Painting with Alcohol Ink

design team - theresa painting Jun 02, 2021
How to paint using alcohol ink

In this alcohol ink tutorial I will be sharing a beginner project to get you started. While this tutorial is primarily aimed at beginners, there are a couple advanced alcohol ink techniques that I also share in order for you to explore and get more familiar with the medium. This abstract medium allows you to play as you watch how the colors whimsically fold into one another like magic.

Friend, my name is Theresa Haddow and I am so excited to be a part of The Pigeon Letters Design Team and to share my skills with you. Let's dive in!


Pssst...if you prefer watching the tutorial and hearing my chit-chat, watch the video!





DISCLAIMER: Please note that due to the high flammability of the Isopropyl Alcohol you are advised to practice this medium in a well ventilated area, away from flames and high heat. 


Step 1: Drop Alcohol on Paper and Drip Ink Inside

The alcohol is what is used to get the pigment moving across the surface. By placing the alcohol down first, you are allowing the color to move freely.




Once you're done with your no doubt beautiful painting, make sure to share and tag @theresahaddow and @thepigeonletters. And to make editing your final photos SO much easier, grab yourself some Pigeon Presets for Lightroom - you won't regret it!


Step 2: Use Alcohol Ink Blower

By blowing air on the pigment, you are able to move the color and explore all the different shades and dimensions you can create. You can also add more alcohol to make the color less concentrated and make it spread more easily. 




Step 3: Add More Alcohol and a Second Color

Move to a blank spot on your surface and follow steps 1 and 2 to incorporate the Wild Plum and see if you can get it to mix a little with Stream. You will notice the magic colors you can make!




Step 4: Fill in Surface with Alcohol and Third Color

Watch how these colors blend together. One of the reasons why I invest in Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink sets is because I never have to guess if the colors will blend well together, they all are seamless and work beautifully. 




Step 5: Admire Your Work!

Once you are done blending and playing, set your painting aside to dry. You will want to seal your work so it doesn’t get ruined, alcohol ink always needs to be sealed to protect it from getting reactivated by products that may contain alcohol.

There are a number of sealing options that are available. One option is resin, but I warn you, it can be a little messy. Other options are Mod Podge or Krylon Spray (make sure to check the ingredients in whatever sealant you are using and ensure it does not contain any alcohol). 

Thanks for painting along, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!





Theresa is a wife and mama who is passionate about sharing the joy of making fun things through her craft subscription bo.  for kids, The Create Kit, and her virtual watercolor classes. When she's not sharing the freedom that creativity brings into our lives, you can find her experimenting with her own art pieces. Check out more of her tutorials here!


Have you tried creating abstracts digitally? Give it a shot with some abstract florals or throw in a few playful fruits.

Come back to this tutorial any time - just pin below!