Experimenting with Alcohol Ink

I have been curious about alcohol inks recently when looking through some art books. Also joined a FB community page on alcohol inks which really fueled my interest. The paintings are quite impressive! So a week ago I went on-line and bought myself a starter kit of 9 stunning colours plus a few more.

However I overlooked the fact that these inks work best on non-porous and water- resistant surfaces, i.e., none of the art paper I have. The inks merely seep through the paper. As such, canvas or Yupo Paper is recommended for art work. I prefer using paper for space-saving reasons so decided to opt for Yupo paper only to balk at how pricey they are! €15 for a set of ten sheets? I don’t think so…

So I googled to see what other alternatives are available. One suggested coating your desired paper and priming it with a coat of gel medium and leaving it to dry for 24 hours. So I coated my 300 gsm Canson’s Mixed Media Paper with Open Acrylic Gel (Gloss) and after more than 24 hours I was all excited to squirt my inks away! As seen in the above photo, the colours are vividly beautiful. However I was disappointed to discover that they did not flow or merge as wanted even when dropping in some isopropyl alcohol. The inks furthermore penetrated through.

But not all is lost. You never know till you find out. And I actually feel I can recreate something cool with this experimental piece. You know me, I never like wasting products and always enjoy recreating! Meanwhile, another alternative to Yupo Paper. How about Deli Paper? It’s known to be liquid-resistant and in art, known to prevent paints and inks from bleeding through. So I gave it a shot. Oh wow!! No bleeding through. It was so cool to watch the colours move and spread when adding drops of isopropyl alcohol, and blowing on the inks whilst wet created some interesting branchy effects. You can even layer the colours on top of each other when dry. Check out the gold ink…

Another unplanned piece created and even worth framing. And look how stunning the colours are! I now know alcohol inks do work well with deli paper and should like to use this method more often. But meanwhile, I found on eBay some Yupo Paper, 110 gsm thick (normally they are 85 gsm) and in total ended up paying some €47 including postage for 50 sheets. Can’t wait to try the inks out on them too and make something beautiful. Will definitely let you all know how it all goes so watch this space!

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