So, as I mentioned yesterday, I made some homemade alcohol inks. I THOUGHT these were going to be amazing, and then I did a bunch of testing and thought they were a complete failure, but then I did some more
testing and decided maybe I have a place for them in my art after all. And since living with a 5th grade boy makes me think and speak like a 5th grade boy, I sum up the experiment this way:
I first heard mention of this in a facebook group a few weeks ago and put it on my list of things I should look into. Then I read about it again on TJ's blog
and decided to actually do it. So I found this video
on You-Tube (which I watched just enough of to get the basic idea of how to do it and then turned it off. given my mixed results, maybe I should have watched the whole video and followed it up with her part 2 instructions)
The bullet points:
- break open a sharpie and soak the inky insert in some rubbing alcohol.
I bought cheap travel sized spray bottles and a big bottle of rubbing alcohol and raided my abundant stash of sharpies (many of which were inherited when my office closed a few years ago so I didn't pay anything for them)
It was quick and easy (and smelly and a little messy) and the colors were VIBRANT!
So then I set about testing them on a bunch of different surfaces. I took a file folder and attached various papers and tapes and started spraying. TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT. The colors were muted - some almost non-existent. And the SMELL. Man-oh-man it smelled like a hospital ward. For hours. (Oddly the cat was fascinated by this and hovered near the smelly papers all afternoon).
Here are the results of my experiments:
Clockwise from upper left: water color paper, cereal box covered in gesso, plain cereal box, book page, copy paper, card stock
Clockwise from upper left: Tyvek (which has been ironed), masking tape, aluminum tape, clear packing tape.
I called it a day at this point and nearly dumped them down the drain in disappointment.
But I took up the cause again this morning and had better results. I noticed that the colors were most vibrant on bright white, smooth, not-too-absorbant paper, so I started there.
Here's a test palette on some mixed media paper (with the corresponding sharpie color for comparison)
I tried it with some stencils on cheap copy paper. Not bad:
Then I tried yellow, orange and red in a cheap sketchbook and filled it up with notes on what I'd learned.
easy to write over it
permanent - doesn't smudge when reworked
overlapping colors blend well
gives a nice effect with stencils
colors are muted
bleeds through to the other side of most papers
beads up on plastic and metal surfaces. it dries and leaves the color in little droplets
did I mention smelly?
Final assessment: not what I'd hoped for, but if I can tolerate the smell I will use it to create some interesting background effects.
If any of you have experience with homemade inks leave me a comment.