I’ve been enjoying watching the daily YouTube tutorial from Lavinia Stamps, particularly the ones using alcohol inks. So, I thought I’d dig out my small stash of alcohol inks, blending solution and Yupo paper to give it a go.
I can tell you, Lavinia stamps makes it look a helluva lot easier than it really is, as you can tell from my attempts above. The photograph makes them look worse than they are, but they’re still not what I was hoping for – fairly pale coloured, smoky, swirly, interesting backgrounds full of abstract texture and pattern, with seams of gold.
I have now bought a book about using Alcohol Inks and really hope that helps me. Apparently, you need to create a wash of alcohol inks or blending solution on the Yupo first to help the colours flow more easily. That may be why I have so many open patches in the colours.
I also used fairly small pieces of Yupo paper, which may not be the best size to work with.
For the record, I used a mixture of Piñata inks from Jacquard, Ranger Alcohol Inks. I had a gold mixative in the Piñata inks and that was most fascinating to watch work.
I tried a hair drier to move the ink around, but all I ended up with was a blend of the inks with a few ripples of tones of colour in them. I also tried blowing with a straw.
I was surprised how sticky the inks were when they seemed dry. However, after being left overnight, that stickyness is now gone, though I’ll leave them a while longer before doing anything with them.
I have ordered some alcohol lift reinker to try taking a print of the alcohol ink onto paper. That should lighten the colours somewhat. I then hope that I’ll have backgrounds to use for digital art, once I’ve scanned them.
As well as alcohol lift ink, I’ve ordered some Yupo card stock, which is thicker, less floppy and could work better for this. The book I bought suggests using a heat tool, carefully, for spreading the alcohol ink. It also has a recipe for making your own blending fluid for a fraction of the cost of the branded ones. So, I’ve ordered some isopropyl alcohol to go with the glycerine I already have in my stash.
It’s always fun to try out new techniques with media new to me. It can be incredibly frustrating until I work out how it can work for me!
As a side note, I really do need to order some gloves to use; I have really badly stained nails at the moment. A VOC respirator may also be a good idea; I don’t want the fumes to irritate my asthma or cause more respiratory problems. If I decide to draw on the alcohol ink backgrounds, then I will need to order some kind of varnish/sealant that I can draw on top of so my pens don’t get ruined. That, though, is for another time. Today, I’ll be using my more familiar media and tools.