"Why am I not getting cells in my resin ocean waves?"
Have you tried getting cells to form while making resin ocean art...but it just doesn't work? If you answered YES, we've got you covered! Keep reading for 5 tips from Jenna Derrenbacker that will up your resin waves game!
Here's a little more about the talented Jenna!
Scaling her art business to full time in less than a year, Jenna from @artsncraftsbyjen is fresh out of college and has been living her dream of being a full-time artist for 6 months now. She specializes in ocean resin art, and often incorporates the cremated remains of a customer’s loved one into her artwork per their request. Her favorite resin to use is MAS Epoxies Table Top Pro because it gives her the best white lacing for her oceans. She also loves using MAS' FLAG system because it’s such a time saver! If you’re interested in some of her work, check out her next Valentine’s Day themed website restock on February 1st at 6pm EST!
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1. Make sure your workspace is the right temperature!
Epoxy resin works best in a 68°-75° F environment, and any temperature outside of that will cause it to cure either too fast or too slow. It’s common for artists to have a preference of exactly what temperature they prefer to work in, my sweet spot is 74° F. That’s what I always keep my art studio at, which helps me achieve consistent results!
2. Torch your waves!
If you aren’t using a torch when creating resin ocean art, you are seriously missing out on your best lacing potential. Immediately after you blow your white pigment out with your heat gun, lightly torch the surface of your resin to activate the cells. When doing this, it’s extremely important to move your torch quickly and gently in back-and-forth motions over your piece, being sure to not hold it too close to the surface. NEVER hold your torch still over the same spot (this will burn your resin and ruin any cells in that area). If you remember these torching tips, you should be on your way to some beautiful cells!
3. Double up on gloves!
When working with resin, you probably have to stop and put on a fresh pair of gloves a couple times throughout one pouring session. This can get very tedious when the clock is ticking and you’re working on multiple pieces at once. Not to mention the struggle of trying to force gloves onto sweaty hands! When I know I have a big pour ahead of me, I’ll put 2 - 3 pairs of gloves on over each other, that way when it’s time to change to a fresh set, I just strip the first pair off and the clean pair are already on my hands! While it probably doesn’t save me quite as much time as I’d like to think it does, it definitely gives me some piece of mind when I’m working on larger projects.
4. Take it one step further than tape!
We all know to tape (I use and recommend Frog Tape) the backs of our pieces before pouring, to catch the drips, but have you ever done anything more than that? Resin loves to work its way into any nook or cranny possible, so sometimes tape just isn’t enough. I always reinforce the seal of my tape to my piece with either acrylic paint or mod podge. I use acrylic if I’m painting my base pre-pour for more vibrant colors, and I just bring the paint all the way down to completely cover the edges of the tape. If I don’t need a base color, I apply a thin coat of mod podge to just the edges of the tape. Mod podge dries clear, so you don’t need to worry about it leaving any streaks. For each option, I wait for it to dry, and then I pour! Trust me, this makes tape removal SO much easier, because the original seal you’re breaking is paint or glue instead of hardened resin.
To see this tip in action, click the button below! Jenna shows how easy it is to remove the tape when it has been prepped with Mod Podge or acrylic paint before pouring!
5. Never trash your mistakes!
Some of my favorite techniques that I now use daily, have come from me literally messing up on a piece, attempting damage control even though it felt pointless and stupid, for it to turn out better than what my original plan would have looked like, had I not messed up! Now, this doesn’t mean that every single one of your mistakes will automatically turn into perfection if you try to fix it, but it’s worth trying, right? After all, it was already messed up anyway! What’ve you got to lose?