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Tempest – an alcohol ink painting tutorial

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.