Resin art is one of the most enjoyable ways to create with epoxy resin. This wide-ranging category includes a large variety of different projects, such as resin coasters, resin jewelry, wall art, decorative table tops, and much more.
Each of these resin art projects can be approached in numerous ways, one of which is to give it a visual theme. And among visual themes, there's none more popular for resin than ocean art.
What Is Epoxy Ocean Art?
Ocean art, perhaps the most iconic aesthetic for epoxy resin, is a version of resin art that involves generating ocean wave imagery using epoxy resin, various epoxy pigments, and a heat gun.
It's also relatively easy to get into, even for beginners, because small mistakes often just take things in a different direction and can seen as part of the appeal rather than a lasting imperfection. This fluid nature makes it amenable to creators of all skill levels.
In this article, we'll explain how to make your own epoxy resin art, with a step-by-step guide and a list of essentials you'll need.
How to Create Epoxy Ocean Art
Creating epoxy ocean art can be a lot of fun, but the first thing you'll need to do is gather the necessary supplies.
Here's a list of what you'll need:
Primaloc Epoxy Resin: This is the core ingredient. Sure, there are other brands, but our premium Primaloc Epoxy is a surefire way to get something that doesn't compromise on quality and holds up long term.
Mixing cups: You'll measure, mix, and pour your epoxy using these. The 1-Quart containers in our store feature graduated measurement lines and can be great for this.
Stir Sticks: After you measure out your epoxy components, mix them up with some stir sticks. Many users stick with small wooden stir sticks, but you can also try our reusable Plastic Stir Sticks if you're doing medium-to-large batches.
A Heat Gun: Heat guns are essential for removing unavoidable air bubbles that show up in epoxy resin after pouring. A quick pass over your resin surface will usually be enough to remove them, giving you a nice, clean finish. We have a full-size heat gun and a mini heat gun available in our store.
Suitable Epoxy Pigments: Three colors is the minimum we recommend for a more realistic representation of ocean/sea water. From our Pigmently collection, most users choose to use Real Royal Blue, River Table Turquoise, and Porcelain White. You can instead use Deep Blue Wonder over the Turquoise if you want a more deep-sea tone.
- A Suitable Mold and/or Substrate: A mold or substrate is needed to contain the epoxy resin and prevent it from spreading too far. For instance, some users elect to use a table top as their substrate, creating an ocean-themed table. Others may choose to use a resin mold to create any number of resin art pieces. Coasters, trays, wall art, etc. are all viable mold options. Go with what appeals to you.
As noted above, a white epoxy pigment is necessary for a realistic ocean representation. The reason for this is that ocean waves often generate a bubbly foam that appears white from a distance; it appears white because light is being scattered in many directions by these small bubbles and droplets.
The blue pigment tones, on the other hand, are there to represent the natural color of water. While most people imagine water to be clear, and some of us were even taught that the reason the ocean seems blue is merely because it reflects the light of the sky; but this is actually not quite right. The truth is that water is genuinely blue, though it's a subtle shade that isn't apparent until the water is present in great quantities/depths.
Safety and Project Cleanup Tips
When working with epoxy resin, we always recommend wearing gloves (e.g., nitrile gloves) and an effective mask (e.g., an N95 or KN95 mask). The reason for this is that many epoxy resin release mild fumes which can negatively affect some people when inhaled. The gloves are to avoid skin contact with the epoxy resin, which is a mild irritant for some individuals, and which also makes it easier to clean up afterward.
It's also wise to work in a well-ventilated space. While climate control will be important for the curing phase, you'll still want good air circulation to prevent any buildup of fumes during it.
Finally, the quality of your epoxy resin matters greatly in this regard. Some resin brands cut corners on the ingredients for their formulas, adding in unnecessary fillers or using unsafe chemicals to save on production costs.
While this allows them to offer a much lower price, it also compromises on user safety and can greatly weaken the epoxy's integrity, preventing it from curing fully or causing it to fail when it shouldn't afterward.
Embedments: A Delightful Addition
One optional ingredient for this type of project is the addition of beach themed objects, which can be embedded into the resin before it cures. Things like seashells, sand, and certain types of rocks, stones, pebbles, etc. are all great additions if you're looking to customize your ocean resin art with a little bit of added texture.
If you have access to a beach, a little exploration there can be a great way to add some authentic materials to your project and give it even more style.
Epoxy Ocean Art: A Step-by-Step Guide
Creating resin waves involves several steps that, while requiring patience, are fairly straightforward and suitable for beginners.
Follow this guide to craft your own ocean-inspired resin art:
Prepare Your Epoxy Resin: Start by preparing a batch of epoxy resin. Follow the manufacturer's instructions precisely for measuring and mixing to ensure the best results.
Incorporate the Base Color: Once your resin is mixed and ready, begin by adding your base color. Choose the darkest shade of blue (e.g., Deep Blue Wonder) you'd like to feature in your ocean scene as this will be the foundation of your gradient.
Apply the Resin to Your Surface: Gently pour the colored resin onto your chosen surface, tilting the surface as needed to guide the resin's flow and coverage.
Layer with Additional Colors: Build your ocean's depth by adding layers of progressively lighter shades of blue resin, creating a gradient that transitions from deep sea to shallower waters. If you're aiming for a beach effect, place the lightest tones near the 'shoreline' and the darkest tones furthest away.
Form the Waves: Mix a small batch of resin with white pigment to create your waves. Pour this along the interface of your blue shades, then use a heat gun or torch to manipulate and blend the white resin, achieving a lacy, wave-like pattern reminiscent of sea foam.
Eliminate Air Bubbles: If air bubbles appear, gently remove them with a heat gun. Refer to our guide on air bubble removal for more nuanced techniques.
- Allow the Resin to Cure: Let your artwork cure completely. The time this takes can vary depending on the epoxy type and the conditions in your workspace, typically ranging from 24 to 72 hours. Patience is key here; ensure the resin is fully set before moving or touching the piece.
Methods for Refining Your Epoxy Resin Art
Improving your skill with the art of epoxy resin requires time and a little dedication, much like any artistic endeavor.
Creating a sense of depth is crucial to crafting nuanced ocean resin art. This depth is typically achieved by layering successive pours of resin, waiting for each layer to set before adding the next. Such a method lends a three-dimensional quality to your piece, imbuing it with the realistic depth of a natural ocean.
Equally vital is learning the technique of creating a lacing effect, which mimics the intricate patterns of ocean waves. Achieving this involves a precise combination of heat application and subtle manipulation. Artists tend to cultivate their own distinctive approach to this technique over time, honing their skills through regular practice and experimentation.
Still, even at a beginner level, ocean resin art can be a fun and engaging project in which small mistakes often become distinguishing features.
Primaloc Epoxy: Premium Epoxy for Premium Results
When it comes to epoxy resin, Primaloc Epoxy gets the job done. Our epoxy resin is premium-grade, with high performance in every category—an excellent choice for epoxy ocean art.
Epoxy resin can be beautiful, strong, and long-lasting—which is why you shouldn't compromise on quality. With Primaloc Epoxy Resin, you get the ultimate finish in durability and visual appeal.
Protect your surfaces by giving them a rock-solid epoxy finish. Choose strong. Choose reliable. Choose Primaloc.