If you ever wondered “what is resin art?” the answer is more simple than you think. Resin art is created when a runny chemical called epoxy resin is combined with various color pigments and additives to produce a blend of unique patterns and textures. The resin mixture gradually hardens (when mixed with a hardener) to a solid plastic as a chemical reaction between its components takes place.
The end result is a durable and clear plastic that takes the shape or image that you have created.
The extraordinary way in which artists choreograph resin to create captivating artworks has inspired a multitude of resin crafts for those of us less inclined to the traditional paint on canvas.
This simplistic technique welcomes beginners who wish to explore the world of resin art.
Resin art is a highly versatile artform that allows for endless possibilities. Although this craft is beginner-friendly, there are a number of important factors to consider before diving into your new hobby but first let’s have a look at some examples of resin art.
Examples of Resin Art
I like to grab my latest inspiration and ideas for resin art off Instagram (the link is a filtered view for Resin Artworks). The reason being it tends to show the latest trends in most everything, including resin art. So when I want to know what resin art is trending, this is my go-to place.
I have included some examples of resin art, covering resin art that looks quite like traditional art to people actually creating solid shapes of resin filled with hotdogs, foods and the like which I find quite interesting.
I also like to cover traditional art in resin, especially when I want to give the effect of wetness or water on a painting or drawing. Check out how you can utilize Instagram for your art with my Instagram tips articles.
What is Resin Made of?
Resin is a highly viscous liquid that is produced when trees bleed oils in response to injury. These oils are oxidized when exposed to air, which forms the thick, sticky fluid known as resin.
The use of natural resin dates back to ancient Greece where it was commonly used as a primitive form of chewing gum for fresh breath.
Resin art uses epoxy resin which is synthetically produced to mimic the desirable properties of natural resin. Epoxy resin consists of a two-part system of synthetic polymer resin and a hardener.
Once these components are combined, they undergo a chemical reaction which hardens the mixture to form a solid medium.
Measuring the dimensions of your project will help to determine the volume of epoxy resin that you will need. Resin art generally uses a resin to hardener ratio of 1:1. To ensure that the end result is completely cured, prioritize accurately measuring and thoroughly mixing the components.
Which Materials are Compatible with Resin?
Resin is compatible with a variety of materials. As a rule, resin will not stick to oily surfaces. Materials that are non-compatible with resin are commonly used as molds to create three-dimensional resin art and as protective work surfaces.
|Compatible with Resin||Non-compatible with Resin|
|Polyethylene and polypropylene plastics|
What Can Resin Art Be Used for?
Resin’s unique qualities have allowed artists to breathe new life into their masterpieces. One of its most attractive attributes is its high versatility. The resin may be poured over a compatible surface or into a silicone mold to create a variety of artworks. Below are a few ideas on how resin art may be used:
- Wooden resin art: Epoxy resin hardens to form a strong, durable medium. This has popularized the use of resin art to transform plain wooden furniture into unique pieces. Alternatively, resin may be combined with fragments of wood and pigments to mimic natural elements such as the ocean.
- Picture art: Due to its compatibility with various dried inks, resin may be used as a protective coating for photographs. This prevents UV light from fading their pigments which saves special memories. Ditch traditional frames and opt for resin magnets, bookmarks, or coasters to display beloved moments.
- Jewelry and ornaments: Smaller silicone molds allow for the creation of dainty resin jewelry or ornaments. These pieces commonly incorporate natural elements such as flowers, shells, or precious stones. Personalized resin pieces are ideal gifts for friends, family, or colleagues.
- Crockery: Resin art could spruce up your next dinner party, as it is safe to use as dishware. While resin is not dishwasher safe, it may be washed in warm, soapy water. Molds for cups, vases and plates are available to create stunning pieces that are guaranteed to impress your guests.
Is Resin Safe to Work with?
Generally, little harm is caused by ingesting epoxy resins since they are non-toxic. However, the hardening agents are classified as toxic.
Certain hardeners, such as aliphatic polyamines, cause skin lesions and burns as they are highly alkaline. In some instances, this leads to epoxy eczema. Amine adducts and polyamides are safer alternatives.
It is thus recommended that you wear a long-sleeved shirt and protective gloves (protective gloves are a must trust me) while working with epoxy resin to avoid skin irritation.
Should you spill the mixture on your skin, wash the affected area with warm soapy water before it hardens.
Inhalation of epoxy resins does not pose a serious danger, as they are nonvolatile. While epoxy resin does not have a scent, this can give you the false sense of security that resin is a safe material to breathe in, it is not.
Now the hardeners tend to have a strong odor, which may cause respiratory irritation. Thus, you might prefer to use a respiratory mask when creating resin art.
Furthermore, amine hardeners are particularly corrosive. To ensure that the surface you are working on is safe from damage, it is advised that you lay down a plastic cover or work on a surface you are ok to ruin or get some spillage on.
Is Resin Art an Expensive Hobby?
The cost of epoxy resin is the primary reason why this is such an expensive craft. The average epoxy resin costs only $0.4 to $0.5 per ounce. Although this seems a fair price for the pleasure of flexing your creative muscles, your project will likely require large amounts of resin to create, depending on its size.
Apart from the epoxy resin, this hobby requires you to invest in a few tools as well. Specialized resin art kits range from approximately $20 to $70. However, there are cheaper dollar store alternatives for most of the items. Your kit may include the following:
- Mixing cups and stir sticks
- Nitrile gloves
- Respirator mask
- A protective plastic tarp
The more extravagant your project, the pricier it becomes. Purchasing various molds, liquid pigments, and decorations will further increase the cost.
Where to buy Resin and working materials
If you’re interested in pursuing making resin art and you don’t know where to start I first recommend you visit your local art store as I am a big supporter of local business. If you do not have a local art store then i have provided some links to Amazon, hit the link to find that latest prices.
Please note, as an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
- Epoxy Resin
- Mixing cups and stir sticks
- Nitrile gloves
- Respirator mask (a long lasting one is better than disposable)
- Safety Glasses (these are have added safety around the edges designed for chemical splashes)
- A protective plastic tarp
What is Resin Art – Instruction Supporting Video
I have found a pretty cool video that supports the question what is resin art. In this video the artist Sheri Vegas takes us through resin art for beginners. As one viewer said “the best video that doesn’t babble on”.
This hobby invites beginners to practice, and ultimately master, the simple techniques used to create magnificent resin artwork. Epoxy resin’s compatibility with a multitude of materials as well as its unique attributes allows for endless creative possibilities.
The cost of beginning to explore resin art depends on the size of your project, and how thrifty you are when purchasing the necessary tools. As your ideas expand, so does the price of your new hobby.
This safe and easy pastime is the perfect outlet for your creativity!
Sources and further reading
- What is Still Life Drawing: Why Every Artist Should Learn This Skill
- What is 3D Modeling and Rendering: Best Beginner’s Guide
- Can you use acrylic paint on polymer clay? Yes but there’s a catch!
- Brush Pen Drawing – Why These Are The Best Drawing Tools For Artists
- Drawing vs Painting: The Differences Explained Easy