Art Products, General

Experimenting with Alcohol Inks with Ali Hargreaves

15th April 2021 Estimated reading time: 3 mins

I was first drawn to these amazing inks when I saw Anita Pounder demonstrating their use at the NEC. I was fascinated by the almost luminous colours, the shapes and patterns and the way the alcohol reacted with the inks.

I love colour and texture and these translucent colours just leap off the page! I was hooked and promptly bought myself a set to try. You can get everything you need from the SAA shop.

They are a fabulous medium for experimenting with. You can have enormous fun and end up with some beautiful Abstract pieces just by playing.

I went online to see what could be done and then tried out the basic techniques like dropping colour into alcohol covered Yupo paper and letting it spread, blowing it with straws to make interesting shapes and stopping the spread with a hairdryer.

There are a lot of beautiful free painted Abstract pieces out there, but not so many paintings of actual subjects.

I wanted to learn to control the medium to allow me to paint colourful subjects like birds, flowers, insects, trees and so on. The best way of course is by practising and experimenting so that’s what I did. And …oh my goodness…I had such a lovely time!

As many of you know, I love mixed media so I soon graduated to experimenting with other media. I love the way it reacts with Acrylic inks for instance. I tried adding pen, Cerne relief and Acrylic ink.

Of course there is far more to explore and I am already contemplating other media I can add to alcohol inks.

I shared some of my experiments on my ALISART Facebook page and I had a few students asking me if I would be running any courses.

Due to Coronavirus, I have had to adjust like so many people. I have managed to keep all my classes going by sending lessons out by video. I had to learn how to do this and Ali Board was an enormous help so a big shout out to her for helping me! I now have students around the World! This has enabled me to run an Alcohol Ink course too. It is a six week course introducing the materials, teaching techniques and guiding you through six exciting projects. At the end of it hopefully you will come away with confidence to try more.

Alcohol inks need a non-porous surface so Yupo paper is perfect. It’s synthetic and made from 100% polypropylene. It is waterproof and recyclable. You can also try the inks out on acetate sheets, ceramic tiles and glass.

Please note that it is best to work in a well ventilated area as the alcohol fumes are strong.

If interested you can sign up by
emailing me [email protected]
or through my website
Or on my SAA tuition page here

Direct links to the course:
SAA tuition page:

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