Alcohol Ink on Black Plastic


Get ready for some beautiful! I apologize up front because I don’t remember who told me about this paper. But ‘thank you’ to someone. I am thinking Jem, but I’m not sure.

Plastic art sheets actually and they are meant to work much like yupo. For those of you who love alcohol inks – you can imagine the hopefulness this gave me. Hahaha! So of course I had to order some straight away on Amazon and sat back to wait for it to arrive. I began by cutting these big sheets down into manageable sizes and now instead of eight pieces I have about forty. Various sizes for playing. Let me show you what I learned.

My thoughts immediately shot to Ranger’s Alcohol Pearls. I thought their shimmer and glimmer would be gorgeous on black and I was right! I began with just these three colors and they were more than plenty. My sheet of plastic was about 4″ x 5″. That crazy looking thing is my temporary air blower. I say temporary because Ranger is just releasing a new one that doesn’t have the marker holder attached. I have two on pre-order. Just in case one has an issue.

I shook out a few drops of this beautiful blue Tranquil color. I still don’t understand why Ranger didn’t give these pearls names we could remember.

Yellow and pink were then shook out onto the plastic. I say ‘shook’ because that really is how these colors work best. Just shook right onto the paper. Already I had some blending starting and new colors appearing.

I used the air blower to start pushing the colors while they were still wet. That alcohol evaporates fairly quickly.

You can even see some of the movement in this shot. Rotate the plastic as you need to, just keep that bulb squeezing and pushing out air.

And add more color when you need to. I really like the ‘cells’ that were developing here. Quick. What tangle pattern do you see developing in the color?

Pretty much full coverage and I just love the colors! Look at the striations in that upper right section. Reminds me of the underside of a mushroom cap. Then I moved it to the side to dry. Let me show you how it turned out. It is really beautiful!

In the drying I lost a lot of the cells, but a few remained. I love the brilliant colors I got from just those three I began with. And I wanted to do another one!

This time I dropped out the yellow and brought in a purple. And I wanted to add one more element to the mix.

Isopropyl alcohol. I ran a line of alcohol across the tile. I didn’t use alcohol at all in the first one. I expected it to make a huge difference in the way the colors moved.

I carefully added my colors – also known as shook the bottles with abandon – and reached my for air blower. Typically the air adds to the movement and gives you some really beautiful blending.

Not so much this time. It actually blew my color right off the plastic and onto the craft mat and desktop. I was so not happy.

But at least I was able to salvage the black plastic itself. Most of the color blew off and I wiped the rest away with a paper towel. Ick. Lesson learned. Don’t use alcohol on these plastic art sheets.

Then I went on to make this beautiful piece using that same sheet of plastic and those same colors – just with no addition of alcohol. And I am seeing that same tangle pattern showing up in this one, too. Anyone know which pattern I’m referring to?

I really loved how the alcohol pearls worked and wanted to try every alcohol ink brand I have. And I did. And they all turned out like this. No bueno. This particular one is Brea Reese alcohol inks. The Piñata, Kielty, Marabu, the rest of the Ranger alcohol inks, they all look like this. None of the colors show. You can see hints of color here, but once it dried it was all just flat black like the background. A complete waste of time and product. But those alcohol pearls worked like a champ!

So, the tangle pattern I see here is from Tomás Padrós – membranart. And other than that I just see a whole lot of potential and beautiful! Next I want to play with acrylics on black!

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18 thoughts on “Alcohol Ink on Black Plastic

  1. This really makes me want to finally break down and try some alcohol inks. Your results are beyond beautiful!!😍👏👏

  2. I agree – Membranart!! How interesting that only the Ranger’s alcohol inks work on this plastic! I wonder why? Your results are beautiful. 👍

  3. I’m usually the paper pimp – but on this occasion it wasn’t me!

    Great results though – so magical on the black and very interesting that only that one brand worked. I see Membranart now you mention it but the first thing I thought was Morf! A super easy and versatile tangle I love!

  4. Ooo fascinating stuff. Makes me think of Star Trek for some reason! Galaxies you know what I mean!! I can hear the music now xx

    • absolutely! I love how this looks and you are so right about the galaxy! maybe some white gel pen stars are in order

  5. Don’t forget to try gouache too! A friend gave a sheet of black paper to me that was much like this, so I suspect it was the same. She couldn’t remember the brand.

  6. Intriguing how the different brands of ink reacted. Hmm – not very familiar with Tomas’s tangles so didn’t spot Membranart. But could see it once you said. Can see you’ll have fund tangling these.

  7. Mostly I see fish and underwater thingys it the top one.
    On the bottom one I see 2 fish, good size dog looking critter, a horse rearing, a little dog, a duck, a seal and a man’s head with a tall hair do.

  8. OMGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This is stunning. Going to look for and order right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t always take time to respond to your posts but I read them everyday. thank you for keeping me entertained!

  9. Beautiful! All I could see was cells. My daughter is in Anatomy right now, so my brain went there 🙂 I do see galaxy art as well. Interesting with the outcome from the different inks! Can’t wait to see what you do with it!

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