Alcohol inks

A while ago I bought some Adirondack alcohol inks and some Yupo synthetic paper after watching some videos on YouTube. I didn’t really get a chance to play with them so over Christmas break I had a go. It was great fun!



The Yupo paper is like very thin plastic and this means the ink doesn’t absorb into the paper and you can get great effects. Using alcohol inks with the Yupo means that the alcohol will evaporate relatievely quickly and leave the pigment on the paper.

On my first attempt I dropped the inks onto the surface but they didn’t really move around much and I couldn’t get the effects I’d seen on the internet. After watching a video I discovered that pouring some alcohol onto the paper before the inks allows them to move around and mix. I used methylated spirits which has a light blue tinge but this didn’t seem to affect the inks. I think you can buy clear alcohol (not the drinkable kind, this has too much water added) in the UK without this colouring as rubbing alcohol or isopropanol, maybe from chemists. I’m pretty sure meths is coloured as a deterrent for people trying to add it to drink as it makes you go blind. I can’t imagine pure isopropanol does much for you either though!

If you are interested I suggest searching for videos with alcohol inks and or yupo of which there are many.

So I chucked some meths on and then dropped some of the indigo on. I used the hair dryer to swish it about and it began to dry quite quickly. The good thing about the paper is that it doesn’t absorb the pigment so you can re-wet with a couple of drop of alcohol and move it all around again. I used a dropper for this. I then added some Sunshine yellow ink and a few drops of Purple Twighlight. I kept dropping meths and ink on and drying.


This picture shows the ink dried, the blue was actually much darker when it was wet. It was fascinating watching it slowly expand as it mixed with the ink underneath.



I found that by tapping the ink bottle, much smaller drops could be expressed which didn’t take over so much.


I tried adding a drop of water but it just separated out. The 2 green blobs are mineral oil with Mermaid dropped into to it. I used the tip of the dropper to draw the ink out at teh edges which was quite interesting. The oil also separated out though and looked a bit weird.


i did a few more experiments too…


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