6 Tips for making epoxy resin artwork
There is nothing better for the soul than letting your creativity run free, and resin artwork allows you to create completely unique pieces that blue the lines between artwork and sculpture. While relatively unknown in Europe right now, epoxy resin artwork has thrived in the U.S., Canada and Australia in particular, and there is a vibrant community of epoxy resin artists who continually push the boundaries of what is possible.
1 . The perfect approach for experimentation
Resin can be colored and poured to create stunning effects, but it can also be used in tandem with traditional oil painting, drawings and other art creations to add a layer of texture and vibrancy that enhances any piece. Whichever approach you try, and it is worth trying them all to find the one that connects with you the best, the end result can be stunning,
Of course, mastering the medium is a large part of success with artistry, and when using epoxy resin, the same is true. It can be a challenge if you have never dealt with epoxy resin before, so here are five tips to help you make the most of this fabulous material and let your creativity and imagination bring something special to life.
2 . Managing your Epoxy Resin
If you are new to epoxy resin it can be a little intimidating, however as long as you follow the manufacturers instructions for mixing and a few little tips we’ll provide here, it is a relatively easy material to work with.
First, don’t be tempted to store your epoxy resin in a cold place, it will change the viscosity of the material and that can cause you problems in use.
You soon get used to mixing the right amount that you will need for a project, but to avoid waste, keep a silicon mold or two handy that you can pour any excess in, that way you don’t waste any.
Use plastic or silicone cups for mixing, as the small amount of cured resin left in the bottom of the cup won’t stick and you can just peel it out.
Follow the guide for mixing ratios, and then keep your mixing stick moving throughout the mixing process to ensure your epoxy resin is fully prepared. Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing cup to ensure you get all the hardener and resin mixed properly.
The instructions ill tell you how long you have to work with the material before it cures, however always remember that humidity can affect this. If you are working in a space where humidity is above 80%, it can cause the epoxy resin to cure much quicker, so avoid that wherever possible.
3 . Preparation is everything
With a lustrous finish that brings every detail out of your work, an epoxy resin finish is truly eye-catching. However, that super glossy finish also reveals any imperfections underneath too. So, whether you are working from a canvas, wood panel, piece of acrylic or whatever, ensure it is prepared properly beforehand.
It can seem the least fun aspect of creating art, and it is always tempting to move on to the creative part of the process as quickly as possible, but to ensure a perfect epoxy resin finish, slow down, and make sure the surface is prepared properly. What you are looking for is a perfectly smooth surface to work from, and this applies whether you are pouring resin directly or plan on using it on top of some art you are creating with other materials.
A good way of doing this is to apply two or three layers of acrylic gesso to the surface to get that perfectly smooth substrate to work from. It’s well worth the effort, as there is nothing worse than getting a result you are proud of and then seeing an issue caused by the underlying surface, because at that point there is little you can do about it.
4 . Use Quality Epoxy Resin
As the final surface of your work, the epoxy resin is the ‘face’ of your art for all who see it. Not just on the day you created it, but for as long as that art exists. Always use quality epoxy resin for this, it is often easier to work with, but more importantly will be UV resistant, maintaining that crystal clear finish over time when inferior products can yellow, changing the look of your work and potentially running the effect you were looking for. In very cheap epoxy resin products, that yellowing can happen surprisingly quickly, and is definitely something to avoid.
Good quality two-pack epoxy resin stays clear and delivers that glossy finish that makes your art look so special and can give you plenty of working time to be as creative as you want.
5 . Build Color Gradually
If you are using pigments or inks in your epoxy resin art, you probably have a clear image of what the colors you have chosen will look like in the finished piece. However, when adding to the epoxy resin, it is important to remember that a little goes a surprisingly long way. Its very easy to overdo the color and end up with something too saturated that doesn’t reflect the look you wanted.
Instead, apply a little at first, see how it goes. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away. Even if you want to get a really saturated color effect, start with a small amount of color and work upwards, this way you can always get the perfect tone for your piece and are always in control, rather than letting the material lead you along.
In terms of color, don’t be afraid to experiment, with so many pigments and inks available, you have access to almost any color imaginable, build your color tone gradually, mix in new colors if you want and you will find the perfect finish.
6 . A Heat Gun Brings Out the Beauty
Blending colors or producing effects where colors seem to swirl among each other is not as difficult as you may think, the secret is heat. You can begin by using wax paper strips to drag colors into each other, especially over white as this gives a stunning effect. Then simply take your heat gun, set the temperature high and the fan speed low, and gradually add heat to the edge whether two colors meet.
You will find the lacing effect, where the colors begin to draw out and into each other and other effects begin to happen quite quickly, and by experimenting you can find the results that appeal most. To keep your heat gun clean and free of sticky epoxy resin, wrap the handle in tape that can be removed if contaminated, always giving you a clean grip to work with.
Epoxy resin artwork is both beautiful to look at and a lot of fun to make too. It unleashes your creativity in new ways, and with a little preparation and some experimentation, you can be creating art pieces that you can be proud of.
Epoxy resin is not a difficult material to work with, and the results are incredibly impressive. We know that these tips will help you get the most out of the material and find your way with this wonderful approach to art.