I am loving my new alcohol inks, and most likely I’ll be buying more in the near future! The set I have now includes six colors, plus black, white, and gold. I’ve already got my eye on a 24-color set, but not until I’ve played a little bit more and learned more about these fascinating inks.
Right now I’m not getting all the brilliance and brightness from the colors, and my inks don’t seem to spread as much as inks in the tutorials I’ve watched. I have yet to learn how to use my blending solution — which will probably produce more spread — but even so, playing with these inks is truly fun.
One thing I have learned — Yupo paper is a synthetic, “plastic” paper. It’s machine-made of 100% polypropylene. That makes it waterproof, as well as extremely strong and durable. Unlike watercolor paper, Yupo resists tearing, warping, and buckling so it doesn’t need to be stretched or even taped-down. It has a very smooth surface, similar to hot press watercolor paper. It will pick up dirt and oils if touched, so it’s recommended to wash it with soap and water before beginning a project.
If you’ve read about my first “Ink Adventure” you’ll recall how I ran my sheet of Yupo paper under the faucet — absolutely no damage done, so I can attest to its washability. You can find Yupo available at Amazon or your favorite art supply store.
One thing I am interested in doing with my alcohol inks is using them for actual drawings or paintings. In this “Poppy Painting”, I began with drops of ink, then used Q-Tips and brushes to move the ink on the page to create the petals.
Next, I wanted to play more with my blending tool. I have no idea how to use it. It looks like a stamper with a round foam base, so I just “stamped” these circles across the page. I also played a bit with brushes to see what different effects I could create.
My third experiment for the day was to begin by brushing alcohol across the page before applying any ink. I’d tried this before to create a sort of “floral” design. This time I just wanted to play more and see what I could do. I chose three colors — blue, green, and violet — then let them mingle a bit on the paper. I then used a brush dipped in alcohol to make little designs. While my techniques aren’t too good at this point, I can definitely see lots of possibilities for alcohol inks.
Another thing I want to try will be using a white gel pen to add fine details to alcohol ink backgrounds like this.
I’m a little disappointed that my colors aren’t staying as bright and bold as I’d like, but this is a learning process, and I’m only now beginning this new adventure.
Just browsing around on-line has shown me so many exciting things to do with these inks!
- Alcohol inks can be purchased — like my set — in small bottles with “droppers”.
- Alcohol ink markers are also available with a variety of nibs.
- Small spray bottles can be filled with alcohol inks and sprayed onto the paper for a variety of interesting effects.
- Different brushes can be used to apply the inks.
- Alcohol inks are often applied with felt stamps — I want to learn more about these!
- Alcohol inks can be applied with sponges, or the sponges can be dipped in clear alcohol and used for different effects.
In addition to these ways of applying ink — or taking it off, or otherwise creating different design elements — it’s also exciting to see other possibilities beyond ink on paper. Alcohol inks are used on:
And even here, we’re just getting started! Alcohol inks are also used in “resin art” — something I’m just now learning about. With resin art, you can create coasters, jewelry, lamps, and goodness gracious, who knows what else!
Although resin art sounds like it, too, would be quite an adventure, I’m going to focus first on simply learning the basics of creating art with alcohol inks. There are so many fun things I have yet to try!
Have you used alcohol inks? If you have, I’d love to hear any tips, tricks, techniques, or ideas that you have to share!