What is alcohol ink? What surfaces can it be used on?

What is alcohol ink? Why is it becoming popular as an art medium?

You may have heard of alcohol ink art earlier or seen some videos on instagram or other social media on these free-flowing inks. Isn’t it an amazing feeling to watch the inks flow, blend and overlap with one another, forming unique designs and patterns?

As the name suggests, alcohol inks are alcohol based inks which are highly pigmented. Some of the prominent features that draw us to this beautiful medium are the bright colors and attractive abstract patterns.

The medium sports a great level of transparency which can be seen in the wispy effects created with these inks. It is a very fast-drying medium and so, evaporates quickly leaving vividly colored patterns. The inks, after drying, can be reactivated repeatedly (made to move freely), to get beautiful overlapping patterns.

Alcohol ink is a fun-filled, beginner friendly medium. Like in any fluid painting or abstract art, there are no mistakes in alcohol ink art and the patterns formed are happy accidents. Moreover, the medium also gives us the liberty to repeatedly rework on an art piece till one’s heart’s content. One can get lost in this art medium for a couple of hours, totally forgetting about everything else happening around him/her.

So, working with alcohol inks – It’s fun! It’s relaxing!  It’s creative! It’s easy for everyone! And the art pieces created are gorgeous!!

What surfaces can be used for alcohol ink art?

Alcohol inks work best with a non-porous surface, that way the inks do not get absorbed into the layers of the surface and can move freely. Some popularly used surfaces are given below (Not fully exhaustive)

  1. Synthetic paper
  2. Ceramic objects (such as mugs, coasters, tiles, planters etc.,)
  3. Acrylic sheets
  4. Plastic surfaces and sheets (OHP sheet is an example)
  5. Glass
  6. Metal
  7. Can be used with Resin medium
  8. Stone
  9. Leather
  10. Canvas (after applying a layer of sealant as a primer)

Given the versatility of alcohol inks and the numerous surfaces they can be used on, there are innumerable projects and ideas to work with!

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