Happy Thursday! When I was teaching in NYC, Faigie asked me if she could do a guest post on my blog and I said, "Of course!" I am always happy to showcase talented people's ideas -- especially when they're showing off some of the products I've designed! I hope you enjoy this tutorial from Faigie!
Hi, my name is Faigie Kobre and I’m really excited to be guest posting on Julie's blog.
I became a mixed media addict a number of years ago and one of my main sources of information on mixed media has been Julie. It was so much fun to actually finally take an in person class with her this past June in NYC.
About 2 years ago I looked around Michaels on one of my visits there and I said to myself, “One of the only mixed media materials I haven’t tried yet are alcohol inks. I wonder what you can do with them?” Famous last words! While scrolling through the mixed media books on my library’s website I ended up coming across the book, Pigments of Your Imagination: Creating with Alcohol Inks, took it out and was hooked.
There are so many things you can do with alcohol inks. Many of the activities are more abstract like, some semi abstract and you can even create fine art work with them. Many in the mixed media world prefer the fun, imperfect style. I am going to share with you a particular way of using alcohol inks using stamps and stencils which is of the more fun art not fine art style.
Alcohol inks are inks in a base of alcohol so they work on non-porous surfaces. The most common substrates to use with alcohol inks are yupo paper (a plasticized type of paper) and tiles. (Kirkland photo paper is a good substitute for yupo when using the back side)
For this post I am using some of Julie's stencils designs along with some of her Art Foamies designs.
Part of the magic of alcohol inks is dripping them and just watching them spread. Different colors and different brands spread differently depending on the alcohol content in each bottle.
We each dripped our colors over the whole paper. You can drip colors on top of each other and you can also use q tip dipped in alcohol to write on top of the dripped alcohol ink or make dots and lines.
You need to at least 91% alcohol to work with alcohol inks.
Here is the stencil I am going to use for this piece.
You lay the stencil on top of the inked paper. What we are going to do is rub through the stencil with a damp piece of paper towel (or kitchen roll if you’re in Australia) to remove the ink from the stencil holes.
You can either fold up the paper towel a few times and give a quick spritz or two of alcohol wrap a piece of paper towel around your finger (as I have here)and spritz that.
Holding the stencil down firmly on top of the inked paper you slowly start to rub through the stencil with the wet paper towel. It is better to start with less alcohol you can always give another spritz or two while if you do too much you will lose the image.
As you rub you will be removing the color and leaving a much lighter version of the color in its stead.
The more detailed stencils will take longer and you may have to wipe again in the same spots using a clean paper towel with more alcohol.
With this stencilI noticed that the stencil reminded me of a coral scene so I decide to use this twice on the bottom of the page and to create an underwater scene.
When I finished removing all the ink below this stencil in both places I started just drawing some fish shapes with my Q-tip dipped in alcohol.
I noticed a naturally dripped space that looked fish like so I turned it into a fish.
I took one of my number Art Foamies and painted some alcohol on it and then pressed it onto an inked piece that I had lying around.
This made me realize that Art Foamies are good stamps to use for this method because the alcohol doesn’t sit on top of the stamp but gets a bit absorbed which wouldn’t allow the alcohol to spread all over the paper under the stamp.
You also can give it a lot of pressure as its foam.
I decided to try this using my letter Foamies and another old, inked piece.
After trying both these methods on the paper I decided to try it with tiles because the one of the benefits of using tiles is that they don’t stain when cleaning with alcohol but go right down to white.
I inked up a small tile and used dark ink because I knew the white of the tile would show up better against dark.
Below are 2 examples of how the stencils can work with tiles.
- Faigie Kobre
Materials I used:
- Alcohol Inks (you can use Ranger or Piñata)
- 91% alcohol
- Kirkland photo paper (or yupo paper)
- Small paintbrush
- Paper towels
- Stencils by Balzer Designs (Dramatic Floral and Folk Art Moths)
- Art Foamies by Balzer Designs
I’m a mom and a grandma and after being an upscale portrait photographer for 25 years I am becoming an artist, became a part time elementary school art teacher and also give classes to women to help them express their creativity through mixed media and now alcohol inks.
I have become obsessed with alcohol inks as they are a magical medium I find people who feel uncreative can create beautiful works of art with these gorgeous intensely colored alcohol inks. They are truly magical.
You can get started with alcohol inks by getting Faigie's free .pdf on the materials you will need to get by going here: www.creativityreignited.com/materials-pdf