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3D resin painting is a new type of three-dimensional artwork that mainly uses epoxy resin,  resin is a plant material that is being explored by artists, technicians, and designers for different applications. This type of resin and acrylic painting technique that dates back in 2011 was pioneered by Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori, who invented an incredible 3D layered painting of goldfish. In this blog, we will let you delve deeper into the concept of 3D resin art.

To create depth, the beautiful three-dimensional paintings were crafted through layers of resin and paint. With their gleaming scales and graceful movement, these fishes looked like they can be pulled from the water straight away. The bucket appears to be full of rapidly-moving goldfishes that rest in the shallow water. Nevertheless, it only becomes apparent on closer examination that these are just brilliant optical illusions. 

serveral white koi fish resin painting in a ceramic bowl

What are the materials needed for 3D resin painting?

Specific materials are needed for creating a 3D artwork with resin, which includes a solid base such as wood, concrete, and glass, as well as other non-porous and non-absorbent bases capable of supporting the weight.

The result of resin painting relies on the quality of the pigments you use. Liquid acrylic paints are suitable and produce excellent results.

A heat gun or any type of blow torch is also needed to remove the bubbles that appear when you pour multiple layers. Make sure you keep an acceptable temperature and air pressure to avoid bruising the resin and damaging the elements of your piece of art.

You need various types of painting brushes as well, from the highest to the lowest grades. Use synthetic brushes when painting the 3D resin art, and avoid the organic ones that get damaged easily.


Purchase well-branded nitrile gloves, rather than latex ones. Experts also suggest wearing completely covered clothes to prevent contact with resin of any kind. After completing the artwork, you would also need to clean your brushes, table, and hands that are smeared with paints using isopropyl alcohol or with just water and soap. 

How the 3D Painting is Made

The method involves painting with acrylic paints and combining two forms of epoxy resin with the right ratio. Resin painting requires a flat surface and layers to produce an amazingly beautiful painting with 3D characteristics.

The time-consuming method starts with a thin layer of resin, on which the artist paints fishes using acrylic paint. Slowly, more details are incorporated, layer by layer, to bring the creatures to life, creating an optical illusion of fishes swimming on the water. The fishes are drawn on top of the layers of resin. Then, the resin is left to dry before another layer is poured on top of it. Even smaller pieces of resin art take 8-10 days to complete but the final product is worth the entire wait. 

Using layers of acrylic paint sandwiched by resin, these paintings create a three-dimensional effect that brings the subject to life. Resin art mostly features sea life paintings i.e. goldfish, octopus, koi fish, sea turtles, and the iconic dragon. It is an ideal artwork that can have a great impact on people’s moods as it brings the most delicate creatures to life with its original hand-made paintings. 

Click Play to see a video of how a 3D resin painting is created:

resin painting resin art in art insider

Lillian is a Chinese lady who makes great paintings in resin. She could only paint one layer at a time and has to wait 8-12 hours before each layer dries up so that she can pour a new layer of resin. Resin dries very slowly, during rainy days and cold weather. So it takes her several days to complete each of her paintings.


In this video, she shows how she creates a beautiful painting with acrylic:

Creating one koi fish painting usually takes from six to eight layers of painted resin. Often, it is also possible to add pebbles, twigs, and even coins between the layers. This video shows how Lillian creates various resin paintings of different kinds of fishes:

white koi fish painting in a wooden block.jpg

Detailed paintings of realistic aquarium scenes cast in resin are created and poured by hand, one layer at a time.


They're made at Serene Life Art, a Chinese studio, by Lillian Lee and her team. The layering is used to produce the depth illusion based on stereopsis, also called binocular vision. 


If you would like to know more about resin art and resin painting process, you can check out our blog on this link:

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