Since this summer I've been seeing a lot of artwork that has a very polished finish look to it even though it's on canvas. This was beyond a gloss paint finish put on the canvas. During First Fridays a month or so ago I finally got to ask an artist what the finish was and it turns out it's an epoxy resin that is put over top the finished painting to give the final product a high gloss finished look.
About 3 weeks ago I finally took the opportunity to experiment by trying out some new techniques. I had been waiting for good weather to work outside but I finally gave up, laid down a huge tarp on my basement floor and got busy creating.
What I did:
1. I took acrylic paint and paint sample cans (picking out my colors as I went along) and literally threw the paint down on the canvases. Yes, paint splattered all over (hence the tarp). It was so much fun (even way better than splatter painting).
2. Once I had all of the paint thrown on I took a spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol and sprayed it all over the paint. You will see the paint start to bubble and separate.
3. Then I picked up the canvas and hit one of the edges with some force against the tarp over and over again. I would turn the canvas and hit each other edge and would continue to spray the canvas with rubbing alcohol to help the paint flow. I continued to do this method and occasionally stopped to throw on more paint until I was satisfied with the way the canvas looked. This technique creates an awesome marbleized effect.
4. I let the canvas completely dry. Then I purchased a two part epoxy resin from Michaels using a coupon. I used a throw away plastic bowl and plastic throw away knife to mix the resin.
5. I then poured the resin all over the canvas and used a foam brush to rub the resin so that it would cover the entire canvas.
6. Then 5 min. later I had to breathe warm air over the little bubbles that formed on the canvas to get rid of them.
7. I left to dry over 48 hours and tada beautiful pieces of artwork were created.
*These top 4 pics were taken with the craptastic phone I have.
*These and the very top photo were taken with my camera. Note: It's difficult to take pics even with flash off of because of the glossy finish. The one below is hanging on my kitchen wall so it as a reflection in it no matter what I did.
**Here's some tips I learned along the way. The resin dried quickly on the new canvases but on the recycled canvases that had paper and other mixed media on them already it took weeks to completely dry. I used sand in the biggest painting and I really liked the look of this and it didn't seem to affect drying time. You could do a lot of experimenting with pouring the resin on unevenly and leaving some of the paint exposed. You could also experiment with creating layers using the resin, such as a coat of resin, paint, and then another layer of resin. The toughest part is that the resin is a fairly expensive material even with a coupon and it doesn't stretch that far. Also big note, use a newer tarp. Apparently mine was old and the protective coating was warn down. Hence when I finally went to pick up the tarp weeks later the paint had seeped right through the tarp and so had the resin stuff the tarp to the basement floor. Needless to say I'm in the not so fun process of repainting the basement floor!