Experimenting with Resin – Part 3: Final Painting

3 of 3 ➡ See the Whole Series

Time to reveal the finished painting!

"Zephyr" - Oil, Collage, Mixed Media & Resin - 6" x 12"

I ended up pouring two layers of resin (1/8" each) on top of the layers of gold and pencil details.

At first I thought I would add another layer of design, so I poured a layer and then once it set I sanded it to prep for the next layer. I tried a few different things, but every time I decided I liked him just the way he was.

This is where the beauty of resin in the painting process comes in! Each time I did something that I disliked, I could easily remove it with water or solvent.

Even if I had done a layer of oil or acrylic paint and had decided I didn't like it after it dried, I could sand down that layer to the resin coating underneath and not risk hurting the gold layer underneath. For someone wanting to work in layers, it really gives so many options!

I love how the gold stripes cast a shadow!

Because the oil painting, the collage and washi tape, and the gold and final details are all on different layers, when you turn the painting sideways you can see underneath them. They almost seem to shift over top of each other.

Up close the leaves imbedded in the collage paper add visual texture.
Layers of tape and paint.

Once I decided he was finished, I poured the very final layer of resin. Overall he got three 1/8" coats, which gives the painting a really beautiful depth!

The bronze medium acts like gold leaf in that it catches the light differently as you turn the piece - behaving like a solid wash of gold, not in a scattered pattern like glitter or some other metallic mediums.

To finish the edges, I sanded each side with a palm sander until all of the resin and tape residue were gone from the wood sides and the 3/4" of resin was smooth.

I painted the edges with the same gold I used in the painting, and then used clear shellac to seal both the gold paint and the sanded resin edges. This made the sanded resin as glass-clear as the resin on the front.

Gold cradled panel edges

The finished painting, "Zephyr," is currently on display and available through the Scout's Miniature Sale at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

I loved this experiment so much! I've already finished two more - pushing collage to further limits - and am in the middle of a third, so look forward to more resin tips (and hopefully videos!) soon.

Some Final Takeaways:

  • Think of the thickness of your layers strategically. If you do thick layers of resin, any collage elements that come unmoored will have more room to float and you'll see a lot of spacing between elements in your final image. This can be a cool design feature, just be aware of it! (Use ArtResin's resin calculator to judge how much you'll need for an 1/8" layer of resin, and then decrease it a little if you want it thinner. Just finish up the final image with a proper-depth pour to protect everything.)
  • I'm not a huge fan of Tuck tape. You see it listed a lot in videos and blogs as a great way to keep resin from bleeding through edges, and I think that for holding molds together it's probably excellent. HOWEVER, it is the stickiest thing I've ever used and it pulls paint off of the sides of raised panels, while also leaving a residue on both the panel and the thick resin edge that is really hard to get off. I tried several solvents before finally giving up and sanding it off. Use carefully!
  • Resin itself doesn't need a sealant or final coating, but you can coat sanded resin with things like shellac for a different look, especially on sanded edges when you want a nice clean edge and not a dripped or domed one. You can also polish the resin with finer and finer grades of sandpaper to get a sort of matte finish, and then coat it with beeswax (ArtResin has a great video on that here), or just keep polishing it until it goes glass-clear - though that's a lot of work.
  • Resin is really difficult to photograph. If I thought my photographer (aka my fiancee) would quit when I started using gold leaf in my paintings, the prospect of resin just about made him mutiny. 😂


Try It Yourself: Check out my Kit for a list of some of the materials I used in this project. I'll continue to update the kit for the materials from each blog!

Link/Affiliation Disclosures:

I may earn affiliate income through sales from product links, at no additional charge to you. I only link to products that I use and love!

After I sent them an email with about 50 complicated technical questions, Art Resin gifted me with a resin kit in return for posting a project with it (they also answered my questions in amazing detail, they're awesome).

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