A common question I am asked by other alcohol ink artists is “How do I get some of that softer edging with alcohol inks?” People really love the fading technique and the lighter, more gentle-looking effect it can provide to your creations! In this blog post and video, I will show you exactly how to create those soft and wispy faded edges that are unique to Alcohol Ink Art.
Supplies I Used:
- Alcohol Inks
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Your canvas (Yupo paper or ceramic tile)
- Dropper Bottle or a pipette & cup combination
- Your breath (with or without astraw)
First, as with all alcohol ink creations, ensure you that you are working in a well ventilated area and that you are utilizing the protective equipment that you deem necessary, such as a face mask and/or gloves. Also insure that your canvas is clean and dust free and that your that you have all the supplies you need ready to go in your work area.
Fill your dropper bottle with isopropyl alcohol, or fill your cup if you are using a pipette and cup combination. As you will see in the video, I am using an ultra thin nosed squeeze bottle to apply my isopropyl alcohol, which gives me maximum control.
Whilst alcohol inks tend to have a mind of their own (fun!) particularly when creating abstract works, in order to create the desired effect, we are going to have to up the control a little bit, so get ready for a challenge!
Place a drop of alcohol ink on to your surface and then apply some isopropyl to surround the alcohol ink you just applied. Gently blow the isopropyl into the ink (or bend your paper) and then go the opposite way of blowing the ink back into the isopropyl pool. You want to do this ever so gently so that the ink is light in to the isopropyl, which will provide that transparency and softness.
Continue with this back and forth until you reach your desired affect and add some more ink and alcohol wherever you so choose.
Now you can change and mix-up your colors if you wish and blend the inks and isopropyl into each other. It can be a little nerve racking to mix alternative colors, however the results can also be glorious! If choosing colors from opposing color families, it can be a good idea to test these mixes prior to beginning your project, so as you don’t end up with a completely brown piece – unless of course that is what you’re aiming for!
I generally like the difference in texture, of having more opaque ink areas that give way to softer areas throughout the work… these are not entirely ‘fades’, yet give more of those wispy vibes. You could create a whole faded piece by manipulating and diluting the ink continuously with the isopropyl until it is completely blended; or have a piece that is totally dense in one section to then dwindle into fades. Or you can incorporate your wisps/fades indiscriminately throughout.
Most of all, experiment, have fun and possibly a little patience if it is your first try!
I am a self taught, mixed media, abstract artist, creating from my home studio in Fairfield VIC, Australia. My pieces are mostly inspired by nature and my surrounds, yet also feelings and general thoughts, with a bright and carefree aspect.