"Special Effects with Alcohol"
Welcome back to another BobBlast!
Looking for something new? A fun way to start a painting? Something a little magical...? Painting with alcohol!
No, not that kind of alcohol - Isopropyl Alcohol!
Isopropyl alcohol sprinkled on wet water-based paint will make a bubbled and marbled textural design in your painting. It's one of the loose techniques used by water colorists and acrylic painters worldwide.
However, I suggest following certain criteria and procedures for this technique to
First, prepare the surface of the watercolor paper (or canvas) with a coat of really good gesso. Let it dry. Then, apply a light wash of pigmented color over the entire surface. Then while the surface is still wet, sprinkle the alcohol either by hand or a spray pump with an adjustable nozzle (use the course option, rather than fine). Don't use a "mister" as the vapors will be too fine to have much of an effect. Instead, "drop" the alcohol from above, to splash into the wet paint. In an instant, you will have bubbles and rings!
After the first phase of splashing, wait a couple of minutes before a second splash. This is where is gets to be way too much fun - especially now, when you alternate acrylic inks and more alcohol.
A few more pointers:
#1 - I have not found much of a difference between 71% or 91% isopropyl alcohol.
#2 - I get better effective results if the surface has been first coated and sealed with gesso.
#3 - This is not really about painting, but more about another goofball way to have experimental fun while painting. Try it on a big gessoed sheet.
#4 - And finally, it's never about your technique. It's about your voice. It doesn't matter how you communicate - It just matters that you do.
This technique is solely meant as a loosen up exercise. I don't do this too often, but it is a fun exercise to get your painting out of a funk!
Thanks again for watching and telling your friends! All my BobBlasts are archived on my website and my YouTube Channel. We post new studio tips weekly that offer real content, substance and useful techniques that work for me. And they're free! We appreciate your interest, questions, comments and support!