Two Kinds of Alcohol Ink Backgrounds

Happy Monday, my friend! I hope that you had a good weekend. Did you have a chance to check out our Scrap ‘N Stamp ‘Poignant Poppies’ Blog Hop? If you missed it, there’s still time to view, & leave comments. You can start at my post HERE (it will open in a new tab).  You’ll want to leave comments on each blog as you go, to be entered into a draw. One lucky person will be randomly chosen to WIN a $50 Gift Certificate to Scrap ‘N Stamp! The winner will be announced on Nov. 19th, so be sure to leave your comment before then.  Today, I’m sharing some practicing I’ve been doing with alcohol inks. Here are two kinds of alcohol ink backgrounds. One is ‘poured’ and the other is using a brush.


Here is a picture of the two kinds of backgrounds, together.

Two Kinds of Alcohol Ink Backgrounds

For these practice pieces, the focus is on the backgrounds. Keeping the foregrounds in silhouette helps show off the background.


For this piece, the background is created using the ‘pour’ technique. This is not to be confused with the acrylic ink pour, which is a different animal! First, draw your silhouette image onto a panel of Yupo paper. For me, who can’t draw to save her life, I printed the outline, and used graphite paper to trace it. Next, choose your alcohol ink colours for the background. I chose Honeycomb and Valencia; a rich yellow/gold and a deep orange. I like to have my inks ready & uncapped, as well as my blending solution bottle. This way I’m ready to go, and don’t waste time.

Now, you can either apply blending solution or the alcohol ink first, and then the other; it’s personal choice  how you like to work. I find that applying the blending solution first causes the inks to start moving right away, whereas if you apply the ink, and then the blending solution, you have a bit more control. For me, still learning, I prefer this method. Once  you have your inks and blending solution on the Yupo, tip the panel left and right, the blend the inks and cover the background. It doesn’t matter if you go over your horse & grass outlines – you can still see the lines through the inks.

One your background has dried, you can now use a black alcohol marker – I just used a Sharpie – and fill in the silhouette. Use the marker to create the grass edges, and the wisps of the horse’s tail.

Two Kinds of Alcohol Ink Backgrounds


For this background, the ink is applied using a large flat paintbrush.  The mountains and cactus are done free-hand, so no drawing or tracing is involved.  Start with your panel of Yupo, and choose your background colours. The colours I chose are Honeycomb, Valencia and Poppyfield, all Ranger brand. For the mountains, I chose Latte. In your palette, pour a bit of each ink colour into separate wells. Now, pick up a bit of blending solution on your brush. Next, starting with the Honeycomb, pick up the ink with your brush, and brush it across the top of the panel. Next, move onto the Valencia, and finally the Poppyfield. Just like you would with ink pads and blender brushes, go back over the colours, smoothing out the transition lines. Carry the colours about two-thirds of the way down the panel; you’ll be pouring the mountains over the sky background.

Two Different Kinds of Alcohol Ink Backgrounds

To pour the mountains, pick up and hold the panel on an angle tipping downwards. Pour the Latte ink directly onto the panel, creating the shapes with the ink, moving it from right to left. Once the mountain shapes are created, go back and add dimension with additional  pouring over the fronts. You can add some blending solution as you like. Remember, this practice piece is about the background, so  you don’t have to spend a lot of time on the mountains. Since you’ll be adding black to the foreground, it will cover any excess drips/overflow from your mountains.  Apply the Ranger Pitch Black ink to the bottom, with the same large flat brush.

After the panel has dried, you can go in and add your cactus and some shrubs with your black marker.  I may go back and work some more on this piece, lightening the foreground a bit (bring the mountain ground colour a bit more forward) so you can see more of the cactus, and add more shrubs. I would also add more dimension to the mountains.


So here there are again; the poured and the brushed backgrounds.

Two Different Kinds of Alcohol Ink Backgrounds

My husband liked them a lot. I was a bit taken aback when he said “you MADE these?”  Well, gee…ya! Actually, what he was surprised at is the richness and shine of the alcohol inks. And these are just plain, no finishing on top. So I got to give  him a little lesson in alcohol inks and Yupo – explaining about non-porous surfaces, etc.

Alcohol inks are a lot of fun to play with, and experiment. No two pieces are ever going to be exactly the same; that’s the fluid nature of the ink. And that’s part of the fun! For supplies to try this out, I’ve included some online shopping links below. I’ve just included links for the colours that I used; by clicking on the links and going to the stores, you can of course see & choose any colours you like!  Thanks for spending some time with me today – now go have fun creating!

Affiliate links are provided, at no extra cost to you.

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! :)

7 thoughts on “Two Kinds of Alcohol Ink Backgrounds

    1. Tracing royalty-free photos has been a life saver for me, Buffy! (do you see how sad my cactus are – free hand, that’s why!) 😉

  1. Both of these cards are beautiful. I do have to say the horse looks very sad to me. Kind of like Eeyore. I love the bright colors and than the black objects. It makes everything really stand out.

    1. Thanks, Susan! Maybe the horse is looking longingly at the grass he wants to eat? I should’ve mentioned that these are both 5″ x 7″ panels, not card sized.

  2. Deb, I keep trying to get in to make comments and for some reason, things don’t always cooperate. These cards are STUNNING. I love the background composition with two different techniques, and the silhouettes go perfection. Beautiful

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having problems leaving comments, Jackie! 🙁 I’m not sure why – technical gremlins escape my understanding! I hope you know that I appreciate all of your kind, supportive comments – you make my day!

    2. I’m so sorry that you’ve been having trouble leaving comments, Jackie! Technology in all it’s ‘wonder’ escapes me, sometimes. Mostly, I just ‘wonder’ how it all works! I appreciate all of your kind, supportive comments – thank you for the effort of leaving them. 🙂

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