Hello Everyone,

Today my topic is about lifting alcohol inks to create a forest scene.  A number of years ago, when I was first learning to use alcohol inks,  I took an online class with Artist, Karen Walker, and learned a lifting technique.  Over the years, my art has evolved into my own style, with lifting alcohol ink incorporated into my process.

Starting with an inked background.

When inking a background for this painting, I needed to plan out where the shadows and the sunlight would be.  That influenced the placement of my alcohol inks.  As you will see in the pdf instructions, I simply poured the ink from the bottles.  I used darker inks where the shadows would be and lighter inks where the sunlight would be filtering in.  I did blend the ink a bit with a piece of felt.  On a side note, I find that felt leaves less lint than cotton balls or cotton square, which can be used as well.

Lifting is a simple way to remove or lighten alcohol inks from an area.

Using a paintbrush, q-tip or fantastik tool dipped in blending solution, you can remove or lighten inks from an inked background to make shapes of any kind.  In today’s painting, as I don’t want to lift the ink totally off of the tile, I am using a brush and blending solution to lighten and move the inks.  And, I am lifting to take out some of the color for the tree trunks and leave, but not all of the color.

Understanding the perception of Light and Shadows.

Especially relevant to this particular painting is understand the perception of light and shadows; where your light is coming from in the painting and where the shadows are. The reflection of the sunlight leads the viewer’s eye through the painting.  And, shadows play an integral role as they compliment the areas that are lit by the sunlight.   You will see in the alcohol ink painting where I have used Ranger brand eggplant color ink to create the deep shadow areas.  Shadows don’t have to be black.  In fact, I do love using ranges of purples and deep blues to make shadows in my landscapes.

As I am left handed, I tend to always have my light coming from the right-hand side of my painting and the shadows on the left.  I always want light streaming through my landscape paintings just the way it looks in nature.

So, in conclusion, it’s the placement of the ink and the partial lifting of the ink with blending solution, that set the stage for this beautiful painting with a tree-lined, sunlight path.

Enjoy the pdf instructions on how to paint this scene by clicking on the photo below.


Happy Inking!


How to lift inks