Why Haven’t I Tried This Before?

Hi friends! I love trying new things in my art especially when it is something that goes topsy-turvy along the way leaving me in a complete state of surprise and wonder as I am working. That is just how I felt when I experienced Alcohol ink on YUPO paper!


The supplies came in the March Smart Art Box. While I have used alcohol inks and YUPO before separately I never tried them together. Also I had never tried translucent YUPO before and it is really neat because when you are done you can tape it to your window for a fun stained glass effect! This would be a fun project to do with a classroom full of children don’t you think? Spring break is coming up parents! *Watercolor works awesome YUPO too so if you kids are little I’d use that instead, safety first!


Pay no attention to how dirty my window is in the above pic, you come her for art, not cleaning tips:) Below you can see the same photo cropped. I think this is a great way to photograph this type of art.


Watch the video if you want to see how to create this and see the various “hot mess” stages it when through along the way. Boy, it sure was fun to experiment with and I plan on grabbing my other colors of alcohol inks and doing some more experimental landscapes when I have some free time. Let me know in the comments below if you would like videos. (I learned my lesson about not filming a tutorial on Monday’s post, I can’t disappoint my peeps now can I? I might as well film, it’s not like I am busy washing windows or anything hahaha:)


I may have said it before but this has been my favorite box from our sponsor Smart Art yet! You can find out about their fun subscription boxes here and they ship to many countries! It’s a fun surprise of art supplies delivered to your door each month!

Supplies: *If you missed out on the March Smart Art Box these products can be found reasonably on Amazon *Affiliate links used.

  • The photo reference book I shared is the Artist Photo Reference Landscapes and Amazon has used copies starting at $6.33 but this series is out of print so if you want it, grab it.
  • Piñata alcohol ink set
  • Clean up Solution *BTW I’m pretty sure this is denatured alcohol and that is cheap at the hardware store. It’s flammable so be careful.
  • Extender (big bottle)
  • Yupo translucent paper 5″x7″ pad  also available in 9″x12″ and larger
  • Microperm pens
  • Clear blender pen
  • I used this brush cleaning soap on my brushes so I didn’t waste too much clean up solution and it cleaned them perfectly. It works well on dry oils and acrylics too! It’s a bit pricey but if it saves one brush it’s more than paid for itself. It has been my favorite brush soap for 15 years! (Don’t take this as permission to let paint dry in your brushes tho, just sayin’)

Project pointers (AKA stuff I learned along the way)

1. Just make a loose sketch with the black pen when you start out because the alcohol ink will dissolve the ink. I am not sure if it is because the paper was so slick or if alcohol dissolves the ink in the Microperm pen anyway. Don’t waste time with too many details until you draw over the ink at the end.

2. If you don’t like you painting wait 5 minutes, it will change. Alcohol ink on YUPO is spontaneous, the painting is living and changing before you like magic, let it do its thing!

3. The ink will react to more ink. You can move the under layers of dry ink with fresh ink or alcohol. A wet blob of ink will dissolve the ink underneath and push the pigment to the edges and create flower shapes. It is a fun effect!

4. When using the black pen or the clear (eraser) marker over dry ink scribble it on scratch paper periodically to clean the nib.

5. Embrace the spontaneity (and chaos) of this medium and enjoy the ride!

Have fun playing with your supplies! Discover what they do and embrace the “hot mess” stage, you never know what is waiting on the other side. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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