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Spring Synapses – an alcohol ink painting tutorial

Spring Synapses
Cyndi Lavin, 2018

This alcohol ink piece gave me a chance to experiment with several methods of adding details to a background.

The background was first created by starting with 91% rubbing alcohol all over the page.  I dropped small puddles of analogous alcohol ink colors into the plain alcohol and allowed them to spread and mix and mingle.  In a few areas, I directed traffic, but mostly I just let them do what they wanted.

When it was dry (which doesn't take that long!), I added several layers of embellishments.  I started with India ink, which does not reactivate the alcohol inks.  My favorite is the waterproof black India ink which I can apply using small pipettes.  Aiming directly at the center of the small puddle, I used a straw to forcefully blow the ink outwards in all directions.

After my initial ink splots were dry, I added more smaller tendrils with a fine point black Pitt Pen.  Pitt Pens are India ink based, so they also do not reactivate the alcohol.  The final touch, the white dots, were applied by Posca Paint markers, another opaque water-based pen that also pair well with alcohol inks.     

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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.