Monday, 1 June 2015

FOG Tuesday - Fun with Alcohol Inks

Our May session started with Jan showing us a new embroidery stitch, the Double Chain stitch.

Once our stitching was over we started with a demo on alcohol inks by Karen Biko, one of our talented artists in the group.  Karen demonstrated on a variety of surfaces, each having their own qualities for the outcome of the project.
Karen at work.
Karen - work in progress,
Working with alcohol inks, Karen Konjurs up some amazing and Kolourful Kreations. These art pieces are rather serendipitous in nature and she often works on several at a time moving between them to add layers of new colour and texture.
Karen Biko
Another of our talented artists, Terri Heinrich, also works in alcohol inks (and other mediums), but her creations are more realistic. Visit her site to see her unique style.
Terri Heinrich
These are several of the many surfaces that we experimented with:
·         Yupo Paper
·         Terra Skin 
·         Strathmore Palette Paper
·          Glazed Ceramic Tiles
·         Vellum Paper and Transparencies
·         Glossy Photo Paper

Yupo was the favourite paper, retaining the bright colours that alcohol inks are known for.

Terra Skin, the stone paper, has an unusual feel to it – described as “buttery” the inks seemed to melt into the paper and lost their intense colour.

Muted Colours on Terra Skin.
The Strathmore Palette paper retained the colour nicely and the finished product would be a great surface to mono print on or to use as pages in a journal.

The glazed ceramic tiles turned out great, maintaining the brilliant colours of the alcohol inks. They would need to be sealed with a fixative so that they remain permanent on this surface.
Glazed Ceramic Tiles
Glazed Ceramic Tiles

The Vellum paper took the inks nicely, providing a translucent background that you could stamp and heat emboss onto. These would make nice additions to a greeting card. The transparencies worked in a similar nature to the vellum and would be great for layering over other surfaces.

Alcohol inks on patterned vellum paper with
rubber stamped and heat embossed image.
Alcohol inks on heavy weight vellum
with rubber stamped and heat embossed

Lastly, glossy photo paper is an inexpensive way to experiment with some of the techniques we did on the other surfaces. Rubber stamped with an image, and die cut or edge cut with a decorative punch, they would make great greeting cards or additions to your journaling pages.

There are three main brands of alcohol inks that we used:
  • Copic Inks ™ by Copic (their refills give the best value)

All worked equally well, though Copic has the best colour range.

Each brand also sells a blender solution that helps make the colour more transparent, but most of us worked with rubbing alcohol which worked as well as the blender solutions but has a much lower cost.

 Other supplies that are useful:

·         a thin paint brush to draw fine lines to outline areas in your piece
·         a straw to blow the drops of ink to create interesting lines and edges
·         a spray bottle with 90 or 99% rubbing alcohol.

If colour is something that brings joy to your day then give this technique a try. You dont need to be an artist to do it. It will bring back all the “oohs and aahs” you remember from third grade art class.

Remember when working with rubbing alcohol, work in a well ventilated room.

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