Alcohol ink can be a huge and messy ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little rubbing alcohol and a handful of sharpies, you can make really pretty art with vibrant colors that is slightly impressionistic but quite pretty. Alcohol ink is traditionally done with bottles of ink, but nobody has time for that and sharpies are awesome.
What you will need
- Sharpie set in at least a yellow, green or blue, red, dark orange and light orange along with a dark red for optional outline
- Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle
- Wax paper
- Art book
- Surface you don’t mind getting messy
Protecting your table Before Alcohol Ink
Sharpies are known as permanent markers, so make sure all of your surfaces are well protected. This can be done with a cheap plastic tablecloth or by just doing this craft out in the grass.
Protecting your Art Book
If your drawing pad already has drawings you love in it, protect it by isolating the book with plastic wrap and wax paper. Place the wax paper under the page you will be working on and lean it up at an angle for gravity to help do the work for you.
Drawing the Fox Body
Start by tracing a fox online. Since we will be coloring it and make it our own, this is fine, but make sure to give the artist credit if someone asks about it. Tracing will save us time and let us get right into coloring.
Coloring the Alcohol Ink Fox
Use your colors sparingly. Put some dark orange along the spine and such, light yellow around the tummy and nose area.
Spraying the Alcohol Ink Fox
Spray the entire page down with the alcohol. The page needs to be pretty wet for the ink to properly spread without looking too terrible.
Letting the Colors Flow
Leave your art to sit and think about what it has done for about 15 minutes, or until the page is dry. Refrain from using a blowdryer, as sharpies have other chemicals besides alcohol that could be released when you blow dry it, plus alcohol is highly flammable.
Reapplying Alcohol Ink
If the color did not spread dark enough or like you wanted, add more sharpie and keep spraying it until the colors do what they’re supposed to do. It should look something like a weird melty fox.
Making the Background
Color in some blues and greens around the fox, leaving half an inch of room for the ink to spread closer to the fox. Let that drip down and stare at the complete and total mess you have made. Remind yourself that there are worse pieces out there, like the snowman you drew in kindergarten.
Tracing the Outline
Using a dark red thin sharpie, define the outlines of the fox as desired. Or throw the thing away because it is a disappointment and you never want to admit you made that thing.
Clear Coating the Alcohol Ink
If your art is still around, spray it with a clear coat to protect it from getting further ruined or hurting your other drawings.
Congratulations, you now have a really weird looking impressionistic art you threw together in half an hour but looks like you spent days with a watercolor set on. Happy Crafting.