Monday, April 2, 2012

What Happens When You Mix Paint and Alcohol

Mixing paint and alcohol turned out even more fun than I expected!  No, I don't mean drinking alcohol while you paint, and this alcohol was not of the drinking variety.  My sister called and got me interested in a new technique she'd seen on the Internet about combining acrylic paint and rubbing alcohol.  It sounded really fun so I told her to come on over, and we tried it out together!

I didn't take pictures as we went, and I wish now that I would have.  I had no idea how it was really going to turn out until it was done.  I can only show you the finished product, but I think they turned out great!  The process was farely simple but time consuming because of the drying time in between each layer of the painting.  We both started with solid base coats of acrylic paint.  I chose a dark gray, and she chose black.  

After that layer has completely dried, you apply a wash created from a mix of acrylic paint and water.  I'd say this might be the most critical step for several reasons.   It appears if the wash is too watery it won't work right, and if the wash is too thick it won't work right.  We both agreed it probably depends on the quality of acrylic paint you use and getting the water right.  Side note, the online tutorial recommended distilled water.  Working quickly so this new layer does not dry, you want to apply 91% rubbing alcohol to the painting.  We tried using a spray bottle but it didn't give the desired affect.  Splashing it on was also risky.  Turns out an eye dropper/syringe worked best.

You can stop there or let that layer completely dry, and repeat with multiple layers and color combinations.  I can't wait to do it again in more variations!  Here's a look at the finished product after a clear gloss top coat was added:

For a little extra effect, I titled this one up to get a drip going.  Drip paintings seem to be pretty popular these days, and I can now see why!

You can see the full paintings in my Etsy shop along with a few more pictures of each at

No comments:

Post a Comment