April 12, 2014

Mini Alcohol Ink Demo

Well finally I remembered to take pics while I was playing with the inks! This is a little insight as to what I do and what I do it with!

Here is a supply list

  • Yupo paper 74#
  • Ranger Adirondak alcohol ink
  • Adirondak Blender Solution
  • 91% alcohol
  • Plain plastic straw
  • Makeup wedge
  • Very small paint brush
  • Freezer paper
  • Viva paper towel
  • small cup that will not be harmed by alcohol
  • good ventilation!

Beginning steps not shown.

I set up my area by placing freezer paper plastic side up to protect my work surface, I tape it down so it doesn't roll up on me!  I then place a viva paper towel on that.  I will be tipping up my paper to let the ink flow.

To begin I squirt enough Blender solution to cover the paper and spread it quickly with a straw.  You can use your fingers but I don't like to get so many chemicals on me.  In fact gloves are a great idea!  I just forget to use them! I then use my first color immediately before it all dries completely.  Inks dry quick!

Now the fun starts... pick a color!

Step 1

 I decide this time to do an all over color.  I help it along by spreading it with a straw and keep going until it is pleasing to me.

Step 2

I add a little orange, because, and spread with a straw again!

Step 3

I have waited a couple seconds to let the second layer dry. This gives you a hard line where  you put the ink.  I squirt right from the bottle.  It's uncontrollable by the way.  Then I tilted the paper in the direction I want the ink to flow.  Dark lines will form where there is excess ink.  I like those lines.

Step 4

I am trying something new, the opposite direction flows!  I am not sure if I like it.  

Step 5

Right now I am using total intuition.  I am exploring.  Everything I do from here on out is a grand experiment.  At any time I can wreck the whole thing, but I don't care that's what makes this fun to me!  I never know what I am going to get.  The risk is worth it to me.  The surprise is what I live for!

Step 6

I am wanting some value changes here.  So I take a risk and drop some really dark colors in.

Step 7

I decide intuitively to add some texture.  I do this by "painting" on 91% alcohol.  I place a tiny bit in a little container and use my tiny brush to brush some on.  Be careful this stuff smells and spreads quickly! Make sure you have good ventilation, you'll know why quickly! How far you go is totally up to you.  I recommend less rather than more texture.

Here is a good time to note, with alcohol ink a lighter color will actually be lighter over a darker color, somewhat, with the ink!  Play!

Step 8

 I decide to use a dropper and put drops of ink on my makeup wedge and I stamp it around.  The edges of the wedge make interesting lines!

Step 9

 I decide to cool it on the texture and use plain blender solution to make a flow.  I tip my paper until I am satisfied with how it looks.  I can add more solution if I need to.  It's messy at this point and much ink flows off the paper.

Step 10

Now I am just playing some more.

Step 11

Lets add a dark and a bright color!  I am using the same flow technique as before.

Step 12

I am adding some similar texture like the top for balance.

Step 13

Well hey that was a little too much! Blender solution and color is a good way to add another flow.

Step 14

I have used more makeup wedge texture and added a couple more color flows in this one.

Step 15

And ta da!  Here is the finished art work!

The most important part is to just play.  You'll get a feel for what you like.  If you go into this with an idea of what you are going to paint it will be frustrating.  I always say, learn to work with the medium and not fight against it!

To clean up just wipe with 91% alcohol, your hands, work surface, any place where it is alcohol safe and wash your hands immediately afterward with soap and water along with any brushes you have used.

Good luck!  Show me what you have done!


1. What effect does putting down the base color have though? It seems like it got completely covered and doesn't show through at all.

A. It's just part of my process of intuitive painting!  You can start with any color or no color.  Although with no color little white specks may show through and never get color. 

Many people even use the tiny paint brushes to paint something but I don't do that so that is why it's not shown here.