Iris Flower in Alcohol Ink

Happy Tuesday, my friend! I just took a leap over the weekend, and joined the Alcohol Ink Art Society. Now, I was already a member of the ‘Community’, which is free to join. But right now, they have an awesome special – if you join the Society, you get $30 off the lifetime fee, PLUS free registration to the Fall 2020 Conference! Well, I couldn’t pass up such a deal – so I signed up! Read on, to find out what inspired me to do today’s iris flower in alcohol ink.


The Community membership, which is free, is awesome for everyone – beginners and experienced alike. There are videos, chats, and a Community Facebook group for sharing. However, the Society membership gives you access to the Conferences at reduced prices, plus loads of FREE exclusive membership tutorials by amazing alcohol ink artists! There is also an exclusive Facebook group for Society members, for more tips, techniques and sharing of projects and ideas. So really, I think how ‘deep’ you want to dive into alcohol ink art will determine which group you should join. As I said, I joined the Community group about 6-8 months ago. But, I’ve really enjoyed myself creating with alcohol inks, and want to get more ‘in depth’, and improve my skills.  To read about the Conference, the Community and Society memberships, CLICK HERE.  Maybe I’ll see you at the on-line Fall conference?!


So, one of the tutorials that is available for Society members is a gorgeous piece in the Van Gogh style, of iris flowers. It’s quite detailed, with several large flowers and filled background. So I thought I’d start with just a single iris, and work my way up!  I used an outline from Let’s Make Art for the single iris, and made up my own colours.

Iris Flower in Alcohol Ink

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out – what do you think about it? I’d love to read your comments – please leave me one, on this post.


Start with a 5″ x 7″ piece of Yupo, and sketch out the iris with pencil.  Next, colour in the background. To achieve the texture, pick up the ink with a small brush, and ‘dab’ it onto the Yupo. The ink will make small blooms, giving you the texture look. Be sure not to have much alcohol in your brush, otherwise the blooms will be too large, and you’ll get a smoother background. The colours I chose are from Ranger, Limeade, Willow and Sunshine Yellow.

With very little alcohol used, the background dries very quickly. Next, start on your petals. I use the Ranger alcohol ink brushes, as I don’t want to ruin my watercolour brushes with  the harsh alcohol. I also have a set of small detail brushes from Amazon. Start with the darker areas first, adding a bit more alcohol to lighten the colours. Of course, most flowers aren’t a solid colour, so I used a combination. The darkest blue is Pinata Sapphire Blue. I also use Cool Peri and Purple Twilight, from Ranger.

For the flower stems, I mixed Ranger Latte with Willow, and used a touch of Sunshine Yellow. The yellow portion on the flower petals is also done in Sunshine Yellow, with the tiniest bit of Willow mixed in. Just like regular paints, you can create your own colours by mixing the alcohol ink colours. Doing this gives you a look that is more personal to your work, and sets you apart from a  painting that might be done with the same image outline.

Iris Flower in Alcohol Ink


I worked on this piece during an afternoon, and then left it overnight. I always like to take a break from a piece I’m working on. When I come back after a break, I find that with ‘fresh eyes’ I see areas that I want to tweak, add or take away from.  When I came back to this iris the next morning, I was quite pleased with it. I only lightened up a few areas, and adding a bit more  ink to the stems. Sorry – I didn’t do before and after photos, so you’re just seeing the ‘after’.

Iris Flower in Alcohol Ink

I’ve decided that I’m going to do a series of flowers! Now I’ve done this iris, and I’m going to do the ‘Van Gogh’ iris tutorial. I’ve also done the watercolour sunflower HERE, as well as several poppies in watercolour on Yupo. You can see those HERE and HERE.  I’ve also done a large poppy in watercolour, you can see in THIS POST.  What other type of flower would you like to see? Do you prefer watercolour, or alcohol ink? I do don’t or have acrylics, so that’s out!


You really should give alcohol inks a try! Whether you start with abstracts, or go with painting objects or nature, you’ll enjoy the unexpected results that you get. The vibrancy of the colours, for one thing, is so awesome! Even on watercolour paper, the inks retain their vibrancy.  Let me know what you think of my iris in alcohol inks, and what type of flower I should include in my series!  Thanks for spending time with me today! I hope that you’ve enjoyed seeing my iris flower in alcohol ink.

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Written by 

I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

5 thoughts on “Iris Flower in Alcohol Ink

  1. OH MY GOODNESS, DEBORAH SMART! You just blew me away, girl! Wow, Deb! Your iris is gorgeous! It is stunning! Deb, alcohol inks are totally your jam, my friend.

    1. Aww, thank you, Mari! You really know how to pump up a girl’s ego 😉 I’m glad that you like this alcohol ink iris. (spoiler alert – I’m working on a bigger one!)

  2. This is absolutely stunning. Beautiful. Lovely use of space. Such detail. I love the way it is positioned on the sheet.

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