Alcohol Pearls Experiment


At Creativation in January, Tim Holtz and Ranger announced a new alcohol ink product called Alcohol Pearls. The videos I saw about them showed the colors to be so beautiful and the shimmer so amazing that I just had to buy a few bottles to try for myself! (Of course!)

They made things really easy by putting these bottles in sets. I chose this particular set because teal and pink. Hahaha! That green is really lovely, too. I do wish Tim had given these inks a color name I could actually remember. Like teal, lime and killer pink. But no. He named these tranquil, sublime and intrigue. I will never remember those. Like ever.

I had a few minutes – like 5 – yesterday when I could play with some color. I grabbed a sample piece of Yupo paper that was already cut to ATC size and started by dropping dots of all three colors in a random manner. I did not do anything else. Look at the photo above. Specifically at the green. See how the color is already pushing outwards and making that darker green ring? The blue as well. But look at the pink. Well, look at the two pinks in the middle. They are doing the reverse of the green and blue. Instead of getting lighter in the middle and darker at the outer rim, they are the opposite. And notice how the blue has splotchy dotty specks in the middle. I actually know why that happened. These bottles have to be shaken up really super good before you start. The pigment settles in these bottles to the bottom. I didn’t have the blue shaken up enough before I dotted. I am just reading the back of the bottle and seeing the warning that ‘vapors may cause flash fires!’ With an exclamation point and all. Sheesh. That would be a good thing to know. I’ve not seen that on the alcohol ink bottles before.

Then I took the pink and went over to a blue spot of color and dropped in just one little drop of the pink.

And watched as the pink pushed and made very interesting rings. I see the dark inner pink dot, then the lighter pink ring, then a light blue ring, and a darker blue/purple ring – all from that one dot of pink color. Now look at the small green spot at the lower left. Can you see where a lighter circle is opening up in the middle?

This is a shot to the right of the one before. Look at the blue spot at the bottom. The pink is almost purple and it is reacting differently than the first one. And look at the large green spot at lower left. The rings are starting to move inwards from the outer rim.

Here you can see all three greens are doing that. And just look what the two pinks did. They are all but filling those blue circles of color up. Figured I would play some more, so I started dropping in more color. Wishing I had more than just the three colors. But thankful to have these.

That one little green dot got big and overtook the pink at the top. And that pink that I dropped into the blue on the left, is pushing the blue down into the next pink. I dropped some green into the two pink spots and into the pink/blue at the lower right. Strange how it looks almost yellow. And I guess I dropped some green into that lower green one. I don’t remember doing that but obviously I did.

I just kept adding color. That green on green is finally starting to move. But the one that really intrigues me is that lower right blue/pink/green that keeps making color ring changes. I love that crisp purple line!

I’m sure you have the idea now. Add more dots in the white areas. And add more dots to the color areas. Dot it all up. Hahahahaha! And watch! Look at the pink areas. Look at all the sparkle and shimmer. That is the pearl part of the Alcohol Pearls. And it’s almost impossible to photograph.

But I’m trying because I want you to see it!

That brown area at the bottom right, that’s where I dropped some more green into the pink. And the blue pushed in with them and made this weird looking puddle. But those flecks of light you see across the brown area and the greens at the top – I used a small mister filled with rubbing alcohol and sprayed it in the air parallel to the tile. Not straight down at the tile but in the air about 12 inches above it. And sideways. Where the alcohol strikes the color, it lifts color and makes speckles. Cool!

You can get a little idea of shimmer here. It is really beautiful! I want all the colors now! As far as I know there are twelve.

So pretty! I have plans to try a whole lot more techniques with these. Like I said, I only had about 5 minutes to play. And I need the other colors. Hahahahaha! Except for that whole flash fire thing!

Alcohol Pearls can be found here and here.
Yupo Paper

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15 thoughts on “Alcohol Pearls Experiment

  1. Wow those are so pretty!!! I love the step by step photos you somehow remember to take & share with us. I’ve only played a bit with alcohol inks but I love them. And now – Pearls??! I need a bigger art supply budget … 🙂

  2. Oooo, pearls?!?!?!
    I not only need a bigger budget, but more art supply storage is becoming a top priority!
    Gorgeous steps and hints!

    • I hear you about storage. I need more, too. it’s a never ending job keeping stuff organized and finding a place for it

  3. Wow, that was a productive 5 minutes! It would take me just that long to get me good picture, let alone get the whole page dotted with color! Lol Thanks for sharing!

  4. I get the ‘sublime’ for LIME GREEN but not the other names. Be careful & have open windows (yes I know it’s some silly minus temperature) for I can imagine you’ll be getting very high on those fumes, never mind the fire hazard.

    • they do give me headaches, I usually work those in a larger room. this 5 minutes wasn’t too bad. I was surprised with that fire warning, though it makes sense I guess

  5. You know I thought the same thing about Tim’s choice of names for these new alcohol inks. At least he could have named them green envy, or the color and then his pick of names. I wonder if we are the only two that had that thought? I’ll never remember the names either.

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