Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Alcohol ink on tiles

really enjoyed working on these tiles.  These 4 inch square tiles from a hardware store make for a perfect and inexpensive small canvas. 

supplies: 4 inch square ceramic tiles, 91% isopropyl alcohol, Ranger Alcohol Inks (various colors), Q-tips, brushes, small spray bottle filled with some of the isopropyl alcohol, artist pallet tray to hold inks, gloves, paper towels.

The tiles were cleaned with 91% isopropyl alcohol and paper towels.  Then alcohol inks were poured, dripped, and brushed to mix together.    I gave a light spray of the alcohol to move the inks around.  It was fun to experiment.

This one is my favorite - just swirls of greens, blues and yellows.   

For this look I dropped ink and them blew through a straw to get most of the petals and leaves.  added dots in the center with ink and a q-tip.
For this tile I first applied a Peel-Off Sticker of a butterfly on the clean tile.  Peel-Off Stickers are very thin laser cut stickers ( I love the silver ones since you can alcohol ink them any color you want).  After the sticker was applied I carefully dabbed ink over the open areas of the butterfly and different colors for the background.  When it was dry I used a craft knife to pick up and remove the sticker revealing the butterfly outline.  
Had to try my hand at painting a scene.  still need some practice in this area but it was a fun experience.  The trunk of the tree was made my removing the ink with a brush dipped in the 91% isopropyl alcohol.  I used a fin brush to paint with the ink colors.
now I'm reading tons of blog posts on how to seal these tiles.  Lots of info out there and apparently lots of problems getting a good sealer on the tiles that won't make the inks run.  I'm not planning on using these are coasters so I won't need anything heavy duty. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Alcohol Inks on Yupo paper

There is quite the buzz in the crafting world about Yupo paper.  I heard it is a fun medium to use with alcohol inks so I was really looking forward to working with it. 

Before I got the paper I kept thinking it must similar to glossy paper cardstock, but it isn't.  Yupo paper is a synthetic, machine-made paper of 100% polypropylene. It was made for the printing industry, not the art supply industry, but artists discovered it is a fun surface to work with.  The slick surface is a matt finish and alcohol inks play very well on this paper. 

The best point I can say about this paper is to experiment with it.  I haven't tried any other medium on it but heard that you get interesting results with other inks, colored pencils, water colors, and acrylics. I also haven't tired any masking fluid with any of the alcohol inks projects yet but I think that would be the next step to try.

supplies used:  kraft sheet, palette tray, alcohol ink blending solution, 91% isopropyl alcohol, brushes, variety of alcohol inks, gloves, Ranger White Yupo 5" x 7" paper.

I found an article on Ranger Industries website with step-by-step instruction on painting red poppies.  I found this very helpful in getting to work with this medium.  I did try the alcohol ink blending pen they mentioned but it just didn't work well for me and I ended up using a fine brush instead. Here's my attempt and a link to the website.

Another technique was pouring ink over the paper and spritzing with blending solution or 91% alcohol and letting the inks run and move over the paper.  When the inks were almost dry I gave a light mist of the 91% alcohol to give the dot effects.  I like the movement of this print.
Finally tried my hand at painting a scene.  Since you can't control the ink on the paper like you would, say acrylics on canvas, the inks could either drive you crazy or be very freeing (depending on your mood of the day).   I put drops of the ink colors in a palette and dipped brushes in 91% alcohol sol, then in the ink before applying to the paper.  A fine brush just dipped in alcohol was used to remove ink to provide the path, clouds, etc.  To make the leaves I loaded up the brush and dropped drops on the paper.  It was fun to experiment with this painting process.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Alcohol Ink on Canvas

A good friend of mine joined me in the studio for a day of painting with alcohol inks on different surfaces.  It was a great day of playing with ink! 

I was really looking forward to working with alcohol ink on canvas - I've been wanting to try this for some time. A few online posts recommended sealing the canvas first with Kilz Primer/Sealer Paint so that's what I did.  This paint is a white, water-based primer found in most hardware stores. Alcohol inks work best on a non-porous surfaces and priming the canvas provides this, otherwise the ink would just soak into the canvas and not blend.

supplies used: Kilz Primer/Sealer paint, white canvas on wood frame, Ranger alcohol inks, alcohol ink blending solution, 91% isopropyl alcohol, mixing palette, eye dropper, brushes, spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol, paper towels, gloves.

I applied the Kilz paint primer in all directions on the canvas and let it dry overnight. 

Painting with ink is different than painting with paints so I knew some experimenting would need to happen.  I had this image in my mind of large leaves and some flower petals but I couldn't get the leaves to work out. 
A few wipes with paper towel and blending solution removed most of the ink but still left faint color areas.  So if my initial idea won't work then why fight it?  I just let went with the flow (so to speak) and kept pouring different colors on canvas.  I switched to blues and liked how it was looking then added some purple and a bit of green.  Can't remember all of the ink colors used here but I know Sailboat Blue was one of them.  I dipped brushes in the 91% alcohol solution to move the ink around, and then this image started forming.   It reminded me of a nebula so I added a few splatters of regular white paint for stars.   I love the result. 

With this next piece I wanted a watercolor looking wildflower meadow look.  After a few attempts that didn't seem to be working too well either.  When I started dropping the ink on the canvas it was spreading out way too much and mixing around and I didn't get the circle effect I wanted. 
You really need to be careful when making drops of ink on the canvas, they keep spreading and spreading!  So I wiped off the ink and set the canvas aside to dry, intending to cover the canvas with Kilz and start again. 
After it dried the canvas still had small areas of lavender which made me think of Allium flowers, one of my fav spring blooming flowers.  So I carefully dropped small amounts of purple alcohol inks with an eye dropper onto the canvas.  Inks used for the flowers were:Eggplant, Purple Twilight, and Wild Plum.  I added different amounts of 91% alcohol sol to  "water down" the ink to get some shading.  Also I waited several min between drops so the colors wouldn't all pool together.
When the circles seemed dry to the touch I took a small brush, dipped in 91% alcohol to pull the color away from the center. A small brush, also dipped in 91% alcohol, then in alcohol inks, was used to make the stems/leaves.  Ink colors: Botanical, Citrus.
so overall I was happy with my first attempts at painting on canvas with alcohol inks.  Watch for upcoming posts on other alcohol ink paintings from that day.

Monday, February 13, 2017

wine charms

Using leftover wine corks for craft projects is very popular.  Practical when you have many guests, or when you just feel like adding some bling to your own wine glass.
This is an easy project to do and there are lots of variations on the internet.   What I like about these charms is using metal binder rings to attach to the glasses.  The ring binders are super easy to attach and remove from the glass stems.

supplies used: leftover wine corks (the cork kind, not plastic), metal binder rings (from ART-C), metal screw eyes (from Tim Holtz Idea-ology), VersaMark Black Ink pad, various rubber stamps, acrylic paint and brushes, Weldbond Glue, Modge Podge, craft knife, and something to hold the cork to keep your fingers safe (small clamp, large binder clip, pliers, etc)

I used a pliers to hold the corks and cut them into disks using a large craft knife.  I didn't measure them - just eyeballed the size of the slices.  Now I've read (but didn't try this) if the corks crumble when cutting then try steaming them.  Place the corks in a bowl over a pot of boiling water and steam for a few min until they get soft and pliable.  Allow to cool before cutting.  If I decide to do another wine cork project that requires larger cut I may try this.

Next I took the screw eyes, dipped them into glue, and hand threaded them into the cork.  I let them dry for about an hour.  Next I painted one cut side with acrylic paint and let dry for about an hour before stamping.  I found inking up the rubber stamp, laying it down, then pressing the cork pieces into the stamp worked best.  I let the inked pieces dry overnight before sealing them with Modge Podge.  Then I attached the rings and voila...some charming bling for my wine glass. 


Friday, January 6, 2017

snowflake tag

I had good intentions of cleaning/organizing my studio.  Really I did.  But there is something about moving art supplies around that, well, makes you want to stop and start using them!  So that's how this tag started.  But hey, at least I managed to clear off the table.

I've been looking forward to using my alcohol inks and decided to create a snowflake tag with bold blue colors. 

Supplies used: glossy cardstock, alcohol ink blending solution, alcohol inks (Indigo, Pool, Sailboat Blue), white felt, clear embossing powder, white embossing powder, clear ink pad, rubber stamps, and clear block for the stamps.  The snowflake rubber stamps were unmounted and from Touche Rubber Stamps - Rochester, MN.

I first cleared embossed a few snowflakes on glossy cardstock to create a resist with the inks. It's kinda hard to see but the clear embossing powder gives a raised image to the card.

after this I used a white piece of felt to cover the surface with some blending solution, and then began pouring the inks and moving the tag around.  Note:  you use A LOT of ink this way and it really coats your fingers.  So wearing gloves might be a good idea. Either that or tell people your fingers are blue because it's really cold outside.
When using ink this way it will take longer for the tag to dry.

Using a clean piece of white felt I wiped away the clear embossed snowflakes.  They didn't show up as much as I wanted so I added a bit of the blending solution to a new piece of felt and gently rubbed it over the snowflakes.
Much better.  After this I stamped the snowflakes again and used white embossing powder.

I really like the dimension of this piece. The clear embossed snowflakes were subtle enough to let the white embossed ones stand out. I finished it with a piece of white fluffy ribbon. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year!

Chalkboard lettering/chalkboard art has become very popular lately  Just before the holidays I took a day class in chalkboard lettering.  We used a white charcoal pencil for lettering - not actual chalk.  

Now taking a class for a few hours does not a lettering artist make.  Not by a long shot.  Even though I had some previous calligraphy knowledge and skill this type of art was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be.  I'm still struggling with the layout/design part.  Like all art, it just takes time, practice, patience, and a willingness to create.  So here's my beginner projects for the beginning of a new year.  

Supplies used: Generals White Charcoal Pencil, Faber Castell Eraser, Canson Mi-Teintes Paper in black.

Important note!  you know when you erase something with a pencil you just automatically brush away the eraser bits form the paper?  Well don't do that with this medium!  I can't tell you how many times I "brushed" and then smudged my lettering.  Grrrrr...  But hey the eraser did a great job!


I cannot take credit for the snowglobe design.  I saw a similar image on wrapping paper and in a magazine so I used that idea to create a similar image.  Even saw a similar image on Pinterest - so its a popular one.  I like how it turned out.