Supplies for Alcohol Ink Painting
What do I need to create an alcohol ink painting?
If it’s the longer answer you’re looking for, this is where my O.C.D. can be used to your advantage. Below is a diagram and detailed list of things I’ve used for painting with alcohol inks.
Do you need EVERY item in the diagram/list? Absolutely not. There are only a few that are necessary and many that are downright frivolous. The “must-haves” are noted as such.
You should also read this blog post that’s all about substrates (what you can paint ON) for alcohol ink painting.
– sometimes I like to define even abstract alcohol ink paintings a bit more by adding lines and stuff with markers. I love Sharpies. Sharpies are awesome.
– these are little pen-like creatures I found at a craft store, one with rounded tip and one with pointed tip. They are absorbent tips, and I’ve used them with alcohol or alcohol blending solution to lighten or blend areas of a painting.
Ranger® Adirondack® Alcohol Inks
[MUST HAVE] – though number 4 in the diagram above, these alcohol inks should be numero uno on your supply list! Check out my ramblings on alcohol inks (why I love them, what they’re like, and where to buy them) for more detailed information.
Alcohol Blending Solution
[MUST HAVE THIS OR 91% ALCOHOL IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MAGIC] – This Alcohol Blending Solution was specially formulated to dilute and lighten the Alcohol Inks’ vibrant tones. Not only is this solution useful for lightening and blending the Adirondack Alcohol Ink colors, it will also remove them from slick surfaces, hands and art tools.
– this is one of those “frivolous” items I referred to above. If you use masking fluid/frisket (7) to mask off areas of a painting that you want to keep white, you may (or may not) wish to use one of these to help with removal of the masking fluid.
– this is used (as noted above – hello, redundancy!) to mask off areas of a painting that you want to keep white. My preferred brand is Daler-Rowney. It’s fun to peel off of the paper – it’s like peeling sunburn for the soul! More on masking fluid.
91% Isopropyl Alcohol
[MUST HAVE THIS OR ALCOHOL BLENDING SOLUTION IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MAGIC] – used to dilute, blend and lighten alcohol inks. I’ve used other “percentage” alcohols but have found this one to have the best results, so I’m sticking with 91%.
– I use these with alcohol and blending solution to blend and lift ink from a painting. I like the long ones, because they make me feel important.
– another frivolous item, but it can be oh-so-fun to play with! You can use it to blow alcohol ink or blending solution around on the paper and get some interesting effects.
– can be used to lift, blend, or add texture to a painting. Or to put on makeup.
Tim Holtz® Adirondack® Alcohol Ink Applicator
– this is a pretty cool little applicator that can be used with ink blending foam (13) or felt (14) to create textures. I have several of these applicators and use them often. Check out this painting for an example of the kind of backgrounds you can create using the applicator with foam or felt attached to it. Depending on which brand you find, it either comes with blending foam (13) attachments or felt (14), both of which are available in refill packages.
– attaches to alcohol ink applicator (12) and is used for “stamping” to create textures, etc. Sometimes it’s packaged under the “Inkssentials” brand (as seen here) and sometimes under the Tim Hotlz® brand. Either way, look for a package of refills similar to the one I linked to above.
– attaches to alcohol ink applicator (12) and is used as noted above in 13. This section 12, 13, 14 is kind of giving me a headache. Just click this.
– I use these with alcohol and blending solution to drip and dribble. Found them at my local Walgreens and suspect you can find them at your drugstore of choice or Amazon.
– for erasing pencil marks and sometimes rubbing off tiny bits of ink. Pencils not pictured because 1) I forgot, and 2) you know what a pencil is. Well, to be fair, you know what an eraser is too – but these are the specific ones that I use.
– I have a few of these and honestly have only ever used them once. Seemed legit. Here’s part of the manufacturer’s description: This dual-tipped dry pen can be filled by using just a few drops of your favorite color Alcohol Inks. Read more about it here.
– I have, on occasion, put alcohol inks and/or alcohol or blending solution into one of these and sprayed, I mean “misted”, onto a painting. Clicky.
– can be used to add details on an alcohol ink painting. I prefer Sakura Gelly Roll pens or white, oil-based Sharpies.
Technically I have done entire alcohol ink paintings without the use of a brush. But for more detailed work, I use teeny, tiny brushes. Keep in mind that to clean alcohol inks out of paintbrushes, you must use alcohol (or alcohol blending solution). I buy the cheapest “good” brushes I can find for ink painting. I have several I’ve had for 4 years, even though they’re routinely cleaned with alcohol…which you’d think would kill something. But alas, they still work and haven’t fallen apart.
– for keeping your hands clean. Yeah, right! I bought a box of these when I first started tinkering with alcohol inks, and besides blowing them up and letting them fly across the room occasionally, I don’t use them anymore. I like to get my hands dirty! (I use alcohol for clean-up.)
– I use cheap plastic palettes or paper plates.
– you might want to use a toothpick to really get into nitty gritty details…or to remove that bit of lettuce from your front teeth.
Small applicator bottles
– I bought a few of these because I liked the teeny, tiny metal applicator tip. Some ink painters prefer oiler boilers. (Fun name!) For use with alcohol or blending solution.
– I have used these to wipe an entire sheet of paper before painting, to remove ink, to blend ink, and to clean up fingertips, brushes and other boo-boos.
– you can use a straw to blow ink or alcohol/blending solution around. It’s pretty fun.
OTHER, not pictured:
I’ve used a few other items not pictured or listed above (usually for adding/creating textures):
- wax paper
- saran wrap
- aluminum foil
- old credit card/plastic card
- acrylic gel medium/liquid
- glazing medium
- tissue paper
- mod podge
- paper towels
- colour shapers