Okay you guys, seriously, WTF. I make this pledge to myself to blog EVERY SINGLE DAY with at least one picture of something new, and I do it for a whopping four days before I get distracted, sick, more distracted, more sick.. The list goes on. I also felt weird making the posts about the same project at the same time in two different places, so I have to think about how I am going to do this. In the meantime, let’s turn to our regularly scheduled programming, already in progress!
ALCOHOL INKS. They have been the bane of my existence for the last few weeks. I have been catching up on the Lifebook workshop, which has lots of awesome mixed media techniques (and lots of journaling and other sorts of self-healing stuff, which I’m not so into – I am very good at swallowing my emotions, tyvm!), and there are so many different supplies that I just don’t have, and I have become obsessed with spraying stuff on stuff. There’s water-based ink and alcohol ink and paint and omg SPRAY IT ON THERE DO IT.
SO. A few weeks ago I made some sprays with watered-down acrylic. That works really good, but it’s really opaque. There are times for opacity and times for no opacity. I also ordered some Distress Inks and spray bottles, and those are awesome BUT they’re water-based, so they will reactivate and blend when you throw some acrylic, watercolor, Neocolor, or gesso on top. Again, there are times when that will work and times when it won’t work (although I will say that the dauber tips on the bottles are sort of genius with the added bonus of making me feel like I’m playing Bingo without worrying about getting bitchslapped by an old lady). I figured if I could make some alcohol inks, my Axis of Evil would be complete and I could obtain world domination by making EVERYTHING TURQUOISE!
There are a lot of tutorials on ye olde interwebs for DIY alcohol inks. None of them worked for me. I probably did it wrong, but OMG SO FRUSTRATING. Check this out, my first try:
Granted this is an Instagram and overly-processed and artsyfartsy, but those colors are really not what I was aiming for. They’re washed out and yuck. I wanted OMG MY EYES IT BURNS US, PRECIOUS. I like the way they reacted with each other, but… meh. I made these by soaking the innards of permanent markers (the Bic version of Sharpies) in 91% alcohol. I let them soak for about two hours and then squeezed the hell out of them with a pair of pliers, but the result was less than spectacular.
Next I tried fabric dye. Many tutorials recommended using RIT (either powdered or liquid, liquid for a less-grainy result) dissolved in alcohol, but I didn’t have any RIT and couldn’t find any in my backwards little town. The local grocery store did have about 20 bottles of Canary Yellow liquid RIT but no other colors. Someone around here dyes a lot of stuff pee-yellow, apparently! I did have some reactive fiber dyes that worked okay once I remembered that I had to dissolve them in water before mixing with alcohol – the water makes the magic happen. The result was about the same as the picture above – a little brighter but still… meh.
THEN I read this tutorial about making spray inks, and a little choir of cross-dressing Santas started singing in my head. She uses Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink, which is waterproof and permanent. DOUBLE YAY. Even though the tutorial says to use water, I figured I’d try one with alcohol and, if it didn’t work, I’d just suck it up and use water. I ordered set #2, got them in the mail today, and HOLY CRAP THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL (fyi, there isn’t a green in the set I bought, but a mix of aqua and yellow ochre makes a perfect green). I ended up using between half to 2/3 of the bottle for each 2 ounce spray bottle and filled the rest of the bottle with alcohol. Check this crap out:
They are not QUITE that bright – the weird lighting in the room I’m in combined with shadows and general persnicketyness of my camera and computer led to the acid trip on paper you see above, but WOW. This is what I’m talking about!
In other news, here are some pictures of the completed Matryoshka set I was blathering on about last week:
and IN OTHER NEWS, I have gotten three acceptance letters since I received the denial letter that led to the “woe is me sad panda” rejection post last week, so, even though today I feel like someone replaced my stomach with a twisty-stabby muckmonster from planet Hfjoiax, I am no longer such a depressed bamboo-muncher.
Also, sorry about the lack of line art yesterday. I’ll make it up to you next week!