Alcohol Ink on Metal


I apologize right up front. This project was made at nighttime and the lighting could have been better. I did take the final photos this morning by the window so you can have a more realistic idea of how the tin turned out.

You have heard me talk about these wonderful Tiles from Hahnemühle for months now. Sadly Hahnemühle made the decision to discontinue the sell of these tiles. And I immediately started looking for all my empty tins the tiles came in so I could hoard safeguard and cherish them.

I had been thinking about this project for awhile and last night seemed the perfect time while Mark watched several football games all at once with the remote in hand. Aurora and I stayed in my art room and I thought about this project. I wanted to see how alcohol inks would respond on metal. No fancy supplies and absolutely no prep work. I started on the inside of the tin with two colors of Brea Reese and my air maker.

That is one drop of the purple ink that has been pushed around by squeezing air onto it. I was trying to push and make it larger with just air but that was as far as it would go.

One drop didn’t work that well, so I changed over to the sky color and added three drops.

And then I remembered to go grab the fineliner bottle of isopropyl alcohol. I added several drops of alcohol and went back to applying air. My little air maker has a squeeze bulb that I just kept pumping – pushing color around. Adding a drop of color where it may be needed and back to pushing with air.

I was even able to make some drips and runs. What I typically do is work the air until the alcohol evaporates and color is left behind.

Next I turned my attention to the front cover of the tin. I switched to the Marabu Alcohol Inks primarily because the fumes/smell of the Brea Reese were getting to me. And I can’t really smell anything when I use the Marabu inks. Yay!!! Plus, I wanted to see if one alcohol ink worked better than the other.

This time I worked smarter. I started with a squiggly line of alcohol to which I added a couple drops of each color ink.

I did not need to add any more color as I worked with the air maker. I was just pushing color around, watching for dry areas.

I really, really like these two colors together! All I used was two drops each of Magenta and Caribbean but the combination of colors gives you new colors and blends. Then I sat the tin aside to await a new day when photographs would be more true to color.

Here is the front of the tin. Not sticky to the touch at all. That is one really nice thing about the Marabu alcohol inks – they aren’t sticky when dry. Combine that with the relatively few odors and you have a winning combination!

And the inside of the tin. The Brea Reese are not sticky either. I can feel texture – a smooth texture – as I rub my finger over the surface but it is not sticky like the Ranger alcohol inks. I swear I may never use those Rangers ever again. There are better brands available now. And Brea Reese and Marabu are two of them.

I am really happy with how this project worked out! One of my collectible Hahnemühle tins now has some color while retaining the Hahnemühle feel. I am going to Florida for a short visit in a few days and this tin will be the perfect thing to take on my trip! It holds up to 25 tiles and I just packed a bunch of squares I had already colored in the tin to be ready for my trip! Fun and easy project! I expect it will work on any metal you want to play with. I started on the inside of the tin in case it didn’t work – but it worked great! Have fun!

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15 thoughts on “Alcohol Ink on Metal

  1. Great idea Alice – I have 2 of these tins. So sad they discontinued, maybe they’ll consider bringing them back in a few years…….. Looking forward to trying this!

  2. Beautiful way to decorate these tins! I need to look up my tins. Most were converted to watercolor palettes, but I might have a few empties if I haven’t given them away. I’d never have parted with any if I knew they’d be discontinued!

  3. Oh Alice – your favourite tiles! What will you do! I hope you have a suitable alternative lined up. Perhaps this also explains why I never heard back about getting them stocked in the UK. I will treasure the tin you sent me even more now!

  4. That color is gorgeous! I am so sad about the discontinuing of the Hahnemuhle tiles. The surface is so much smoother to work on the the Zentangle tiles. I hope you can twist some arms to find a good replacement. If anyone can I know you can. ?

    • hahaha! I’m working on it 🙂 and I agree, they are much nicer than the Zentangle tiles

  5. It’s all those purples with the blues that catch my eye – super bit of staging putting that tile on the top: with the yellow & mauve highlighting each other – very striking.

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