Exploring new art materials
I have found a perfect partner to create lovely loose designs for fabrics – Alcohol Ink.
I know that many artists have already discovered this lovely medium, but this is a first for me.
To be honest I have not given them a great deal of attention because they are dye based.
I have always classed dye based mediums as fugitive and avoided using them.
But to use for creating prints they are perfect especially if you love colour and abstract designs.
Alcohol Ink Art – Basic Materials
I started with some very basic materials of, alcohol ink, isopropyl alcohol, blending solution and Yupo Paper.
For those of you who have never heard of Yupo, it is a synthetic paper extruded from polypropylene pellets.
It is effectively a plastic paper that is non absorbent for using with alcohol inks and watercolours.
I purchase my inks and yupo from Jacksons Art Supplies who now have their own range of alcohol inks.
Their range of colours is excellent and based on my experience so far compare very well to the more well know brands.
I had no plan or expectation on what to produce, or even how to use the ink.
My only goal being to experiment and have some fun.
Because of the nature of the medium and the painting substrate, as a beginner you have absolutely no control.
For me this is really the main reason for experimenting with this medium.
I have experimented for some time with different materials to make my paintings looser in style and more colourful.
To move in this direction can be quite challenging especially after creating wildlife paintings with lots of detail.
So after numerous attempts I was pleased to have what most of us call beginners luck!
This is the piece of work that I created after several attempts:
Yupo – Reusable Substrate
The great thing with Yupo for beginners, is that you can wipe it almost clean with alcohol and start again.
Using neat alcohol wipes away all of those muddy experiments and learning curves with reasonable ease.
The inks are like many other mediums in that some are more staining than others, so you do not get back to the white of the paper.
Alcohol Ink – Pattern Design
I like to create simple illustrations using traditional and digital media.
I then use those designs to create simple and repeating patterns in Photoshop.
If you are interested in those take a look at some of my previous blog posts, and products and textiles I have used them on.
To try and make use of this first piece of alcohol ink art, I would have to use it as a stand alone design.
To obtain an acceptable file that can be used for fabric creation, the image needs to be scanned at a very high resolution.
The resolution dictates what size and quality print you are able to achieve.
The larger you can digitise the file the better as this gives you more options for printing larger pieces of work or products.
So I was depending on my trusty scanner to achieve a satisfactory high enough resolution as the original piece of work is quite small.
Bedding Sets & Duvet Covers
So the final decision after successfully obtaining a good quality file at a high resolution was to try and use the design on some bedding.
The loose almost dreamy like forms made by the inks are I think perfect for bedding.
But would look as equally attractive on items such as silk scarves, bags or clothing.
I hope you like this piece of art and it inspires you to experiment with some alcohol inks of your own.
Heads up for anyone following the Jacksons Art Supply link – the link provides access via my affiliate link.
If you purchase product from them via the link, they award me a small commission to offset against my own art material purchases.