An art form that is highly versatile, allowing for almost endless possibilities in the realm of art or also known as resin art. This type of art is created thanks to, as the name suggests, resin. To be more precise - epoxy resin.
It's usually combined with various color pigments and additives such as metallic powders or gold flake to produce a unique painting style, blending different patterns and textures.
Resin artworks can easily resemble oil paints, and this sticky fluid turns into solid plastic when dried, making them also ideal for decorative ornaments. Resin tables are all the rave right now!
This sticky fluid is known for its durable properties since it forms the perfect protective coating. In order to better understand resin artwork and resin artists, we first need to dive into what resin and epoxy resins are. Let's go down the resin journey!
History Of Resin
Believe it or not but resin art has been around for centuries (12000 BC to be exact); the use of natural resin dates back to ancient Greece. In your lifetime, you've probably seen trees bleed oils that almost seem syrupy. These oils oxidise when exposed to air, forming the thick, gooey fluid also known as amber - nature's resin.
Back in ancient times, nature's resin was used as a primitive form of chewing gum for fresh breath or to preserve objects such as bugs, flowers and other materials to create resin art; since the material keeps the trapped organic material from decomposing.
When hardened, this highly viscous liquid becomes yellow-ish, transparent slab, almost remembling a jewel or gemstone.
This made amber ideal for creating decorative ornaments and pieces of jewelry. Many cultures used amber pieces for rituals and ceremonies, since amber was believed to attract good fortune, wisdom, positivitivy and offer protection.
This material was believed to have magical powers so warriors would wear it in battle for this exact reasons - to be protected by mystic forces. In other cultures, amber symbolised the renewal of marriage woves and the strengthening of mutually made promises. Since the material bears a resemblance to gemstones, some ancient cultures would store their wealth in amber.
You can still find pieces of amber jewelry, but chances are that you'll most commonly come across bugs or other materials trapped in amber as key chains, necklace pendants, rings, and so on. Nowadays, when someone is creating art with resin, they use a more modern version of this material, known as epoxy resin.
Epoxy was synthetically produced between the years 1930 and 1940. Epoxy resin consists of a two components: synthetic polymer resin and hardener. When these two are combined or by exposing it to UV light (depending on which resin is used), a chemical reaction occurs and the liquid resin mixture gradually hardens until it becomes a solid medium.
There are four resin types that can be used to create art: epoxy, silicone, polyester "fibreglass" resin and polyurethane. If you want to start a lasting resin project, you'll want to use epoxy resins to create the best results.
Mimicing the desirable properties of resin, epoxy is exceedingly durable and impentetrabale, making it an ideal choice for a variety of creative activities. Since it leaves a high gloss, it's perfect for sealing floors or countertops, creating jewelry, creating serving boards (river tables), and other resin products.
After the chemical reaction takes place, you can use this substance to create resin art from moulds or sealings works such as paintings, drawings and photos (made of acrylic, alcohol ink, mixed media, watercolours or oil based paint). This way, your resin painting gains a stunning, high-shine as well as protective glaze.
Unlike their polyester predecessor, epoxy resin didn't have a strong, lingering chemical scent and it would dry down crystal clear which made it perfect for a multitude of appliances, including producing art, jewelry or doing surface coatings.
Since this material was prettier, easier to use and to manipulate, it's also known as "art resin".
What Is Resin Art And How To Make It
Professional artists aren't the only ones who can create some cool art. If you want to enter the art realm and make your own resin art pieces, no matter if it's a resin painting, cutting boards, resin coasters or whatever else, it's important that you follow some rules.
By now, we know that epoxy resin art is created by using epoxy alone or combing with colour pigments and additives. Making resin art is a unique painting style where you don't use your typical painting equipment. However, you do need some other equipment to ensure safety and avoid damage.
What you need to do when working with resin:
Put down newspapers where you will work and protect furniture
Wearing gloves and a long sleeved shirt are necessary to avoid skin irritation
Wearing a mask protects from epoxy fumes that cause lung, nose, throat irritation or inflammation
Prepare disposable cups and popsicle sticks for mixing and tweezers for the removal of potential foreign particles
Remove all ignition sources when working with uncured epoxy resin since it is flammable in this form
Use a heat gun or butane torch to remove air bubbles from your resin surface when curing
If your resin art has holes/dents after drying, you've either used too much resin when applying resin or not enough resin
Don't add water to your resin art, as it will make the resin milky and lose the ability to harden
Final Words Of Advice
Now that you know the answer to: "What is resin art?", we already know what your next question is going to be.
"Is resin art expensive?"
Resin artists would tell you yes and no. Resin art can get quite expensive, depending on the size of project you want to do and the quality of epoxy you want to use.
The price of this highly viscous liquid depends on three factors:
The finish (clear is more expensive)
Cure time (the slower, the more expensive)
Total volume of purchase (the more you buy, the cheaper you pay, often)
It's important to remember that a gallon of resin can cost between $60 and $120, meaning that's it's not cheap but also not crazily expensive. A gallon of art resin can cover between 100 and 200 square feet, allowing for endless possibilities. If you feel uninspired, search for examples of resin art published by other epoxy resin enthusiasts.