My alcohol ink painting online class started just over a week ago, and since Dawn asked how it was going, I thought I would share with all of you. It’s a new way of creating for me, but has some resemblance to water color painting – an art I never did successfully manage.
The first week’s lesson dealt with learning about the inks, how some colors have more alcohol content than others and will, therefore, flow more readily. The lighter the colors, the more alcohol. Included in this lesson was adding texture using alcohol mist, cotton balls, cotton swabs, bits of felt – pretty much whatever was on hand that you felt like using. Our challenges were to play with the flow of the inks, and to add texture. My attempts with flow and texture looked like this:
Much of what I’ve done has been on 4″ x 4″ white ceramic tiles, because those can be cleaned off with alcohol and reused. I have a limited amount of Yupo paper, which is the “preferred” media – the only real requirements are that the media be nonporous – but have ordered more and will be using it more in future attempts.
Week two introduced more challenges – brushwork, lifting, and masking. The brushwork assignment was to create an apple, containing the flow of the inks to inside the lines. You will see that I was relatively successful, although there are some small places where I went outside the lines. Sometimes that’s okay, sometimes it’s not. My first attempt at the apple went like so:
I found lifting a little more difficult, and my first try was done on Yupo paper. Unlike ceramic tile, Yupo will stain a little from the inks, so your tree trunk will have a hint of color. In my attempt to make the lifting a little easier, I used lighter colors for my background, ending up with this:
Better, I think. I was happy with this one. I used cotton swab and brushes – some aqua brushes I’d purchased, which have tubes into which you can add whatever liquid is appropriate for what you’re doing. I had played with them, adding alcohol first, then trying blending solution, but I found too much of the liquid was released and I needed more containment for what I was doing. I switched to simply using the brush, dipping the tip into alcohol or blending solution as needed to lift the inks from the surface.
I have not yet attempted the masking assignment – that will be next.
I’m having fun – loving the concept that you’re never to old to learn something new.