Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

I’ve been indulging in my own art therapy lately. It’s been a stressful month and I’ve found a new outlet for all that tension. Alcohol! Well, alcohol inks to be accurate. These brightly colored inks feed my love of colorful art. And the free flowing drops are hard to control so I just give in to what they want to do. I found if I try to overwork the inks into an image I have in my head it doesn’t come out. In a subtle way working with alcohol inks is like a therapist telling me to go ahead and give a little and let life do with me what it will. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I do know that I feel a lot better after some fun painting with alcohol inks. And I’m loving these little greeting card size paintings I’m creating lately.

Want to learn how to paint with this brilliantly colored medium? Here are some fun tips and tricks for painting with alcohol inks:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Painting with Alcohol Inks Materials:

Optional: 

Painting with Alcohol Inks Instructions:

Cover your work area with the plastic drop cloth. Cut 9″ x 12″ Yupo paper into quarters. Use a small piece of painter’s tape to attach the Yupo paper to the center of the chipboard. This will control any mess and allow you to pick up and move the paper as you work without disturbing the ink.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Drip or drizzle a few drops of alcohol ink onto your paper. A little ink goes a long way.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Use compressed air to spread the ink around.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

You can also use a paint brush dipped in alcohol to continue to spread and work with the ink.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Or try using the palette knife to spread the ink for a different look.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Continue adding more ink and spreading the ink until you like an area.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

To re-activate dried alcohol ink, spritz it with the misting bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a hairdryer to gently move the ink or dry the ink more quickly.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Add a different color ink and continue working your painting.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Add more drops and blow or brush the ink into areas you want painted.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay a straw on its side and roll on the paper to create ripples.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

I love adding white to the tops of my painting to mimic cloud formations.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Blot off any excess ink with a damp baby wipe.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl
gently-spread
To create speckles, I add several drops of ink directly onto a paint brush, then tap the brush onto another brush or a stick. This is the perfect way to create a random pattern reminiscent of stars.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

I like to finish my paintings with a very light spritz of alcohol to give it a dappled look.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

To add some extra elegance, drag metallic gold ink over your painting.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Let your painting dry. Seal the painting by spraying Krylon UV Archival Varnish over the surface (about 12″ away) and let the spray settle onto the painting to avoid disturbing the painting.

Use double stick tape to adhere your mini painting onto a blank greeting card and give it to someone special (or keep them for yourself.)

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

I love the metallic gold touches on this card.

Painting with Alcohol Inks | Pretty Handy Girl

Watch my video to really see the techniques I use with alcohol ink. I hope you find some time to de-stress by painting with alcohol inks. It’s really an easy art form and no two painting look alike.

I think the key to getting a beautiful painting with the alcohol inks is to limit your colors to 3 or 4 (white and black don’t count.) Also, try to resist perfection. Let the alcohol inks move and don’t try to fight it. Finally, I like to choose complimentary colors and follow this guide to choosing harmonious colors. I’m particularly drawn to the analogous palette.

A big thank you to my mom, who introduced me to alcohol inks. They certainly are addictive and they are pushing this gal to give up her perfectionist ways.

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8 replies
  1. Shannon Finn
    Shannon Finn says:

    Brittany. great tutorial. Well thought out , esp with supply list and step by step instructions. And the painting are simply beautiful. Question, where do you get your Yugo paper? And are you still active on You tube. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Cretia
    Cretia says:

    That was a great tutorials! Thank you for taking the time to share those techniques and instructions. They were exceptionally clear and understandable. I truely appreciate it!
    Kindest regards,
    Cretia

    Reply
  3. Lis
    Lis says:

    What great little paintings these are! Last summer I tried the Sharpie & alcohol on ceramic tiles and they were a blast. I can’t wait to try some of these. Is heavier paper better to work with? I have some watercolor paper on hand and would like to play around a little to see what I can come up with. What a great video. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Reply
  4. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    Aren’t they so fun to do! You can’t really go wrong with alcohol inks. I’ve messed around with them but I need to do many more.

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a stressful month. I hope things get better for you soon.

    Reply

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