Alcohol Ink Painting

what is alcohol ink?

Alcohol ink refers to both the painting medium and the fluid painting technique. Using alcohol ink, you can revive dried ink which means that you can alter or change an unsealed painting at a later time without any problems. 

materials needed

There isn’t much to it since it’s actually quite an easy medium to get started with. The main thing you will need is alcohol ink.

blending solution

You can use a liquid alongside your alcohol ink to help alter the characteristics of your ink. This liquid is called a blending solution, and it is specially developed to help artists lighten colors or create color gradients. 

optional supplies

Drying aids, like hairdryers and ink air blowers, are also great for creating color gradients and speeding up the layering process. Use a cool setting on your hairdryer.


Make sure that you only work with alcohol ink in a well-ventilated room. If you can’t work in a room that is well-ventilated, you can use a breathing mask with a fitted air filter.

surfaces to apply ink to

The painting surfaces needed to use alcohol inks successfully will have to be waterproof and smooth. 

creating gradients

If you put a drop of ink on an area of your surface where you have already placed some blending solution, you can create waves of color or gradients between two colors. 

apply varnish

The easiest varnish to use is a spray varnish. Sealing your artwork with a varnish won’t only protect it from sunlight, but will also stop it from any possible physical and moisture damage.


You will need isopropyl alcohol (at least 91%), disposable gloves, a craft knife, sharpie markers, glass jars, applicator bottles, paper towels, and a tarp.

some tips and tricks

Experiment with allowing the alcohol drink to dry and then layering on top of them rather than let them mix and blend into one another. Take note of how hard you blow or the strength of your hairdryer and how it affects the way your ink spreads. Try using your alcohol ink art for scrapbooking, card making, journaling, or more.