Abstract alcohol inks

cross section Heather Telford

During my recent adventures with alcohol inks I enjoyed creating abstract panels. Some of them I turned into backgrounds or scenes by adding stamps and die cuts but others I left alone because I liked the pattern and colours just as they were. The one above reminds me of a geological cross section. There is an example of some type of cross section down the road from us and a few times a year I see a class of students on a field trip climbing around taking photos. The blues in the design above are particularly pretty in real life and there are threads of copper here and there also.

iceberg Heather Telford

This abstract reminds me of a waterfall but several people saw icebergs and crevices in it. Both these designs were done on yupo paper. I started as I often do by just dropping three colours of ink on the yupo; the sharp edges and lines were achieved by dragging the inks across the paper with a coffee stirrer. I don’t remember the ink colours I used other than the copper in the top one.

Land and sea

wide ocean Heather Telford

One of the techniques we been trying in my current alcohol inks class is the ‘landscape’ technique. I don’t think I could give you clear instruction on how I did these two scenes because it is still a lot of trial and error for me. The scene above involved some swiping the inks once they were on the yupo paper to get the horizontal sweeps of colour.

Mountain view Heather Telford

This one above features more lines of ink. When you lay down some ink then add some more beside it the second lot of ink pushes away first often creating a dark thick edge. These can end up looking like hills. Adding blending fluid into the ink you already have on your yupo washes it out somewhat creating paler areas. I am addicted to creating with alcohol inks right now so I will analyse my techniques a little more so my instructions might be clearer (and yes, I will try and make a video).

Believe it or not there is a video coming next week. I also noted the requests for videos on the roses and terraced lane cards. I’ll keep those in mind because I do appreciate my readers and their endless patience in waiting for video tutorials!


Stamps: Twirls (PB)
Alcohol Ink: stream, pool, stonewashed, currant, alcohol blending solution (Ranger) Jet Black archival ink
Paper: yupo paper, Neenah SolarWhite 110lb cardstock, Neenah Epic black 100lb cardstock

Under the microscope

dragonflies with love Heather Telford

I have a new medium to play with and it is so much fun! I have been impressed by alcohol ink projects in the past but Jane Clempson has recently posted a wealth of wonderful inspiration on her blog so last time I was at Crop A While I picked up a few colours to get me started. Oh dear, Jane, I may need all the colours!

I created this pattern with two blues and a yellow then had fun adding all the little blots with blending solution. Once it was finished it looked a little like a microscope slide of a rare tropical disease! Add the dragonflies and I am wondering whether flies and disease is really something I want to feature on a card?? What do you think; does it say pretty patterns or tropical disease to you?

 butterflies for your birthday Heather Telford

Microscopes aside, I like the colour mix, the pattern of blurry blots and just watching the magic happen. I have half a dozen more ‘experiments’ waiting to be turned into cards so stay tuned for more dots, blots, squirts and squiggles.

dragonfly alcohol ink detail Heather Telford


Stamps:  Sunny Wishes, Flower Festival, Special Wishes (PB)
Inks:  Archival jet black ink(Ranger) 
Alcohol Ink: Denim, Stonewashed, Honeycomb, alcohol blending solution (Ranger)
Paper: Yupo, Neenah Avon Brilliant White 110lb cardstock, yellow cardstock