Day 2: Alcohol inks!

I’ve been dying to try alcohol inks for a while now. The abstract effects, the complexity of the patterns, the intensity of the colors! Especially that last. But I’ve invested so much in the paints I have that I was reluctant to take the potentially quite expensive leap to a completely new medium. Until my beloved spouse brought me a few bottles as a holiday gift. And oh, I am hooked. I will not be leaving my familiar acrylics and inks behind, but for certain applications and effects these will be invaluable, and for remembering how to just sit down and play with color? I don’t know of anything better!

Some of my experiments below. I’ve played with two sets of colors: a pink and purple blend, and a green and blue blend, on a variety of materials. The papers you see are basically glossy card stock; the ovals are metal, meant for jewelry stamping or somesuch; then I think there’s a wooden circle in there, a glass circle, a bottlecap, a metal dragonfly (again a jewelry component)… you get the idea. Oh, a ceramic tile, too. This stuff can go on any non-porous surface, and any porous surface that you’ve sealed well enough! And oh, the colors. Did I mention the colors?

Photo time!

Cards, metal ovals, and a metal dragonfly painted with pink and purple alcohol inks

An assortment of my initial experiments.

clouds of blue and purple in abstract, floating layers, an alcohol ink painting

Did I mention those colors?!?


A metal oval painted with a pattern of blue and purple alcohol inks

Alcohol inks applied to a metal oval, before...

A metal oval with a pattern of purple and blue alcohol inks on its surface, and "i will fly" written in black sharpie
…I applied text and a border with sharpie, also alcohol-based.


Green and blue alcohol inks form an expressionistic forest landscape

And here is my first attempt at something vaguely respresentational in this medium. Sky! Forest! Trees! Blotches!


A green and blue alcohol ink painting, decorated with childlike scribbles in black pen

And finally, my kid's contribution to the party. There's a baby eagle, and his house, and another baby fell out of his nest, and.."


I watched a variety of video tutorials on this stuff, and of course can’t find any of the useful ones again now… and I really would like to figure out what the hell this “Yupo” is that they keep talking about!


Anyway. That’s day 2. I really have to figure out how to trim these posts down.

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2 thoughts on “Day 2: Alcohol inks!

  1. Yupo is wonderful “plastic paper” that comes in different weights by the sheet or by the pad. I tell people it is like plastic playing cards that are all white….but the sheets can be big like watercolor paper and cut to any size. It is very white and the inks do so well on it. Google it and you can learn more…or go to you tube and put alcohol inks and yupo in the serch line. Most of the on-line art suppliers sell it.


    hkfreeman Reply:

    Sweet, thanks!


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