How to Paint an Alcohol Ink Landscape  on Ceramic Tile – Beginner Inking 

Alcohol ink can be used in many ways to paint with  

It can be:

  • Used in pours, straight from the bottles
  • Poured into a palette and used to paint with a brush 
  • Dried in the palette for to use for a dry brush technique
  • Moved with compressed air, canned air, manual blower, straw
  • Spread with a straw, credit card, makeup sponges, hotel key card
  • Enhanced with q-tips, markers, blender pens, fantastix
  • Used with household objects such as bottle caps, cups, shelf liner, bubble wrap, etc. to create interesting textures….

And, the list goes on.  The only requirement is to use a non-porous surface to keep the alcohol ink moving and either a manufactured blending solution or 91% isopropyl alcohol to dilute the inks.  

When introduced to alcohol inks for the first time..

beginners are often mesmerized and delighted with how the inks move, how the colors blend, and the texture and values created.  

I have a beginner class coming upon in the studio, so out came the beginner lesson for an update.

It’s easy to gather supplies for alcohol ink painting

In the video, below, I’ll use: 

  • a 4”x4” glossy ceramic tile – available from Home Depot, Lowe’s or your local hardware or tile store
  • Orange, Blue and Yellow Alcohol Inks.  I like Jacquard Piñata inks to paint tiles.  They are thick and highly saturated.  Mixing colors will create a whole secondary set of colors.  
  • Ranger Gold Mixative.  It is thick and will stay in a small puddle.
  • Blending Solution or 91% isopropyl alcohol.  99% will work too.  Any alcohol with a lower concentration (like 70%) will not move the inks.  Putting your alcohol or blending solution in a fine tip bottle will help you control the amount you use.
  • Straws – collect plastic coffee stirrers, drink straws, milkshake straws
  • a hotel Key Card or old credit card.
  • Q-tips
  • Glovesalcohol ink landscape


As you watch the video, you will see that the abstract landscape is created by keeping the painting the sky then keeping the painting wet during the entire process, pour ink wet into wet.  This avoids getting dark dried lines.  This abstract is based on techniques I learned years ago from my first alcohol ink instructor, June Rollins.  She calls these little abstracts, “dreamscapes”.

So go ahead and try it.  Remember to paint in a well ventilated space and wear appropriate respiratory protection.   

Happy Inking!