Today we’re going to learn how to incorporate resin into our fluid pouring. This technique is very useful for creating beautiful beach scenes, complete with realistic-looking waves. I lived in Hawaii for 7 years, and the heart of all of my paintings is based on the love and connection I feel to the island. Almost all of my pieces are blue and oceanic and reflect the spirit of the island.
While I go over a specific type of resin work in this article, I’ve also created a downloadable course on how to do resin artwork for those interested in taking their resin art to the next level. This course gives you a broader base of knowledge in resin and the specific techniques I use. There’s also an option to include a supply kit that will give you all the supplies you need to get started. You can find my course and kits here.
The wonderful thing about fluid art is there are so many different mediums you can use for it. My favorite is resin. Now, I know a lot of you are new to resin work, but I promise that if you follow a few basic steps you’ll get results you simply won’t see with acrylic alone.
Supplies You’ll Need
For this project you will need these items. I will link my favorites below:
- Resin of your choice. I like to use Counter Culture Resin for artists
- Acrylic paints. I use High Flow, but any acrylic will work
- Denatured alcohol
- Glitter or mica (optional)
- Safety equipment (gloves, respirator, tarp for work area)
- Wood panel
- Small butane torch
- Mixing cups and sticks
The most important thing I can tell you about working with resin is to thoroughly read the instructions on the back of your resin container.
I would say 99 percent of all resin “fails” could be prevented by just reading the directions. Each resin has a different mix time, cure time, ratio, and set of instructions. So as long as you follow yours, you should be fine.
Now, let’s get started on our beach pour….
Mix the Resins and Colors
Begin by mixing your resin according to the instructions. Mine is a 1:1 ratio and needs to be mixed for 3 minutes. After mixing, I divide the resin into small plastic cups.
Next, I choose the colors for my beach pour, usually shades of blues, greens, sand, and always white for waves.
When adding acrylic color to your resin, start with a VERY small amount, and never add more than 10 percent by volume. If you are using high flow paint, start out with just a few drops. Keep in mind that anything more than 10 percent by volume will change how the resin cures.
Also, NEVER add silicone to your resin like you do with your acrylic pours.
Once you have added your acrylic, high flow acrylic, or pigment, mix it up until the color is even throughout. If you think your resin is too thick you can add a little denatured alcohol to thin it; just not too much! Remember the rule of 10 percent here also.
Pro tip: Use the same denatured alcohol to get resin off your hands, floor, clothes, or anywhere else you don’t want it.
The next step is where your creativity comes in. Pour your colors where you want on the panel, but hold off on your white for now.
Feel free to get funky and creative with placement. The ocean is ever-changing and always in motion, so your design doesn’t have to fit a traditional mold.
Use your gloved hand to blend the colors together. Blends the blues, blend the greens, blend the sand – blend, blend, blend! With beach pours, I find the resin looks more natural when colors seamlessly transition into one another.
This is also the point where you can torch your resin to remove any bubbles on the surface. When you add heat to resin, the resin becomes viscous and moves more easily.
After you torch, pick up your panel and move it around a little, just like you would an acrylic pour. This is where your safety equipment comes in handy, so make sure you keep those gloves on!
Once you are happy with the general structure of your ocean scene, you can add the waves. You want to make sure this comes last, because the lacing of the white is what will really pull the ocean together.
Use a popsicle stick, or pour from your cup, and add thin lines of white to the areas where you want to create waves. It’s easier if you go ahead and pour all your waves at once.
Once you have them down, position your torch about 1 inch above the resin, at a 45 degree angle, and apply the torch. As you move the torch all over the white part of the waves, you’ll see the resin really start to lace and move around. Be careful not to linger in one place for too long or you risk burning the resin.
Do this to all your waves and then tilt your canvas to exaggerate the wave effect. Lacing becomes more apparent as the resin dries, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a lot at first.
Now Stop. Don’t Overwork Your Piece
Once you have a scene you like, STOP! Don’t overwork your piece.
I can’t tell you how important it is to leave your work alone once you’re happy with it. And remember that resin only allows about 30 minutes of work time, so if you go back to work on a painting later you will ruin it.
Let your painting sit for at least 24 hours, until it’s hard to the touch. But remember it hasn’t fully cured for at least 72 hours, sometimes longer. If you want to do another layer you can do so after it is hard to the touch; you don’t have to wait until it has cured.
Hopefully this inspires you to recreate some of your favorite beaches. I can’t wait to see them!
I’ve also created a course on using resin that I recommend for artists looking to really understand the basics of resin work and improving their skill. There’s also an option to buy the course and a resin supplies kit so you can use the same supplies I do. Sign up for the course here.
Please share your beach scenes and other resin pieces in the Facebook group and on Instagram, especially if you created them with the help of this article. We’d love for you to link back to this article and tag us on Instagram: @annupton.art and @acrylicpouring.
Guidelines to Keep In Mind When Working with Resin
- Read the instructions specific to your resin brand!!
- Protect the area where you are working, and yourself
- Denatured alcohol cleans up resin, so keep it handy
- You can paint your canvas underneath your resin to use as a guideline of where to place your colors
- Work quickly, and once you’ve finished don’t touch your painting for a full day
Ann is a wife, mom to 5 kids, and pastry chef turned full time artist. In 2017 she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and discovered painting as a new creative outlet. She went from having never painted to becoming a full time artist in less than a year.
Her art is inspired by the beauty and mystery of Hawaii, and she specializes in resin, acrylic, watercolor, and heavy texture. Discover more of her work, including timelapses and art to purchase, on her instagram @annupton.art. You can also check out Ann’s resin course that teaches the basics of resin and techniques she uses to make her beautiful art.