I recently spent some time working with resin pouring and then coating some of my ink abstracts in resin. It was interesting, stressful, time consuming, messy, and also intriguing. Resin itself is intriguing with its durable glossy finish that seems like glass.
What all goes into the Wood & Resin paintings?
My resin coated wood panels are as labor intensive as they are striking. They certainly are not the most efficient artworks to make. However, I love the solidness. The way they can stand on their own without frames or protection. Sturdier than a canvas, yet glossy like they’re framed behind glass.
What all takes place to make these pieces? Quite a bit, actually.
I start with RAW cradled wood canvases and then paint them white. I generally do three coats of white and then let it cure for three days. Then I coat the top side with a thin layer of resin. Anyone who has worked with resin knows how messy it can be. Plus I spend a couple hours taping edges of all the panels first. About seven hours after the first resin coat, I remove the tape. If I wait to long, it will be like trying to pull toilet paper out of dried cement. I let the first thin resin coat cure for three days. Then I sand the edges with a dremmel rotary.
Finally, at this point, they are ready for the art part! Painting with ink on resin is kind of like painting on plexiglass. I use a combination of media, including alcohol ink, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, gold mica, metallic mixative, and ink pens for detailing. Once I am done painting, I let it dry and cure for a couple days before applying a spray on fixative. Then, I allow another day for the fixative to really set.
And now they are finally ready for the big resin coat! I like to create a domed edge for the resin, so spreading out the resin layer is painfully slow to get it just right. Because of this, I only mix very small batches. Plus, my intent for domed edges never seems to work out and I just end up rubbing resin into the sides anyway.
Tip: Use a digital kitchen scale or mail scale for measuring out your resin and hardener. If you get the ratios less than perfect, it can result in a goopy mess and ruined art.
After this layer, they sit under a dust protection cover to cure for five days. If you’ve been doing the math, this brings us to about day 13. And that doesn’t count the extra days I spent on the actual paintings and design plans. Time for signing and dating the back, plus adding hanging hardware. And cleaning up the epic mess I made with each and every one. but, making a mess is what the studio is for!
Yes, creating the resin paintings on wood canvases is definitely a task to be reckoned with. When I add up the labor involved, I am considering moving on to cradled clayboard or aquaboard. It may be a more expensive substrate, but let’s be real: time is also expensive. And with as many children as I have, time is a precious commodity!
However, a small part of me feels like I might miss the first half of the process. Is it possible to miss unnecessary work? Yes, I think so. Hmmmmm.