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Hi, I'm Cyndi, and I've been writing and updating  Mixed Media Artist since 2005.  If you're a new visitor, welcome! Come tr...

Monday, July 16, 2018

Lazarus Rising – an alcohol ink painting tutorial

Lazarus Rising
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

This piece was painted using the same method as Fire on High, dripping alcohol inks onto a dry background and working on a small section at a time.  Visit the link to Fire on High for more precise instructions!



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Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Tempest – an alcohol ink painting tutorial

Tempest
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

A piece like this uses a combination of wet and "dry" techniques.  Of course, alcohol inks are wet by nature, but it's possible to add smaller details with a damp brush and the most concentrated inks late in the process.

For Tempest, I started with a fairly heavy application of inks with a brush. After allowing them to dry, I used a squeeze bottle with rubbing alcohol to drip a small section at a time, blowing it with a heat gun.  You can use a hair drying instead.  You can also experiment with using either 91% rubbing alcohol or a blending solution in your bottle.  In some sections, I let the inks spread a bit before blowing; in others, I began blowing right away.  Variety!

The final steps after if was dry was to adjust the color with a barely damp brush.  If you drip out a drop or two of ink onto a plastic palette and let it evaporate, you can reactivate the pure ink sediment with a brush.  In this case, a brush that is barely dampened in 91% rubbing alcohol. 


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Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Morning Mist – an alcohol ink painting tutorial

Morning Mist
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

Here is another watercolor-look technique you can try with alcohol inks.  First, choose the colors you want to use, and mix up a small batch of each in a squeeze bottle.  You can use either 91% rubbing alcohol or a blending solution to make a very dilute mixture of each color you plan to use. 

Apply the inks, one color at a time to your paper, and use either a hair dryer, or a heat gun to move them around.  Adding the next color will reactivate the dried inks, so be careful about your placement and direction of blowing.  The little dots were adding later with a cotton swab.


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Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Semi-controlled wet-in-wet method with alcohol inks – a tutorial


Alcohol inks can be used in a similar way to watercolors, where they are dripped and manipulated on a wet substrate.  In this case, it would be wet with either 91% rubbing alcohol or a blending solution.  But there is a variation on this method that I want to show you, because you can get just a bit more control over what happens with just a slight change in technique!


Put your rubbing alcohol into a squeeze bottle and use it to make a design line on your page.  Right next to this line, but not quite touching, add lines and/or drops of alcohol inks.  Then use a straw, a hair dryer, or a heat gun to sharply blow the inks up into the rubbing alcohol line.  Manipulate them as desired and let them dry slightly.  Add more lines and more ink as desired, working either in from the other edge of the paper, or continuing along the edge of the inks already added.

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Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Infinity rings - an alcohol ink tutorial


I had been wondering how people got multiple rings to form with alcohol inks.  Simply plopping an additional drop of ink into an already formed ring was not doing the trick, and more often was resulting in the original ring dissolving!  YouTube to the rescue :-)

It takes some practice, but it's really not difficult.  You'll want to work in one small area at a time, and when you begin, keep your starting puddles somewhere between the size of a quarter and a half dollar coin.  Follow these simple steps:

1. Put a drop or two of ink into a small puddle of 91% alcohol.  Use a squeeze bottle for your plain alcohol to control the amount.

2. Use a hair drier or a heat gun to blow around the outside of the puddle, pointing it towards the center. Move the air quickly so that the ink doesn't dry in one spot.  Try for multiple rings, and try not to let the moving alcohol lap over the edges of your puddle.

3. If you don't get as many rings as you'd like, add a small drop of additional ink to the center and repeat step 2.


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This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Book review: Artful Alphabets


Artful Alphabets
by Joanne Sharpe

Joanne Sharpe has done it again!  In her first book (shown below), Joanne taught the basics of creating hand lettered alphabets that didn't take years of calligraphy practice to master.  In her newest (shown above), she shares 55 new ideas and fonts that you can try, tweak, and make your own!

If you don't own the first book, don't let that stop you from getting Artful Alphabets.  The basics are covered again.  Joanne's style is light and whimsical, but you can easily morph the imagery being used to suit your own style.  Personally, I have always disliked my own handwriting, and I really appreciate Joanne's admonition to embrace it and see what comes out!  The biggest adjustment I've had to make is to remember that I am *drawing* my letters, not simply writing them!





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Monday, June 11, 2018

Wet into dry method with alcohol inks - a tutorial


Last week, I showed you the first of several techniques that I've been using to experiment with alcohol inks.  Here are some of the other pieces that I made using this wet into dry method.


To recap, you drip your alcohol ink colors onto a dry background.  They can sit there and dry, or you can begin working with them while they're still wet.  Using 91% rubbing alcohol in a squeeze bottle, you add the solvent to one small area at a time, manipulating the running inks with a blower.  You can use a hair dryer (set on cool), canned air, a heat gun (at a distance), or even just a straw.


One of the things I most like about this method is the airy, wispy, ethereal look that you can get.

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This post contains affiliate links: Dick Blick

Copyright 2018 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. The tutorial only may be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.
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