Marabu Alcohol Inks

Featured In / July 2021 ScrawlrBox

We realise you may have never seen or used products like this before so we have put together a few hints, tips and techniques to test out and get the best from these supplies.

These Alcohol-based, permanent inks take fluid painting to a whole new level, offering unlimited design possibilities with their wide range of flow techniques. The brilliantly bold and bright colours are quick-drying, acid-free and can also be mixed to create your own colour combinations. These inks are best used on a non-absorbent paper, but they can also be used on any smooth, non-absorbent surfaces such as glass, metal, ceramic or porcelain. The creative possibilities and applications are endless.

Things To Try...

~ Before you get started it’s worth noting you should protect your work surface... Ink stains everything! Including hands so gloves are recommended. It’s also handy to have some paper towels or a rag to absorb ink.

~ Alcohol ink lids are notoriously difficult to remove – try pressing the cap on its side with your thumb unit it pops open, then remove.

~ Gently does it! Tip the inks slowly to avoid ink spray when adding to the page, and when raising back off the page.

~ If you want to mix the colours, it’s best to use a palette or pot to mix inks before adding to the page.

~ Use the straw to create a ‘whispy’ effect. Blow gently through the straw to move the ink around the page - switch up the direction to get the full effect. Try not to breathe in, its best to avoid inhaling the fumes!!!

~ The extender will help blend and move inks and can reactivate them once dried - just like water into watercolour paints.

~ Let the inks dry on the page then activate small sections with the extender for better control. You can also work back in with extender to lighten/remove inks colours.

~ To create a dot/drip pattern, use the wrong end of the paint brush to dot on the extender into your artwork.

~ BONUS TIP: Try using a black fineliner to add some line work. Solvent based markers are best, like a Sharpie... We know this isn’t included and technically cheating for the challenge, but we will let you off this once. 

Notes From The Artist 

Jess Kirkman

An important note about alcohol inks is: let the inks guide you, not the other way around. Alcohol inks are all about letting go of control, so go with that uncomfortable feeling of the medium. Be patient with yourself and know that learning the ins and outs of a specific medium takes time.

Use more alcohol/extender on your piece when you are first starting out. This will allow the inks to blend together in special ways and from there, you can add details as the piece dries.

Don’t expect to pick the medium up immediately. Practice a lot to get familiar with the medium and learn how the inks work, almost scientifically before you try to create anything specific.

Using colours that you know will blend well together is a nice way into using inks. The Magenta and Caribbean blue will create a beautiful purple when blended.

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