Mandarin Drake in Alcohol Ink

Happy Monday! Okay – sorry – I didn’t mean to be *too* cheerful, for a Monday *wink*. I’m just happy that I’ve finally carved out some time to work on a new alcohol ink tutorial! You may remember when I posted last month about the Alcohol Ink Community ‘virtual’ Conference. Well, every tutorial shared was AH-MA-ZING!! So many talented artists, sharing their tips & techniques, and a full project in each one. The first one I’ve finished is the Mandarin Drake in alcohol ink. The tutorial shared was done on Ampersand Claybord, using tools to scratch off the ink & created textures. However, I don’t have this Claybord, so I thought I’d try it on Yupo. Minus the ‘scratching’, of course!


The reference image is a royalty-free image from Pixabay. This is a good site to check, if you’re looking to use reference images for your art.  First, I lightly traced out the duck onto my 6″ x 6″ Yupo, leaving a 1″ margin on all sides. Next, I followed the most of the colours used by the artist sharing the tutorial, Tammy Crawford. To see some of her amazing art for sale, just click on her name!

Here’s my Mandarin Drake, along with the reference photo.

Mandarin Drake in Alcohol Ink

Feathers are difficult; there’s no point in trying to depict individual ones. So, you go with trying for the ‘illusion’ of feathers.


You can see that the black & white ‘hatching’ on the front wing was my real nemesis. After re-working it several times, I kinda gave up, and went with the closest I could manage. I’m still thinking of reworking it again, and just blending that part out.  In her tutorial, Tammy was able to scratch out that texture, using the tools on the Claybord.  Not possible to do, on Yupo.

I used all Tim Holtz/Ranger alcohol inks when painting my duck. The colours I used are Latte, Sepia, Sienna, Teakwood, Black, Limeade, Everglades, Cobalt, Glacier, Vineyard, Sunshine Yellow, and Sunset Orange.  Details were added using a white gel pen, and Micron black pen.

Mandarin Drake in Alcohol Ink

Other than that darn front wing, I’m pretty happy with the overall outcome. It is a learning, piece, after all!


The background greens were applied using an alcohol ink blending pad on an ink applicator. Brushes were used for the rest of the inks.  I also used Masking Fluid to mask off the outline of the duck before doing the background, and to mask off the white areas, before painting the duck.

Affiliate links for products used are supplied, below. If you choose to use my links, you help support me in maintaining my blog. Thanks in advance!

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! :)

2 thoughts on “Mandarin Drake in Alcohol Ink

I love to read what you have to say! Thanks for commenting ;)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.