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Metallic ink vs metallic pigment for details on your alcohol ink art

I use both gold metallic alcohol ink and metallic gold pigment (powder) to finish off my alcohol ink creations. They both are great for achieving specific results and today I want to show you what you can achieve with both. Please note those are just examples of uses, I highly encourage you to play around, mix both and go crazy creative :)

First of all remember about safety. Always use gloves when using alcohol ink, make sure room in which you work is well ventilated and if possible use a respiratory mask. If you're working for longer periods of time and don't have a mask, take breaks - go outside and breath in some fresh air :) Make sure to protect your desk as well, alcohol ink stains surfaces easily and often is impossible to remove.

I made two videos to describe the process. Both artwork pieces are made using different techniques, so you'll also see how you can use straws or hair dryer to achieve different results. If you suffer from asthma or have other respiratory issues don't use straws with alcohol ink, you can instead use compressed air (for example from a can).

For the first one, I've added a bit of alcohol ink to synthetic, waterproof paper, added a drop of isopropyl alcohol on top and then blew alcohol on paper using paper straw. You can blow in any direction you want and it should form sort of an abstract flower (at least they are flowers in my mind). Layer colours and create more and more petals. To finish it off I've used gold powdered pigment and since pigment tends to stick to surface in patches I have dropped some ink on top of the pigment and blew again. Thanks to that you will get beautiful shades of colours and small transparency with golden flakes sparking from behind the ink.

As always nothing describes it better than a video so here it is:

Beautiful shine of powdered pigment:

For the second one, I've added a bit of alcohol ink to waterproof paper, added a drop of isopropyl alcohol and then blew it around with a hair dryer. I prefer hair dryers with cold air setting since alcohol won't evaporate as quickly as it would with hot air, hence you will have more time to move ink around. Once you think you're done add a bit of gold ink and dilute it with isopropyl alcohol so it moves easier on paper. Beauty of golden alcohol ink is that you can also draw detail with a brush pen.

Here's a video to describe it better:

Gorgeous alcohol ink details:

To sum up, I don't really have a favourite method, I love them both and they both are worth trying and experimenting with. You can even combine both, possibilities with alcohol ink are almost endless.


Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post,

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