The other day I was thinking about Copic markers and how good some of you ladies make them look! I was sitting there fantasizing about ordering them in TONS of colors and being able to color any image I want and have it look good!
Then, I started wondering if I could color my images in a different way than I have prior that would look more like Copic markers. I decided I would try to use my dye inks with rubbing alcohol. I am not even sure that Copics are made with alcohol, but that is what came to mind.
I grabbed a brand new aquapainter (the horror... what happens if this ruins my aquapainter EEK) and filled the chamber with rubbing alcohol. Then, I grabbed another aquapainter filled with water. I prepped 2 palettes with drops of reinker in the same colors.
When I watercolor, I place a couple drops of reinker in a well in the palette and then in another well I squeeze my aquapainter and have a little bit of water to mix my ink with. I find it makes a lighter shade of the color I am working with so I can blend my image and add shading. In one palette, I did this and in the other palette I added rubbing alcohol to mix the ink with. Using my aquapainter, I grab some ink and dip it into the liquid next to it to make a watered down (or alcohol-ed down) version of the ink.
Keep in mind when you are reading my photo tutorial that there may be some places where I go out of the lines etc. Please try to ignore the flaws and focus on the science. LOL
You can click each of these pictures for a close-up view!
In the picture below you will see I always skip a well so I can make mix my reinker.
My conclusion is that the reinker mixed with water causes the colors to morph. They get easily washed out with multiple passes of ink. This doesn't allow for much shading. The colors change, the paper curls and ink colors will bleed into each other because the paper stays so wet.
Mixing reinkers with alcohol does not cause the colors to change. They stay constant regardless of the number of passes with your aquapainter filled with rubbing alcohol. This allows for lots of shading and multiple passes of ink without causing any splotches or wash out of the colors. The ink dries quickly, which helps prevent color bleeding since the paper stays a LOT dryer than when using water to watercolor. The alcohol will cause the stamped image to blur slightly if the card stocks gets too saturated with alcohol. Again, perhaps with a different ink this would have been less of an issue. I MUCH prefer the finished image that was colored using rubbing alcohol.
The results of the ink spot test were consistent with the results of the full coloring test. The brown got very washed out on the spot where water was used in the aquapainter. On the spot that used alcohol in the aquapainter, the spot stayed much truer to color and did not have any splotches.
For the ink swirl test on a smoother paper (shimmery white) this shows the same result again. After multiple passes with the water filled aquapainter, the swirl looks splotchy, washed out and a totally different color than when the test began. However, the ink swirl that was tested with the alcohol filled aquapainter looks smooth, not washed out and the color stayed constant throughout the test.
So what does this mean?
I am going to keep a dedicated aquapainter for rubbing alcohol! This technique seems to work SO much better than using dye ink with water. I will be using rubbing alcohol with my dye inks! Of course I will still use water for other techniques such as using my watercolor crayons, but I find that the rubbing alcohol creates a much more pleasing effect!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and interesting. :) If you use this technique, please link back to this post or send me an e-mail showing me your finished product. I would love to showcase some of your projects right here on my blog. :)
I am naming this technique: DRUNKEN WATERCOLOR. :)