Friday, February 24, 2012

Alcohol Ink Tutorial

I was asked to put a tutorial together on Alcohol Inks.  This is by no means a complete review of everything Alcohol Inks can do.  It is a starter tutorial only.  Supplies:
Well the first thing on your supply list will be Alcohol Inks.  These are Tim Holtz Ranger.  You will also need their blending solution.  The blending solution is the key to alcohol inks.  It blends, lightens and removes the color from the alcohol inks.  I also have a stamp with loop tape so the felt sticks to it.  I cut the felt to fit the stamp.  You will also see 4 x 4 sheets of glossy paper....this is not glossy photo paper but a clay coated paper. When I play, I cut my sheets 4 x 4 so I can see what spot I want to stamp.  I'm using a piece of acetate and archival ink.  Archival Ink is an oil base and won't smear on the alcohol inks.  All of these supplies can be purchased at most craft supplies stores.  I got all of my from Michael's using my 40% coupons.  Cover your work surface with a craft mat.  These inks do stain.
Choose a couple of colors you want to start with....remember we are playing so there are no wrong choices.  I chose latte and caramel.  First the latte.  I put 4 small dots on my felt.  I held the nib of the alcohol ink for 2 seconds each...very fast.
Next I added a few dots of caramel.  Noticed I alternated the dots....think random.
I then added some blending solution.  The same random technique and the 2 second rule apply when adding the blending solution.  Notice how the colors begin to blend together.
Then dab...dab...dab all over the paper....notice how the you can see through the alcohol inks....pretty.  Cover the entire paper.  Have a pen handy and write on the back the colors you used so you have a sample the next time you want to stamp.
Here I took the same two colors and held the stamp on my paper and swirled the stamp over and over...same colors...just different.

If your colors are two dark...just add more blending solution...if you want to add more color, just put some on your felt and dab away.  You can also add blending solution directly to your paper.  Try different colors.
Here are four or five different colors with the blending solution already on my new felt.  DAB...DAB...DAB
Remember, if you want a lot of a certain color, add more dots of that color to your felt....if you want less of a color, add less dots.  You can also stamp on acetate and many other mediums.
Here I applied alcohol ink directly to a piece of acetate...I used the same felt that I used above and DAB...DAB...DAB
The colors and blending solution that I already had on my felt helped to blend my colors on the acetate.  Really, that's all there is to it.  Dot...Dot...Dot...Dab...Dab...Dab
I stamped an image on my papers and acetate.  Archival ink takes awhile to dry so set it aside or use a heat tool to dry it faster.  I let mine sit overnight only because I was tired and went to bed.  When I use acetate, I sometimes cover it with tissue paper so you can't see the glue when you put your project together.  Just paint Mod Podge all over the dried image and put your crumbled tissue paper over it....after it's dry, cut your tissue paper to match the size of your acetate.

You can use regular cardstock with alcohol inks.  Because it's absorbent, it will take more ink to cover your paper.  When you use regular cardstock, you can use regular dye base ink.  Clean your work surface by spilling a little blending solution on your stains and wipe with a dry disposable cloth.  If you get any stain on your clothes, the blending solution will take it off.  Keep in mind that it is alcohol based and is flammable until it dries...15 - 20 minutes.  Well, I hope you had some fun.  If you have any questions, please email me at I'll be glad to answer any that I can.  Tim Holtz also has a couple U-Tube videos that you can watch.

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