Image: “Let’s Do The Twist” by Keng Lye under CC 2.0
The discovery and invention of new materials has always benefited society for the advancement in architecture, engineering and science. But artists benefit too, if they are to explore and incorporate them in their creative endeavors. When the great masters painted, there was no epoxy resin. They did extraordinary things with very limited materials that today we would cry in frustration with if they were our only options. I wonder what would they have done with all we have today.
All this leads to a material that is not new to us, but today is being used and discovered by many artists as an interesting way of expression: resin. Various techniques have been developed with the use of resin, but today I'm focusing on one that uses it in a way that painters are somehow used to: layering. But unlike glazing and other layering techniques, resin offers some amazing qualities like pure transparency, which lead to this particular branch of painting.
Let's take a look.
From what I've been gathering, this might be the guy that started it. Riusuke Fukahori is a Japanese artist known for his singular focus on goldfish as subject matter. He paints the fish from bottom to top. One layer of resin, then paint, then another, and so on. Doing these steps creates a wonderful three-dimensional illusion that makes the viewer perceive form in an impressive life-like way. Of course, with a little help of painting mastery.
When others picked it up, they started adding real elements, like little rocks and other additaments that make the whole look even more credible. Because of the water-like feel of the resin looks, fish remain one of the preferred subjects. Taking advantage of the perfect transparency, fins and other translucent elements have the chance to be so perfectly depicted.
But then, some started deviating from fish and created other water animals, like a sea turtle, in this case. Also mixing real 3D elements as part of the body, they were able to create the illusion of the body getting partly out of the water.
As far as I could see, most artists use acrylic as the medium, which is mostly opaque and looks pretty flat, if not for the beautiful gloss that the next resin layer will provide. Modeling some parts, there are even more possibilities to create not only lovely, peaceful animals but also more complex and scary creatures like the scorpion in this example.
Scary is not for everyone, so we can come back to one of the most loving, cute living things in this last example: a seahorse. Look at how the artist not only layers the paint but also the rocks, to give the piece more depth. He even tints the rocks to create a deeper water atmosphere.
These were just a few examples of pieces made with this beautiful technique. There are many more! Make sure to keep searching and watching related content if you're as mesmerized as I am.
See you next time! Until then, here you have some more Art Candy:
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina. Learn more about Barbara and her work at the following links:
Barbara Din Patreon page
Barbara Din YouTube Channel