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Alcohol Ink Materials

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

This isn't a list of all possible materials, it's just a list of things I use! There's loads of alternatives that might work the same (or better), so please do your own research.


I'll link to some products to make it easier for you to find. I set up an affiliate thing so if you purchase through an Amazon link it helps support me at no extra cost to you!


Alcohol inks



Piñata Alcohol Inks by Jacquard

Bright, concentrated inks that stay very true to colour when diluted. A little goes a long way, and it's fun to mix the inks together to make your own custom colours. Their brass ink is my favourite metallic ink. The set linked here includes Brass and some of my favourite colours like Teal and Blue-Violet.


Ranger by Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks

Lots of colour options, and inks that reveal new colours when you dilute them with isopropyl alcohol. Often sold in 3-colour packs, like these ones.  This is handy as the colours tend to work well together, but can be annoying too when it forces you to buy a 3-pack just for one colour - for example I got this pack just for a new bottle of Currant.


They have lots of colour options, and they tend to bleed out undertones and entirely new colours when mixed with isopropyl/blending solution. Can be frustrating if it catches you by surprise, but I actually love the effects it creates!


Copic Marker Ink Refills

A huge range of colour options. Can be hard to know which ones to get and they are not as concentrated as some other brands. You can get some on Amazon but I prefer to buy a bunch of them from Blick here.



Brass Alcohol Ink

My FAVOURITE thing ever is Brass by Jacquard - When starting you can try the small bottles but after you try it and fall in love, you’ll probably want the large bottles like me, as they're much better value.


Synthetic Papers

Yupo paper by Legion

I normally use medium thickness but a lot of people prefer Yupo heavy as it's thicker and can withstand higher temperatures for longer, without warping. Can stain very easily with certain ink colours. Available in different shapes and sizes, click the image below to find on Amazon!

I started out getting notepads but when you get truly addicted to inks you might want to get a Yupo roll. You need to cut it up in advance to let it flatten but it's amazing having different size options, and it's better value!


Nara Paper

Similar to Yupo but a little cheaper. Different size, shape, and even colour options. It's prone to staining too but it's possible to wipe cleaner than Yupo by scrubbing with a tissue, isopropyl and a little elbow grease. Some inks are a lot harder to wipe off.



Stone Paper

I've only tried this once from my local art store, so I can only speak for that brand. I used this stone paper with great success, found it very similar to Yupo. So if you want to try stone paper I think it should work!



Ranger by Tim Holtz Yupo

I got this brand of Yupo cardstock when I first started out, as the small size was perfect for practicing techniques without committing to a whole painting. They also offer some different colour options that I haven't tried but might be interesting to try. There's a YouTube video of Tim Holtz demonstrating different Ranger surfaces available here.



General Tools and materials

Hairdryer

A travel hairdryer or a hairdryer under 1600 watts is what I recommend. Why? It’s easier to control the inks with a weaker, less powerful hairdryer.

I use a very old Philips hairdryer I found for $5 in a thrift store! I have heard a lot of proficient artists recommend the following but I have not tried it personally.

Revlon Ceramic Hot Air Brush (remove the brush attachments)



99% Isopropyl Alcohol

I always use 99% isopropyl alcohol, and I just use whatever brand is cheapest in my neighbourhood. I attached an (overpriced) example on Amazon so you know what to look for - but I'd say your best bet is to find it in a dollar store or pharmacy near where you live.


Respirator Mask

I wear this 3M half face mask when I use alcohol inks, varnish or resin, and find it comfy and well fitted. You'll also need Organic Vapor cartridges, I use the ones below as they match the respirator. They remove the smell of alcohol etc and filter out dangerous fumes and vapors. I love my mask and always wear it... Safety first!

Here is the link to the mask and cartridges on the Canadian Amazon website.


Plastic Applicator Bottles

Small needle-tip applicator bottles are amazing for applying isopropyl to the page and also for mixing your own custom colours. I can't remember the exact ones I got but they were similar to these ones:


Squeeze Bottle/Ink Blower

The first image is an ink blower made for pushing inks around the page instead of using a straw. The second image is what I personally use - a sauce squeeze bottle that I had lying about the house. I haven't tried to ink blower so can't compare them but my sauce bottle seems to work perfectly. Just wanted to give you multiple options!



Nitrile Gloves

Isopropyl dries out your skin and inks stain it, so nitrile gloves are a great idea. I don't always wear them because I try to just be careful and I don't mind having inky fingertips, but depending on the project I might need them. Plus they're 100% necessary for resin work!


Gold leaf

I use this imitation gold leaf from Amazon because it came with different colour options for about the same price. It lasts ages and you can use leftover bits in resin!


Adhesive

The easiest way to glue down the gold leaf is with Mona Lisa Adhesive Size and then you should seal it so it doesn't tarnish. I use either resin or Mona Lisa Sealer which I can only find in a set like the one below, but you can probably find in your local art store too!



Coasters

Wood

I use wood rounds and cork bases. I don't see the original one I purchased on Amazon but it was similar to these.


Acrylic

Wood coasters involve a LOT of steps so I also recommend acrylic blanks as a surface for coasters, as you can ink directly onto them (and wipe clean). Crystal, an alcohol ink artist, makes and sells these on Etsy in a variety of shapes, including hexagons. They're so easy to use!


Tile

A lot of people use tiles as coasters, I haven't tried them myself but I know you need to use glazed white tiles like these. They can be wiped clean and are next on my list to try.


Art Panel

I also tried Tim Holtz Hexagon Art Panels and found them very easy to paint on!


Liquid Leaf

A liquid gold leaf I use to paint the edges of resin coasters. I use it on the edges of wood coaster too, it's a bit less shiny because the wood is porous, but it still looks great. It's pretty smelly so I only use it outside.


Painter's tape

I use a blue masking tape to keep the edges and underside of coasters resin-free.


Sealing

Krylon Kamar Varnish

I use 3-4 layers to be safe, and let it dry for at least a day before adding UV spray. Could only find a 6-pack on Amazon so you might have better luck at your local art store.


Krylon UV Spray

I use 1-2 layers depending on if I'll be using resin.


ArtResin

I use ArtResin for fine art because it's relatively easy to work with and looks amazing.


CounterCulture DIY

For coasters I use CounterCulture DIY Artist Resin because it's more heat resistant. It also looks amazing when finished but has a shorter working time.



Thank you for reading!

I hope this list was helpful and although I can’t guarantee these will work for you, they're things I use regularly, and recommend from my own experience. Have a wonderful day and leave a comment if you have any questions!


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