Hi and welcome.
Today we are talking about art with alcohol ink and alcohol ink art supplies!
There are so many mediums that artists use to create gorgeous paintings, and one of our favorites is using alcohol ink to create beautiful alcohol ink art. You can definitely recognize alcohol ink art right away: the wispy, flowing colors creating a fluid melody, reminiscent of smoke patterns in the sky, but captured with harmonizing colors from a broad spectrum of choice.
But, what is alcohol ink art and what alcohol ink art supplies do you need to start?
What is alcohol ink?
Alcohol ink is a highly pigmented, solvent-based dye. Dye-based colors are fully blended so there is no shaking necessary before use as the color does not settle on the bottom. Because alcohol is the base in alcohol ink, once exposed to air, it dries extremely fast as the evaporation rate of alcohol is much faster then that of water, which most other art medium bases are created from. As you blow the alcohol ink around, the alcohol base evaporates and leaves a static shadow in wisps of color where that evaporation occurred, leaving only the dye.
First, you will need to get the proper alcohol ink supplies, and here they are:
To start creating alcohol ink art, you will first need alcohol ink. There are so many colors and types out there, and you will have fun going through the brands and colors to find the perfect color combinations for your artwork.
The two most popular alcohol ink brands are alcohol inks by Tim Holtz® and Jacquard's Pinata Inks.Tim Holtz® Alcohol Ink
Alcohol Inks by Tim Holtz® are acid-free, vibrant colors that are very popular among alcohol ink artists and are professional in quality. They are formulated to create colorful effects when layered together on non-porous surfaces.
There are many alcohol ink colors to choose from when selecting from Tim Holtz® Alcohol Inks. You can choose base or primary alcohol ink colors, pearl alcohol ink colors, metallic alcohol ink mixatives, and there are even colors that shift to different colors when blending and blowing to push the colors around.
This alcohol ink art was created using only Tim Holtz® Eggplant (which shifts from a purple to a blue and pink) and Jacquard Pinata Gold:
When looking to purchase alcohol ink, we would suggest getting started with a few 3 pack of alcohol inks from Tim Holtz®.
This is the best way to truly get the best bang for your buck, and will give you a feel of trying out a few and playing with the different colors.
Here are the types of alcohol inks that we suggest trying from Scrapbook.com:
Alcohol Ink Pearls: Here are all the Pearl Alcohol Ink Colors by Tim Holtz® for Ranger Ink available on Scrapbook.com.
Alcohol Ink Metallics: Here are all the Metallic Alcohol Inks by Tim Holtz® for Ranger Ink available on Scrapbook.com
Alcohol Ink Adriondacks: Here are all the Adriondack Alcohol Ink Colors by Tim Holtz® For Ranger Ink. The Adriondack line is really great because they are made to go nicely together no matter which colors you choose, you really can't go wrong.
You can buy individual alcohol ink colors here for a great price as well.Jacquard Pinata Colors
Another very popular alcohol ink brand that alcohol ink artists like, especially first timers, is the Jacquard Pinata Colors set.
The Jacquard Alcohol Inks are highly saturated, acid-free, transparent colors.
We recommend starting off with the Pinata Pack of 9 to get started from Amazon.
This alcohol ink set includes their popular colors, a white, plus a pearl and two metallics, including "rich gold".
Rich Gold is the color of alcohol ink by Jacquard we used in one of the above photos showing how the Eggplant color shifts from blue to purple to pink, just to give you an idea of what the gold looks like on Yupo.
The blending solution is a very important part of using alcohol inks. It is what you will put all over your substrate to carry the color around on.
We recommend the Tim Holtz® Alcohol Ink Blending Solution by Ranger. It has been specifically formulated to blend and lighten alcohol ink.
You can also use isopropyl alcohol and typically, the higher percentage of alcohol, the better for using in alcohol ink art.
What can you put paint alcohol ink on? There are a number of surfaces you can paint alcohol ink on, the most popular substrate for alcohol ink is Yupo paper.
Yupo is able to carry alcohol ink on it as it is non-porous, unlike paper made from trees. If you were to use actual paper with alcohol ink, it would absorb it and just would not work.
Yupo paper works well for alcohol ink as it is made not from paper, but from a synthetic paper material known as polypropylene. It is waterproof and very durable and non-porous. Yupo is a type of plastic, and is recyclable. It is a fantastic substrate to use alcohol ink on.
Protecting your body is an essential part of using alcohol inks. In this case, we highly recommend protecting your lungs with the proper respirator mask.
You can opt for a half face respirator mask if you would like to save some money, or you can go for a full face respirator mask; the difference being, is that a full face respirator also protects your eyes from fumes.
We would like to recommend the respirator masks which we personally use for alcohol inks (and for resin art) from Parcil Distribution.
Here is the full face respirator from Parcil. When you buy anything directly from them it comes with a 1 year factory warranty.
We personally recommend a half face respirator for working with alcohol ink, unless you also like to work with resin (we know there are a lot of crossover artists out there) in which case, we would recommend the full face respirator that you can use for both mediums. The choice is up to you though.
Both the half respirator and the full face respirator mask are about as comfortable as you can get with a respirator mask. They adjust very easily all around the head with one pull on each self-fastening strap, and it creates a great seal around the face.
Here is the half face respirator, which also comes with a 1 year factory warranty when purchased directly from Parcil.
Both the half face respirator and full face respirator protect your lungs specifically from alcohol fumes, and also many other chemicals which you can read right here under "chemicals filtered". We use our masks to protect us from things we work with around the house as well, such as painting and our recent concrete work we've been doing.
Many people think that you can use any air blending tool for alcohol ink. I have heard of people trying to use a straw, which we highly do not recommend. A straw is not strong enough and does not have a consistent air flow to achieve a good flow in the ink.
Others have tried a hair dryer, which we have not personally tried, but I would assume as well that the air flow would not be strong enough.
We use a mini air compressor kit which we purchased from Amazon. The one we have is no longer listed, but we found one that is for all intents and purposes practically identical:
You can also use a heat gun to push your alcohol ink around, however, if you are working on Yupo paper, remember that it is a plastic and can melt or warp at higher temperatures.
Tim Holtz® uses this specific craft mat when he works with alcohol ink to protect the surface he works on, and having a craft mat has saved our work station a few times now! We suggest grabbing one if you are investing in alcohol inks.
It is 15" by 18" and is perfect for using really under any craft projects you are doing. It wipes clean with water and a paper towel after you are done using it, and it can be used with:
Well we hope you enjoyed learning about alcohol ink art and the supplies you need to get started with alcohol inks! Please be sure to save a Pin to this article so you can find us again. We would appreciate that.
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