Alcohol Ink Painting: Get Art Smart Without Trying

Let Go and Play

Do you know that you can create awesome art work without thinking hard or even trying?

You only need two simple ingredients to start off:

  • Let go of your inhibitions
  • Be playful.

(Of course, you’ll need materials to make this  project possible.)

I’ll show you.

It’s a super easy and highly-doable creative project that I did as part of Kelly McCausey’s 2020 Stretch Yourself Challenge.

Last week, Kelly invited each of the over 100 challengers to find at least 90 minutes of free time to do something new.

Some ideas that she suggested were…

  • Try a new food.
  • Listen to new music.
  • Walk/hike a new path.
  • Try a new guided meditation.
  • Do a chair yoga class on YouTube.
  • Learn a silly dance on TikTok.

To go with it were points to reflect on:

  • Why did you choose what you chose?
  • How did it feel?
  • Why haven’t you tried it sooner?
  • What would you have loved to do instead if it were possible?
  • What would make that possible?

I had two quick options in mind: Explore a new cuisine or tackle an art project I’ve never done.

I went with the latter, which is alcohol ink painting.

Your Alcohol Ink Painting Instruments: Achieve Great Results

I learned about alcohol ink painting last year when our family went to a local art show. Someone posted at the community board about a paid course on drawing flowers with alcohol ink. For some reason, I didn’t go.


I really wanted to attend that but I guess I chickened out or just got plain lazy or didn’t want to pay the fee.

To address my fear of missing out, I scoured YouTube and Skillshare for how-to videos.

I then bought and collected all the materials needed to create art from alcohol ink:

  • Yupo paper (or alternative like Brea Reese )
  • Alcohol ink
  • Alcohol 91% or 99% for blending
  • Mister
  • Stamper for textures
  • Straw
  • Hair dryer
  • Improvised dropper
  • Paint brush
  • Container.

Almost a year later, I was still thinking about doing it until Kelly’s invitation to take a break.

Have a look at my results…

All I did were the following steps:

  • Drop alcohol ink on Yupo or Brea Rees paper
  • Blow on the ink using a straw to drive it to the direction that I wanted the paint to go.
  • Spray or drop alcohol over the ink and paper to spread easily or create droplet effects.
  • Use the hair dryer to dry the liquid (although I stopped after getting a dull result).
  • Do the same steps until you get your desired results.

(Here’s a tip: Start out with two colors that blend well. Each one gives you various shades from dark to light, and the combo can give you another color.)

That’s about it.


A Whole New World with Alcohol Ink Painting

My first experimentation with alcohol ink painting led me to discover a brand new possibility.

Here are my takeaway from that brief encounter with alcohol ink…

  • Alcohol ink together with Yupo paper has a mind of its own, it does the work for you!
  • At the minimum, you just need to know what colors blend in nicely to avoid muddy results but you’ll know that later while experimenting.
  • Anyone regardless of age, skills, or background can do it.
  • Zero  experience is totally fine.
  • Alcohol ink painting is fun, therapeutic and so easy to get sucked in.
  • Create various products for personal use or to sell!

Overall, you’ll be amazed with the stress-relief experience and gorgeous results that you get.


Alcohol Ink Painting: Take It to the Next Level

If you want to learn about alcohol ink painting, I recommend creating a premium account at Skillshare for a 2-month free access (and, yes, cancel anytime).

Check these alcohol ink painting courses, a few of over 42 related courses available:

Try YouTube, too.

I’m not done with alcohol ink painting yet. It’s fun and addictive. I’ll create more art work and circle back once I implement my next steps to take it to a new level.

If you’re curious about the 2020 Stretch Yourself Challenge, read about it in my recent blog post HERE.

Yes, you can still take part in it in a unique way.

My blog post tells you how.

Comments on Alcohol Ink Painting: Get Art Smart Without Trying

  1. Sky says:

    This art technique is super cool. Can this be done digitally with a similar effect??
    Super talented, you are!

  2. Those designs are beautiful, Maria! You have me wanting to give it a try. (With shades of green and blue, of course!) You really took great advantage of that extra credit opportunity. I love that it gave you just the right incentive to take action on a project you already wanted to do.

    1. Maria says:

      I squeezed out every drop of it. 🙂
      Try it some time and feel proud even if it takes mostly dropping ink on paper and blowing the straw. It's a great way to create or embellish a product including printables and card decks.

      Thanks for coming, Teresa!

  3. puzzler says:

    That looks like good fun and it also looks like something that even I could do! It's great to have something you can do as a relaxation and that could also be used in your business too.

    1. Maria says:

      I's like hitting many targets with one tiny stone. Go for it and do let me know how it goes. I assure you, you'll love it!

      Thanks for coming. 🙂

  4. Amanda Myers says:

    Wow. I absolutely love this idea. I want to try it too.

    1. Maria says:

      It's so easy to do even with just one or two alcohol inks, which are inexpensive. There are so many possibilities with it (and styles or techniques to use). Let me know how with goes for you, Amanda. Thank you!

  5. Virginia Reeves says:

    Looks like you had fun Maria. The colors and patterns are lively. Good for you for stepping up to a challenge and following up on a previous interest..

    1. Maria says:

      I had so much fun and great insights! I could easily take it on to relieve stress AND create products at the same time.

      Thanks so much, Virginia!

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