Art Supplies, Art Techniques

What are Alcohol Inks?

I’ve always loved working in acrylics but recently rediscovered alcohol inks as a painting medium. Alcohol inks are highly pigmented inks that are available in a variety of colours.  Traditionally used by crafters and artists to enhance their works they are now coming into their own as a marvelous painting medium. They are acid-free and fast drying and when applied to a non-porous substrate like Yupo paper, photograph paper or even glass and ceramics they produced the most amazing abstract effects and vibrantly coloured paintings. If you do a search on an social media site for “alcohol ink art” you will find gallery upon gallery of beautiful art.

11377220_1583978641872662_5965598502153123453_n They are an amazing medium which you can use to create some quite spectacular and colourful art with. Just by dropping, pouring, stamping, moving the inks around with paint brushes. cotton swabs, blowing them through a straw or just allowing them to flow into each other by lifting and turning the surface you are working on to direct the flow of the ink, you can create beautiful effects which are art in their own right or to use as a basis for more detailed paintings. If you look at the painting here which is part of my Peacock Painting – The Prince you can see the almost marbled effects you can achieve. The tail feathers on The Prince were created by firstly masking out the feather shapes using a masking fluid then I dropped small amounts of inks into each individual area. The inks move magically and blend creating new colours. Any areas which remained white I simply used a paintbrush dipped in 91% rubbing alcohol and dropped either alcohol or more ink into those spaces which allowed the inks to move further and create more effects. Once the inks were dry I simply rubbed off the masking fluid to reveal the shapes of the feathers.

imageThe best thing about alcohol ink is the fun you can have in creating wonderful art. If it all goes wrong and you have an accident or “inkcident” you can always wipe back the inks and start again especially if you are using tiles or glass. Ceramic tiles are available for just a few pennies in hardware stores and always a good surface to play around on and have fun with. Some of my favourite paintings have emerged out of happy little inkcidents. Why don’t you give it a try?

Art Supplies

Alcohol InksAlcohol Inks can be purchased in packs of three for around $10 and you will get a lot of use out of them. A little ink goes a long way. You can purchase Adirondack inks directly from Hobby Lobby stores in the craft section or online. Often there are coupons and sales which will discount your purchase even further. For more information click here.

Yupo Paper 11 by 14

Yupo Paper.

Yupo is a unique alternative to traditional papers. It’s an incredibly durable stain-resistant non-absorbent synthetic paper that holds ink and watercolor with razor sharp precision. This extraordinary surface also resists tearing and buckling and it remains perfectly flat. Yupo’s ultra white color and super smooth finish makes all of the colors of the rainbow sing when applied to this revolutionary surface. Colors are brilliant and they lift off completely. It is an extremely forgiving sheet! This synthetic paper made of 100% polypropylene offers a unique alternative to traditional art papers. As a watercolor paper it has the advantage of being non-absorbent so colors lie on top of its surface producing brilliant vibrant effects. Colors retain their true clarity and brilliance. Yupo requires no soaking stretching or taping flat. Best of all it allows you to wipe off unwanted sections of your painting and start again with a fresh surface. Neutral PH hot press 74lb. 10 sheet pads- 100% Polypropylene.

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