new habit, which will eventually make creativity a routine part of your life. The more often you prioritize your art, the easier it gets. Over time, you'll move seamlessly from one finished project right onto the start of the next. Yay for more art!


5. It will improve your skills:

The more you do something, the better you'll get! An art challenge provides a great chance to focus on areas you'd like to improve or to try out a brand new medium or style altogether. Getting outside your comfort zone can help expand your skillset.   

6. It allows you to focus on your art:

The idea of finding time for art can seem difficult because we tend to live in a state of constant multi-tasking. Studies show that focusing on one single task at a time can increase productivity by up to 80%. Establishing dedicated creative time and working without distraction allows you to focus all of your energy on your art. 

 

7. Sharing your goals holds you accountable:

Whether you join an online art challenge or start your own and invite others to take part, sharing your goals with others helps to keep you accountable. Don't forget to involve your family and friends so they can help support your efforts - you might even inspire them to get creative too!


8. An art challenge allows you to finish projects:

Sometimes knowing we can't finish a project means it's just easier not to start in the first place. An art challenge not only provides consistent, dedicated creative time to start and finish a piece, but it also gives you the opportunity to finish up artwork that needs to be completed.

9. It gives you an immense satisfaction: 

When we complete a task or a project, our brain releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which is why you feel a rush of happiness. The satisfaction from finishing a piece gives you motivation to move onto the next. When you reach your goal and see the results of your efforts, you can relive those feelings of joy and accomplishment over and over again.


10. An art challenge opens up new possibilities:

Share your goals and your work online through your social media, website, or blog. Engage your audience and bring them along on the journey with you.  Create a hashtag for your challenge and use it to attract new followers, new fans and potentially, new customers! 



How are art challenge guidelines helpful?


Establishing a few guidelines before you start an art challenge helps to create structure and removes the need to make decisions. This means you can spend your energy creating art instead of deciding what to make or whether your piece counts towards your challenge goal.

Feel free to tailor the rules to what works best for you, but these are the guidelines that Rebecca put into place: 


1. Size Doesn't Matter

Variety is good: the painting can be a large panel or it can be a mini canvas, as long as there are a good variety of sizes in the mix.

how does an art challenge help me to make more art?


2. Variety of styles:

A challenge is a great opportunity to play around and try different styles and mediums. Get out of your comfort zone and explore something new!

how to finish off half completed artwork



3. Diptychs and triptychs count as multiple paintings:

A diptych or a triptych are made up of 2 or 3 paintings, respectively, but function as one. Rebecca established that each component will stand on its own and count as a single painting.

painting more art with an art challenge


4. Family can help:

If your kids want to help you paint something for their room, or you want to create a joint piece of art with your spouse, Rebecca agrees that not only is this allowed, but should be encouraged. 

creating art with family


5. Finishing abandoned art counts:

If you're inspired to finish a painting that has already been started, it counts as a contribution towards the challenge. In fact, this is a perfect opportunity to finish up abandoned projects.  

how can i make more art?


Making art is good for the mind, body and soul. All you need to do is just make art - and the more you do, the better your art will become and the better you'll feel. 

Whether you do it on your own or with a group, art challenges are fun and inspiring.  Are you up for the challenge?


ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

 

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@saltwoodstudio Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 30 May 15:50

Congratulations to Richmond, Virginia artist Chris Lombard, our latest Instagram winner!  An artist proficient in multiple mediums, Chris creates commissioned acrylic paintings and pencil drawings. He also applies his digital design and wood working knowledge to create gorgeous, laser cut 3D maps, which he embellishes with resin. 

 

 

With a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, Chris has been drawing, painting and working with wood since he was a child: "I have always had a strong desire to create. It’s like an itch that needs to be scratched. I use art to focus my energy into a new challenge." 

Over the past decade, he's been focusing on digital design and, most recently, has started to incorporate laser technology and resin into his work. Chris says: ""About a year ago, I was working on creating a piece of art of my hometown, Gloucester, VA which is on the water. I wanted to depict the water on a wooden map with something more tactile than just paint, and that’s what led me to using resin."

 

 

Chris has enjoyed the challenge of learning a new medium and feels that resin has provided even greater opportunity to create custom 3D maps for clients.  He has found resin to be a perfect complement to his work: "Much of my art is centered around wind and water. I love the way resin can be manipulated to depict textures that reflect these natural elements."


 

Chris says: "My process varies depending on the type of commission I receive. For 3D maps, I typically start with an address and google maps to review the location. Then I will start creating a digital mock-up for my client. Once the digital design is approved, I will start running the design through my laser, followed up by painting and gluing. The final step involves pouring resin with one or multiple layers adding some paint if needed."



In addition to wood and digital design, Chris specializes in several mediums including acrylic paint and colored pencil.  He says: "I am not a typical artist that focuses on one specific style and medium. I think when someone visits my website they begin to understand that pretty quickly. Any given week, I may be working on a color pencil pet portrait while running my laser for a wooden map. Sometimes I will be working on an acrylic painting and switch over to my computer or iPad to work on a digital design. Having multiple skill sets enables me to offer a variety of art to my clients.

"It is very rare that I turn down a commission; [they]
 are particularly challenging and fulfilling. Many of my commissions depict landscapes and places that hold sentimental value. I love helping a client preserve the memory of a special place in a piece of art."


 

Chris' work can be found on his website and on his Instagram page: "I use social media to showcase my art, but most of my sales come from my website and word of mouth."

To see more of Chris' art:
Visit his website: saltwood.studio
Follow him on Instagram: @saltwoodstudio




Congratulations on your win, Chris!

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.

 

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@loverefracted Is Our Instagram Winner!

Posted on 17 May 17:35
Congratulations to artist Christy Tyra, our latest Instagram winner!  Based in Norfolk, VA, Christy creates hand-crafted, small-batch jewelry. At first glance, her pieces appear to be made of quartz and other precious gemstones but they are, in fact, made of marbled polymer clay topped with a shiny resin coat.

The results are stunning, lightweight, one-of-a-kind pieces of art.



Christy studied piano performance in college but once she discovered the world of polymer clay, she was hooked: "It truly is an outlet for me. I’ve always needed some way to express my many emotions and feelings. It used to be me throwing my everything into the Grieg piano concerto and now I express myself through colors and shapes."





Christy says: "I loved that the options to working with polymer clay were virtually limitless. I also love color and loved the idea of being able to create whatever color I wanted to use for my jewelry." Christy discovered epoxy resin shortly after she got started with polymer clay.  She says, "It has completely changed my jewelry game! I’d say most of my jewelry has resin somehow incorporated into it these days."





Christy's process typically starts with sketching out her ideas, although she says that some of her styles happen organically as she is working with the clay.  Once she has an idea of the color palette she'd like to use, she gets to color mixing and creating her clay slabs.  Christy explains that these are referred to as cane:"[cane is] a process of literally squishing different clay components together to take the shape of a long brick."




Christy then rolls out the clay with a roller or a pasta machine, cutting out her shapes with an X-acto knife or a cutter.



Next, she bakes, sands and buffs the pieces, adding resin to whatever components she would like with a glossy finish. 




After the resin has cured, she drills holes and assembles her pieces, attaching gold or silver hooks, posts or chains to transform them into wearable jewelry.  She says " Finally, I get to see the pieces come to life! After that, I take pictures of the finished pieces and then upload those images to Etsy and Instagram, and I move on from create mode to sell mode!"



Christy sells her work on her Etsy shop and through her Instagram page. When people look at her pieces, she hopes that "they see something they’ve never seen before, a different perspective on jewelry. I also love to have a story connected to what I make and enjoy sharing that aspect with my “Love Refracted fam.”


To see more of Christy's work:
Visit her Etsy shop: 
Love Refracted
Follow her on Instagram: @loverefracted




Congratulations on your win, Christy!

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.

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How To Resin Collage Art

Posted on 17 May 14:54

What is paper collage?


Paper collage is the technique of cutting and overlapping individual pieces of material to create a whole new work of art. The beauty of collage is that, from afar, the finished piece looks like a geometric abstract, but up close, all the small hidden details reveal themselves.

Artists may select their materials based on a color palette or a theme. These materials are then cut into small pieces and affixed onto a wooden panel or canvas. By arranging materials with a variety of textures, patterns and colors in a purposeful way, artists can create an eye-catching visual statement. 

 

Can you apply resin over collage art?


Yes, epoxy resin is a great way to finish collage art.
 It provides a glossy, professional looking finish that protects the paper, it enhances the color and adds a layer of depth and dimension.


What materials work well for paper collage?


You can use a variety of materials to build a paper collage including photos, fabric, and paper.
 It's best to use high quality coated paper, ideally that has a texture or an image printed on it. Cuttings from high end magazines and books work very particularly well.





Join artist Daniel Anstett as he 
creates a collage entitled Coastline, following a simple but striking pattern suitable for beginners or experienced artists alike. He also covers the tools you'll need to recreate this piece at home and shares his tips and techniques to set you up for success!

Let's get started!





What materials do I need to get started with paper collage? 


Getting started with paper collage art is simple. Here's what you'll need:

  • a 12 x 12 wood panel, painted white
  • Good quality paper from a coffee table book or high end magazine, in the theme or color palette of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler 
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife to trim the edges
  • Stands to prop your panel up (painter’s pyramids or plastic cups)
  • Masking tape
  • Clear acrylic medium or brush on sealant
  • Foam roller or foam brush
  • Plastic sheet to line your work surface
  • ArtResin Epoxy Resin
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Measuring Cup
  • Mixing Stick
  • Spreader
  • Torch
  • Dust Cover


Explore our resin art tools & supplies!


Step 1: Prepare The Paper


Choose high quality, coated paper based on a color palette, on a theme or an idea you'd like to convey. The paper quality is very important: thin paper can be see-through, so you'll end up seeing the print on the other side. Low quality paper can also absorb the resin, buckle and curl. Once you've sourced the paper and cut it into long strips approximately 2-3" wide.  

💡 TIP: Daniel likes to source paper from coffee table books bought at thrift shops or in the bargain section of bigger book stores.  He finds that photography or art books work particularly well. You can also use pages from high end magazines like National Geographic or Vogue. 


how to resin a paper collage: source out high quality paper from high end magazines or coffee table books


Step 2: Find The Center Of The Board


On a wooden panel that has been painted white, use a ruler to draw an X through the board, corner to corner, in order to find the center. Don't erase these lines: they will become guidelines as you build out your collage. 

how to resin a paper collage: draw an X through the center of the panel to find the middle
how to resin a paper collage: draw an X across the panel to find the center of the board


Step 3: Create The Center Circle


Daniel creates the center circle using the darkest color paper. Once you've decided which strip you'd like to use, cut it into smaller pieces, approximately 1/2" wide. The pieces don't all have to be the same size, but ensure you don't cut them too narrow - wider pieces will make it easier to create a circular pattern. 

how to resin a paper collage: cut the paper into strips to build the collage

Using a glue stick, apply a strip of glue along one of the guidelines in the center of the board. The glue should be the same size as the first piece of paper you intend to lay down. 

💡 TIP: A glue stick offers effective and even coverage with more control and less mess than liquid glue. Since it doesn't dry right away, you have an opportunity to adjust or reposition the paper if need be.

how to resin a paper collage: use a glue stick to lay down the first strip of glue along the guideline


Lay down the first piece of paper along the strip of glue, burnishing it with your finger to ensure it's well adhered and that there are no air pockets trapped underneath.

how to resin a paper collage: lay down the first strip of paper on the glue in the center of the board


Moving in a clockwise fashion, apply a strip of glue to the back of the next piece of paper and lay it down over the first, placing it on an angle (opposite corner to opposite corner.)

how to resin a paper collage: lay the paper strips down opposite corner to opposite corner
how to resin a paper collage: lay down each strip, opposite corner to opposite corner


Repeat this clockwise pattern, laying down one strip at a time corner to corner, until the circular pattern is complete.

how to resin a paper collage: center circle started


Step 4: Lay Down The Second Row


Choose a paper strip to use for the next circle -  you can choose by color or by pattern, but ultimately, it should be based on what looks best beside the center circle.

Lay down the first strip on the guideline, slightly overlapping the center circle.

how to resin a paper collage: place the first strip of the second circle onto the guideline, slightly overlapping the first circle


Lay down the second strip: this time, you'll place the strip so that the bottom sits in the center of the first strip and the top sits corner to corner. 

how to resin a paper collage: lay down the second strip, placing one end in the center of the first piece and the other end corner to corner
how to resin a paper collage: place the second strip overlapping the first, placing one end in the center of the first piece and the other end on the opposite corner of the first piece


To create visual interest, Daniel suggests mixing up the orientation as you lay down each strip. 

how to resin a paper collage: mix up the orientation of the strips to break up the pattern and create visual interest
how to resin paper collage art: apply glue to strips and place onto the panel


About a third of the way through the circle, change up the paper you're using to a different pattern or color that will compliment what you've already laid down. Daniel used beach imagery for the first third, then switched over to turquoise water that complimented the darker water in the center.

how to resin paper collage art: change up the color and pattern to create visual interest
how to resin a paper collage: switch the pattern up to create visual interest


For the last third, choose another complimentary image or color.  Daniel chose to use wave imagery that features a lot of white. Again, he changed up the orientation on a few of the strips to break up the pattern and create some interest.

how to resin a paper collage: placing paper down onto a panel to create a collage


Repeat this pattern until the second circle is complete, ensuring there are no spaces or gaps left between the strips.

how to resin a paper collage: build out circles made up of strips of paper


Step 5: Lay Down The Third Row


For this row, Daniel suggests using 4 different patterns to create visual interest.  He starts off by using the same dark turquoise water used in the center circle. He overlaps each piece, center to corner, ensuring there are no gaps left between strips. 

how to resin paper collage art: cut strips to create the second row of collage piece
how to resin a paper collage: start the third circle with a dark turquoise pattern
how to resin a paper collage: place lighter colors next to dark to balance out the collage
how to resin a paper collage: break up the pattern by mixing up the orientation as you lay down each strip

how to resin a paper collage: completed third row


Step 6: Lay Down The Final Row


Plan out the placement for the last row, balancing it out so that the same pattern or color does not appear side by side between rows. Daniel used three different patterns for this last row. 

Daniel starts the final row with the dark turquoise, making sure he lays it down next to a lighter sand color. 

how to resin a paper collage: place strips down to create the last row of the collage
how to resin paper collage art: change up the pattern and color of the paper to create visual interest
how to resin a paper collage: add strips in a new pattern to complete the last row of the collage
how to resin a paper collage: last circle is complete


Step 7: Fill In The Corners


The last step is to fill in the 4 corners of the panel. This is where it's really important to balance out the color with what's already been laid down. Daniel made sure the colors worked by laying down the full strips in each corner: he placed sand next to turquoise water, matching lights and darks in a way that looks balanced.

how to resin a paper collage: fill in the empty corners of the collage
how to resin a paper collage: place strips of paper before gluing to determine placement


Once he was happy with his choices, he cut the strips into pieces and began filling in the corners. Rather than placing the pieces in a clockwise pattern, Daniel started by placing the first strip on his guideline, right in the middle. He then built out on either side until the corner was completely covered.

how to resin a paper collage: to fill in corner, place first piece along guideline in the center
how to resin a paper collage: build out the corners of collage with paper strips


Repeat this pattern until all four corners are covered.

how to resin a paper collage: add strips to each corner to complete the collage
how to resin a paper collage: paper is laid down and ready for excess to be trimmed


Step 8: Trim The Edges


Using a utility knife, trim away excess paper from the edges. Work your way around the perimeter of the board, using a sawing motion.

how to resin paper collage art: use a utility knife to trim off excess paper


💡TIP:  Place your thumb against the blade to act as a guide, ensuring the blade stays flush with the side of the panel as you make your way around.
 how to resin paper collage art: use your thumb as a guide to keep the blade flush against the side of the panel



Once you've trimmed off all the excess, look for any pieces of paper that may be lifting away from the panel.  Place a little dab of glue on a scrap strip of paper, and place it under the loose piece to apply a little glue to the underside.  Press down so that the paper adheres to the panel. 

how to resin paper collage art: dab a little glue on a scrap piece of paper to tack down loose pieces of collage
how to resin paper collage art: slide paper with glue underneath loose collage parts to tack them down
how to resin paper collage art: press down loose paper with glue underneath to secure loose collage edges


Step 9: Seal The Collage


Before resining, apply a clear sealant over top of the collage to prevent the paper from curling up and to help prevent the resin from soaking in. Daniel uses a clear acrylic gloss medium applied with a foam roller but you can also use a brush on sealant and/or a foam brush. Allow the sealant to dry according to the label instructions.

how to resin paper collage art: use a foam roller to apply sealant over the collage before applying resin


Step 10: Prepare The Panel


Before you apply the resin, tape off the edges and bottom of your wood panel with a good quality painter's tape.  This not only ensures nice clean edges, but the tape will catch any resin drips that may run down the sides. After 18-24 hours, the tape can be removed and the resin drips right along with it!

💡 TIP: If you wish to apply resin to the sides of the panel, tape off the bottom only to catch the resin drips, and use a gloved hand to guide the resin over the edges.

how to resin paper collage art: tape off the edges of the panel to protect from resin


Mount the panel up and off of your work surface with some plastic cups or painter's pyramids - this will prevent any resin drips from adhering the panel to the table top. Because resin is self-levelling, use a level to ensure your work is perfectly horizontal. If the piece is leaning to one side, the resin will run off.

how to resin paper collage art: ensure panel is level before applying resin


Step 11: Apply The Resin


Wearing gloves, measure and mix the ArtResin according to the label instructions.


💡 TIP: To determine how much ArtResin you'll need to cover your panel, simply enter the dimensions into our Resin Calculator.
 The Calculator will let you know how much resin and hardener you'll need and even which kit to buy.

For our 12 x 12" panel, we needed 5 oz total, made up of 2.5 oz of resin and 2.5 oz hardener.  We decided to make 6 oz total. 
how to resin paper collage art: how much resin do I need?


Measure equal amounts of resin and hardener (in our case, 3 oz each) into a plastic mixing cup.  It doesn't matter if you pour the resin or the hardener first, as long as both parts are equal by volume. 

how to resin paper collage art: measure and mix equal amounts of resin and hardener
how to resin paper collage art: measure and mix equal amounts of resin and hardener by volume


With a plastic stir stick or a craft stick, mix the resin and hardener together for at least 3 minutes, ensuring you scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing cup as you stir.

how to resin paper collage art: mix the resin and hardener for 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom


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. 

how to resin paper collage art: pouring resin onto the paper collage



Using 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.

how to resin paper collage art: spread the resin over the entire resin collage with a plastic spatula


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. 

how to resin paper collage art: use a flame torch to remove bubbles from the resin


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

how to resin paper collage art: pick out bits of dust after torching


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

how to resin paper collage art: use a clean plastic tote to protect the wet resin from dust


Step 12: Reveal Your Masterpiece!


The next day, once the resin has cured to the touch, remove the plastic tote. At this point, you can remove the tape from the sides of the wood panel.  It's best to remove the tape between 18-24 hours, while the resin is still flexible.

how to resin paper collage art: allow the resin to cure overnight
how to resin a paper collage: remove tape from the cured resin at the 18 -24 hour mark

Admire your work!  The resin will be fully cured by the 72 hour mark. At this point, you can hang the piece on the wall but if you're planning to ship the piece out, wait until the resin has finished curing and it's rock hard.

how to resin paper collage art:  admire the cured resin


Daniel says" "ArtResin makes the colors pop. It gives it a cool look that I don't think you can get with anything else."

how to resin a paper collage: resin protects paper collage, makes the color pop and provides depth and dimension

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and feel inspired to create a paper collage piece of your own!


To see more of Daniel's work:
Visit his website: www.thedeadant.com
Follow him on Instagram:  @thedeadant

Please leave any questions or comments below - we'd love to hear from you!


ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists

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How to Color Clear Epoxy Resin

Posted on 3 May 20:33

You can use a variety of materials to color clear epoxy resin, however each material has advantages and disadvantages you'll want to be aware of.

ArtResin is a water-clear formula that is used to coat paintings, photos, wood, puzzles, etc. But you can use ArtResin for so much more than just clear coating artwork. ArtResin looks beautiful when it's tinted and by adding color to clear epoxy resin, you can create colorful flow art, ocean art, geode artpetri dish art, jewelry from silicone molds, and the list goes on.

We're going through the most common resin colorants and sharing which ones work well and, more importantly, which ones don't work at all. We're also going through a few guidelines that apply to all colorants and providing plenty of tips along the way.

Let's get started!




1. Why Is ResinTint The Best Colorant For Resin?


ResinTint
 was crafted specifically as a resin colorant. It mixes seamlessly into ArtResin, preserving its glossiness and, because it's so highly pigmented, a little goes a long way.

ResinTint is non-toxic and non-flammable. This means that ArtResin's non-toxicity and non-flammability is preserved once ResinTint is added to it.

Keep in mind that ResinTint requires epoxy resin as a binder: it's not meant to be used on its own and, when you add it into the resin, make sure you mix it really well so that both parts are properly emulsified. 

how to color clear epoxy resin - use resin designed for use with resin

how to color clear epoxy resin - use tint designed specifically for resin

 

2. Can You Use Alcohol Ink In Resin?


Alcohol ink
 is a super popular resin colorant that offers gorgeous, rich saturation. 

Alcohol breaks down resin, which is why it's so effective at cleaning off sticky resin tools and why it's the only
 colorant that can create resin petri dish art. In petri dish art, the alcohol in the ink breaks down the resin as the drops move their way through, creating cool tendrils and squiggles that are seemingly petrified in place. This effect is amplified all the more with the use of ArtResin Ink Sinker.

petri dish art made with resin and alcohol ink

Is it possible to use alcohol ink simply to tint resin? Yes, it is, but it's important to remember a couple of things:

  1. Alcohol is flammable: while ArtResin is non-flammable on its own in its liquid state, this is not the case once alcohol ink is added in. For that reason, never use a flame torch on resin that contains alcohol ink. 

  2. Alcohol is a solvent: adding alcohol ink to ArtResin will compromise ArtResin's non-toxicity and food safety compliance. If you wish to use alcohol ink on a piece that is intended for use as a food contact surface, pour a layer of clear, non-tinted ArtResin as a final top coat. 


how to color clear epoxy resin - add alcohol ink to make petri dish art

how to color clear epoxy resin - add alcohol ink to create petri dish art


3. Can You Use Acrylic Paint In Resin?


Yes, you can. In fact, acrylic paint is one of the most common colorants used to tint epoxy resin. On the plus side, acrylic paint is inexpensive, readily available, and it comes in a huge variety of color options.

On the other hand, acrylic paint typically dries with a matte finish which can take away from ArtResin's glossiness. Acrylic paint is water based, so if you use too much, it can prevent the resin from curing properly. Choose a high quality, highly pigmented acrylic paint so you only need to use a small amount. 


how to color clear epoxy resin  - acrylic paint can give resin a dull finish and take away its glossiness

    how to color clear epoxy resin  - acrylic gives cured resin a dull finish
     

    4. Can You Add Mica Powder To Resin?


    Yes, mica powder and powdered pigments are really popular additions to resin, especially for geode art. You need to mix mica powder in thoroughly, or the powder may not dissolve and you could end up with a grainy look to your resin. 


    how to color clear epoxy resin - mica powder gives a rich luxurious metallic effect to create resin geode art
    how to color clear epoxy resin - mica powder gives resin a beautiful swirled metallic effect for geode art


    The metallics in Mica powder provide a rich, luxurious pearlescent effect but the metallic pigments can sink to the bottom and you could lose that beautiful, swirled look. If you want to keep the swirls, try pouring the metallics last, on top of a cured layer of resin. 

    how to color clear epoxy resin - mica powder can sink to the bottom and you might lose the swirled look


    5. Can You Color Resin With Glitter?


    Glitter is a really popular addition to resin. It doesn't tint the resin, but it certainly adds a colorful effect. Glitter is available in a wide variety of colors and sizes - be aware that larger glitter can be heavier and can sink down to the bottom of the resin. 


    how to color clear epoxy resin - glitter gives resin a color effect
    how to color clear epoxy resin - glitter gives resin a colorful effect

    how to color clear epoxy resin - glitter can sink to the bottom of resin layer



    What Colorants Should You Not Add To Epoxy Resin?


    There are various resin colorants that we don't recommend for tinting resin including oil paint, watercolor paint, latex paint, spray paint, nail polish, ground up chalk, spices like paprika and turmeric and food coloring.

     

    6. Can You Use Eyeshadow To Color Epoxy Resin?


    Pressed powder make-up, like eyeshadow, contains binding agents to hold it together, making it difficult to for the make-up to dissolve; it ends up not mixing in properly and leaves specks throughout the resin. You can use loose make-up pigment but these can be costly - you're better off using mica powder.


    how to color clear epoxy resin - pressed make up like eyeshadow doesn't dissolve well in resin and can leave specks in the cured resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - pressed make up like eyeshadow doesn't mix well into resin and leaves specks


    7. Can Ground Chalk Be Used To Color Resin? 


    Ground up chalk is too coarse to dissolve well. Ground up chalk tends to clump up in the resin, leaving a grainy look with large specks.

    how to color clear epoxy resin - chalk is too coarse and will not dissolve well in resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - ground chalk is too coarse and won't dissolve well in resin


    8. Can I Color Resin With Spices Like Paprika and Turmeric? 


    Ground spices are not fine enough and don't dissolve well in epoxy resin, leaving you with a grainy looking cure. Additionally, although turmeric, paprika and other spices may provide initial color, it will fade very quickly. 

    how to color clear epoxy resin - paprika is not fine enough to dissolve in epoxy resin

    how to color clear epoxy resin - paprika is not fine enough to dissolve in epoxy resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - turmeric is not fine enough to dissolve in epoxy resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - turmeric is not fine enough to dissolve in resin


    9. Can You Use Food Coloring In Resin?


    Food coloring can provide a good result initially, so it makes sense to think it would make an ideal resin colorant. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Food coloring is not light fast and the color will fade very quickly.  
     

    how to color clear epoxy resin  - food coloring will fade very quickly in cured resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - food coloring fades very quickly in cured resin


    10. Can You Mix Oil Paint With Epoxy?


    Oil paint does not blend well into epoxy resin, leaving you with a stringy mess. Once cured, there are visible clumps of paint that didn't mix, divots and an oily film on the resin surface.

    how to color clear epoxy resin - oil paint does not mix well into resin and creates a clumpy mess
    how to color clear epoxy resin - oil paint doesn't mix well into resin leaving a clumpy mess


    11. Can You Use Watercolor Paint To Tint Resin?

     
    Watercolor paint does not mix well with resin. It leaves specks throughout the cured resin and divots on the surface.

    how to color clear epoxy - watercolor paint doesn't mix well into resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - watercolor paint doesn't mix well into resin leaving specks in the cured resin

    12. Can You Use Latex Paint To Color Epoxy Resin?


    Latex paint is not an effective resin colorant. It's water based and very fluid, which causes the resin to get thick and slimy, resulting in a weird cure. It also takes away from ArtResin's glossiness and leaves the resin with a dull finish.

    how to color clear epoxy resin - latex paint doesn't mix well into resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - latex paint causes epoxy resin to cure dull


    13. Can You Use Nail Polish Or Spray Paint To Color Resin?


    We don't recommend tinting epoxy resin with anything solvent based like nail polish or spray paint. Most importantly, it's flammable, but it also provides a poor result: the color is not deep and it does not mix well into the resin, leaving specks of color throughout. 

    how to color clear epoxy resin - nail polish and spray paint contain solvents and give a poor result when tinting epoxy resin
    how to color clear epoxy resin - nail polish and spray paint are solvents and give a poor result when tinting epoxy resin


    14. What Materials Can I Add To Epoxy Resin?

    Your best bet is to use a highly pigmented colorant designed specifically for use with epoxy resin. It's important to note that whenever you're adding anything into the ArtResin formula, do a sample test first to ensure the products are compatible and so you'll know exactly what results to expect. The most popular additions for epoxy resin include: 

    • Tints and colorants made specifically for resin
    • Alcohol ink
    • Acrylic paints
    • Powdered pigments and mica powders
    • Glitter
    • Gold or metallic leaf
    • Pressed or artificial flowers
    • Colorful inclusions such as beads, glass, shells, charms etc

     

    15. How Much Color Should I Add To Epoxy Resin?

     

    Do not add more than 6% colorant to the total volume of ArtResin or the resin may not cure properly. For example, if you have 100ml of resin (made up of 50ml each of resin and hardener) don't add more than 6ml of colorant. 

    don't add more colorant than 6% percent of the total combined volume of resin and hardener or the resin may not cure properly


    Typically, a small amount of colorant goes a long way. It's best to start with less and add more as needed. Use a highly pigmented colorant so you don't need to use as much.  If you're unsure if you need more pigment, you can always test the saturation by bringing a little of the colorant up the side of your mixing cup.

    pull tinted resin up the side of the mixing cup to test saturation


    16. When Can I Add Color To Epoxy Resin?


    It's important to measure and mix the resin and hardener first before adding any colorant. Once the resin and hardener are combined, add the colorant of your choice, ensuring you don't exceed 6% of the total combined volume of resin and hardener, and mixing it well to ensure it is thoroughly blended. If you add the colorant to the resin or hardener on its own, it may throw off the 1:1 mixing ratio needed for the resin to cure properly.

    always use less resin colorant than you think you need

    17. How Do You Keep Resin From Mixing Colors?


    When pouring flow art or ocean art, the tinted resin can sometimes blend together and create a muddy mess. Many artists like to allow the tinted resin to thicken up a bit before pouring to provide control over the flow and prevent the colors from running into eachother:

    • Prepare the resin according to label instructions.
    • Portion it out into smaller cups, one per color.
    • Add colorant and mix well.
    • Allow the resin to sit for about 15 minutes to slightly thicken up.
    • Pour the tinted resin. If desired, you can leave a small gap between each color so that it has room to spread, especially if you plan on using a hair dryer to create lacing.

    portion out measured and mixed resin in cups and add colorant
    to prevent resin from blending in flow art, allow tinted resin to sit and thicken before pouring
    allow resin to thicken before pouring flow art to prevent colors from blending

       

      18. How Do You Prevent Alcohol Ink From Spreading In Resin?


      When making petri dish art, prevent the alcohol ink from uncontrolled spreading over the surface with a simple tip:  allow the resin to thicken up a bit before you add the colorant.

      Pour the resin into the coaster molds and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before you drop in the alcohol ink. Because the resin will have thickened up a little bit, you'll find the ink won't spread as easily, giving you far more control over and even allowing you to create negative space.


      how to color clear epoxy resin - allow resin to sit in coaster mold for 20 minutes before adding alcohol ink to help control the spread
      how to color clear epoxy resin - allowing resin to sit in the coaster mold for 20 minutes to let the resin thicken up helps to control the spread of alcohol ink


      19. Are Resin Colorants Toxic?


      Not all colorants are non-toxic and some can even contain solvents - 
      adding colorants such as these will alter ArtResin's non-toxicity, non-flammability and compromise its food safety designation. Choose a non-toxic and non-flammable colorant such as ResinTint to keep yourself safe.

      💡TIP: If you would like to use tinted resin on a charcuterie board or serving tray that may come into contact with food and you're not sure if your colorant is safe, err on the side of caution and apply a layer of clear, non-tinted ArtResin as a final top coat. 

      _________________________________________________________________________

      To recap, there are lots of resin colorants you can use to tint epoxy resin, but no matter which one you use, there are a few important things to remember:

      • Always do a sample test so you know exactly what to expect and to ensure the resin and the colorant are compatible.
      • Always add less colorant than you think you need; you can always add more.
      • Observe the 6% rule - that is, don't add more than 6% of the total combined volume of resin and hardener. 
      • Be aware that certain colorants can alter ArtResin's non-toxicity, non-flammability and food safety designations.

      _________________________________________________________________________

      We hope you found this information useful.  If we missed your favorite colorant, please leave it in the comments below!



      Interested in using 
      silicone oil with your resin? Once again, there are advantages and disadvantages… and we have a whole blog dedicated to it ;)


      Check out our blog on Why your Epoxy Resin Feels Hot.

       

      ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

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      @personal_pours Is Our Instagram Winner!

      Posted on 3 May 17:32
      Congratulations to artist Nicole Comito, our latest Instagram Winner!  Based in Brooklyn, NY, Nicole combines her passions for woodworking and gymnastics to design and build custom wood and resin handstand balancing props.



      Nicole started acrylic pouring in 2018 after graduating graphic design and photography in college. In 2019, she discovered resin when she poured a table top in her parents backyard. Like so many, Covid forced her to pivot when she lost her day job early on in the pandemic, and she became a full time artist: " Resin has opened so many doors for me.  I found ways to use it for hand balancing props, and now create performance props for hand balancers and performers all over the world."




      Nicole's father has owned his own custom interior design and build company since she was born, so working with wood is something she comes by naturally. She uses her design skills to create custom wood and resin furniture, cabinets, charcuterie boards and other functional pieces "Creating is my outlet.  I feel most alive and in my body when I'm creating, whether it's for myself or for a customer."



      Nicole creates her hand balancing props to order and customers are able to specify exactly what type of prop they'd like, as well as the color scheme. "From there, I will prepare a mold to pour the blocks in, cut the blocks down after they are poured, and polish them to 400 grit. I always test the products out for quality control (by doing some handstands on them), then photograph them, and then they are shipped out to the customer!"



      Nicole says: "My only hope is that the viewer feels some sort of emotion when looking at my art. I want my art to be a topic of conversation. When you look at a piece of art, it should make you feel something. I want to make people think."



      To see more of Nicole's work:
      Visit her website: www.personalpours.com
      Follow her on Instagram: @personal_pours


      Congratulations on your win, Nicole!

      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.

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      @alluredecoration Is Our Instagram Winner!

      Posted on 19 Apr 15:48
      Congratulations to Toronto based artist Elena Gribanova, our latest Instagram winner!  A former ophthalmologist, Elena's focus is now on creating elegant, handmade resin decor pieces for the home. 

      ArtResin instagram winner @alluredecoration resin artist home decor

      Having studied interior design in college, Elena has a passion for beautiful home decor pieces, especially if they can be used in a functional way. She loves applying elements from nature, art, design and fashion into her work to create useful pieces of art. 



      A full-time and self-taught artist, Elena worked first with polymer clay before discovering resin a few years ago and falling in love with its potential: "Resin gave me the freedom and inspiration to create in [a] new way."




      Elena is constantly experimenting in order to grow as an artist: "I’m constantly learning and trying new concepts and techniques. I make lots of errors and learn from them."




      Her process typically starts with an idea inspired by 
      nature, art, or fashion. She gathers and dries her materials, which can include flowers, shells, leaves, mushrooms. She likes to prepare by mapping out a design in a mold or on an art board before she measures and mixes the resin: "With resin, the timing is crucial as it will determine the outcome."



      Elena's work makes her feel connected to nature, to the world and to herself. She says goodbye to every piece and send it off to its new home: "I hope the viewer feels the sense of love that I put in every piece."

      Elena sells her work through her website, Etsy, Instagram and at local markets and art shows.

      To see more of Elena's work:
      Visit her website: www.alluredecoration.com
      Follow her on Instagram: @alluredecoration



      Congratulations on your win, Elena!

      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.

      See more

      How To Resin A Large Piece Of Art

      Posted on 19 Apr 10:23

      How do you apply resin to a large painting?

       

      The basic principles of applying epoxy resin remain the same whether you're working on a large or a small piece: measure, mix, pour, and cover. However, large pieces of artwork also come with some unique challenges that need to be problem solved:

      What's the best way to mix a big batch of resin?
      Can you apply resin to a large stretched canvas?
      How do you cover a large resin painting to protect it from dust while it cures?

      Artist Greg Benz has learned how to troubleshoot the most common issues when applying epoxy resin to large paintings, and he is going to share his tips and techniques with us. 

      Let's get started!




      Step 1: Use A Wood Panel


      If you're planning to apply epoxy resin a large piece of artwork, the best supportive surface to use, hands down, are wood panels. They're strong, sturdy and, unlike a stretched canvas that can stretch and sag in the middle, wood panels will support the weight of the resin.  


      how to resin a large painting - use a wooden panel to support the weight of the resin


      Step 2: Tape Off The Back Of The Panel


      Taping off the back of the painted panel provides clean edges with no resin drips. It allows you to work quickly over a large surface area and to spread the resin over the edges without fear of creating a mess on the back.
      The tape catches the resin drips as it runs off the sides of the panel. After about 24 hours, when the resin is dry to the touch, you can remove the tape (and the drips) revealing a smooth, clean, edge. It's one of those things that only takes a few minutes but can save you so much time in the long run. 

      💡GREG'S TIP: Use a good quality painters tape, like 3M's Scotch Blue tape. Lower quality painters tape can absorb resin or tear easily, making it difficult to remove.


      resin large pieces of art - tape off the back to prevent resin drips



      Step 3: Prop The Painting Up Off The Work Surface


      Raise the painting up off the table with plastic stands, plastic cups or large plastic containers. Using plastic stands keeps the bottom of the painting clean and prevents the resin from curing your piece to the table top
      💡 GREG'S TIP: Use plastic stands to prop up your work. Resin doesn't stick to plastic so once it has cured, you can simply peel it off. 

      resin a large piece of art - prop painting up off of the work surface with plastic containers
      resin a large piece of art - prop painting up off of the work surface with plastic containers



      Step 4: Resin Multiple Pieces At Once


      Work smarter, not harder! Greg suggests batching your work so that you can resin a couple of paintings at once to 
      save time in the long run. Ensure paintings are taped off, propped up, and level before you measure and mix so that you can pour as soon as the resin is ready.

      resin a large piece of art - resin multiple pieces at once


       

      Step 5: Mix Large Quantities Of Resin With A Drill Mixing Attachment


      To prepare a big batch of epoxy resin, Greg suggests mixing in a large plastic container using a drill outfitted with a mixing attachment. Allow the mixing paddle to touch the sides and bottom of the container so that all the resin and hardener are combined. The drill will cause the resin to appear frothy but don't worry - the torch will eliminate those bubbles.

      In this case, Greg has 2 paintings that are both 36 x 36" and each require 1300 ml. Greg likes to play it safe and mix up a little bit more: 3000 ml total to cover both pieces. 

      💡 GREG'S TIP: Not sure how much resin you need? Enter the length and width of your piece into ArtResin's online Resin Calculator. It will determine how much resin you’ll need and even which kit to buy.

      resin a large piece of art - mix large amounts of resin with a drill mixing attachment
      resin a large piece of art - mix a big batch of resin with a mixing attachment for power drill



      Step 6: Spread The Resin Efficiently.

      A spreading tool allows you to spread the resin across the surface of the painting quickly and efficiently. Greg likes to use the spreader in ArtResin's Accessory Kit: the different jagged edges allow you to control the flow of the resin. 

      💡GREG'S TIP: You have 40 minutes of working time, but a very large painting will sometimes require an extra pair of hands to help spread the resin, especially in the summer when the heat can prompt a faster cure. 

       resin a large piece of art - use a spreading tool to apply resin quickly



      Step 7: Use Gloved Hands To Spread The Resin Over The Sides

      The most efficient way to apply the resin to the sides of the panel is with gloved hands. It allows you to spread the resin quickly and evenly over the edges for a clean, smooth finish. 

      resin a large piece of art - apply resin to sides of piece using gloved hands



      Step 8: A Propane Torch Removes Bubbles From Large Paintings


      Nothing beats a propane torch when applying epoxy resin to a large piece of artwork. It removes bubbles from a large surface area with ease and efficiency.

      💡 GREG'S TIP: Do an initial pass with the propane torch to remove bubbles, and then give it a light follow up about 10 minutes later to catch any bubbles you may have missed, or new ones that may have popped up. 


      Finish the sides with gloved hands - use a propane torch to remove bubbles from large pieces of resin art

      Finish the sides with gloved hands - propane removes bubbles easily from large pieces of resin art



      Step 9: Babysit A Large Resined Piece For The First Hour

      After you've removed bubbles with the propane torch, inspect the resin under a good light source for dust, hair and other surface contaminants. These can be removed with a toothpick. 

      💡GREG'S TIP: It pays to babysit your work for the first hour or so. Check for bubbles or dust every 10 minutes or so for the first hour. 

      Finish the sides with gloved hands - look in the light to remove dust from resin surface


      Step 10: Use An Extra Large Cardboard Box To Use As A Dust Cover

      One of the biggest challenges when working with large panels is how to protect it from dust while the resin cures. While you can create a tent with plastic sheeting or build a custom box, Greg found an easy solution: he ordered an extra large box, bigger than his panel, from U-Line. The box is big and sturdy and can be re-used over and over again. 

      If you can't find a box big enough and you need to build your own, read our blog How To Cover Large Resin Artwork To Protect From Dust  to see how artist Alexis Puleio built a custom wooden crate for her large format painting.


      order an extra large box to use as a dust cover for large resin art

      There you have it!  We hope you found Greg's tips helpful. If you have questions or a favorite tip of your own, please leave a comment below.

      To learn about reducing dust in your work space, please see our blog How To Reduce Dust Before You Resin.

      To see more of Greg Benz's work:
      vist his website: www.gregbenz.com
      follow him on Instagram: @gregbenz_artwork


      ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

      See more