Image from Schiffer Publishing site
When I first began leafing through Pigments of Your Imagination (Creating with Alcohol Inks) written by Cathy Taylor, I thought to myself, “I need this book.” As I got further into the chapters, I thought, “You (dear reader) need this book.”
Before reading the book, I had played with alcohol inks but I felt that I didn’t take the medium far enough. True, I created interesting alcohol ink patterns but I wanted to do so much more. This author definitely opens up new possibilities for alcohol ink explorations.
The Materials & Tools Section covers substrates, color variety, adhesives, mediums and a wide assortment of tools. Did you know that you can create alcohol ink art with craft foam, coffee stirrers, contact paper? And an oiler boiler? There is also a helpful discussion about the many different brands of alcohol inks on the market.
Drip and Blow Texture Technique
The Simply Start Chapter gives you a good foundation on how to work with these unpredictable yet vivid and enticing inks. This is important because the rules of alcohol ink are much different from other mediums, as some of you may already know.
Taylor walks you through simple techniques to help you understand how colors react, blend and invade other colors. I am especially interested in experimenting with the Drip and Blow Texture as one of my first projects.
In the Special Effects Chapter, you’ll learn that the addition of simple materials such as wax paper, stencils - or even masking fluid - and alcohol inks can result in some spectacular art paintings. Mixing and matching techniques will enhance the visual effects of your work.
In the Ink-Scapes Chapter, there is information on how to lay a wash with alcohol ink, create a mountain landscape, seascape, dreamscaping with June Rollins - and even a cityscape.
I enjoy painting flowers so the chapter on Flora and Fauna-Scapes really caught my interest. There’s a cool technique on using a hair dryer to manipulate the inks into floral shapes. Artists Diane Marcotte, Wendy Wilkins and Karen Walker also share their secrets on creating stunning and more intricate alcohol ink paintings.
Madras Effect Technique
The Fabric Effects Chapter offers techniques for creating batik-style paintings and madras patterns. You can also marble fabric using alcohol inks and shaving cream. Surprisingly, alcohol ink dyeing works with silk fabric too.
In the Everything Else Chaper, you’ll discover how metal, ceramic tile, plastic, glass – in fact any substrate that is nonporous - offers opportunities for artistic experimentation and even recycling. In the latter case, think aluminum cans.
You can quickly and easily create marbled papers which can then be used for collage, greeting cards, wrapping paper or in your art journal. Finally, a Gallery of alcohol ink artists gives readers more motivation for producing their own unique art masterpieces.
Clearly, Taylor offers readers a comprehensive source book on how to explore the spontaneity and color vibrancy of alcohol inks. As I mentioned in my introduction, “You need this book.”