Friday, January 20, 2017


The Art Group here which meets informally on Friday mornings had a demo last week on using Alcohol Inks.  It's a new process to most of us.  Nan Adams and Monica Martel demonstrated.  We had so much fun!  Alcohol inks are used on smooth surfaces, such as ceramic tile or special papers--one is called Yupo Paper.

I didn't want to get involved!  I'm really too busy as it is.  But the week before in Michael's I saw sets of three bottles of the inks for $9.99.  On impulse I bought two sets and some small amount of papers.  The alcohol used is 91% rubbing alcohol, which I bought at a Fry's grocery store.  Also needed: some cheap Taklon brushes which I found at Walmart.

Nan Adams gave a great introduction to the many ways to use this medium.  Then we started experimenting.  And it REALLY is experimenting.  There is very little control over what happens on the paper.  Here's how to do it:
Spritz a small amount of alcohol on the paper, or drop it on with a brush.  Then drop some colour into the alcohol.  Blow it around the paper, spread it with a brush, or just tip the paper to make it run.

I had put on a white knit top that morning.  Not a good idea when working with these inks!  Nan loaned me a coverall apron.

The idea after that is to gradually develop a picture from the colours.  At that point I realized that I just don't have the artistic vision to develop something coherent.  It was fun, and I enjoyed the morning very much, but by noon I was back to my original opinion: I should try to develop some skill in my chosen medium: watercolour, and not branch out into new challenges.  

Latex gloves are recommended as the inks are very staining.  I wasn't wearing them, and here I am showing off a very green middle finger.  A week later there's still a trace of green around that fingernail!

Monica showed us how she develops a beautiful landscape from areas of blue, green and yellow.  She is very skilled at manipulating these inks.  She also had a finished landscape along which just took our breath away with how beautiful it was.  Today she did a painting with the inks of a beautiful orange flower with spikey leaves surrounding it, another wonderful painting.  I look at how she just wiggles her paint brush around a little and these things emerge from the blotches and I'm just amazed.

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