Hi, I’m Sally Lynn MacDonald and I am going to be showing you some fun techniques with alcohol ink. It’s been one of our most popular demonstrations at the trade shows and consumer shows. I did a Facebook Live long time ago. At the time I didn’t understand how well to use my camera that was pointing upward and so it was like focusing in and out. So I thought we’d make a new one. So here we go. Let’s get the keyboard out of the way and get cracking on some Gel Press printing. First let’s just talk about what we’re working with: alcohol inks. So alcohol inks are super fun to work with and they’re made by many manufacturers Here’s one see if you can see that. That’s Ranger alcohol ink. Okay, and Then we have another manufacturer this is Copic they make Various ink refills. Let’s put it this way, so you can read it. These are ink refills for a Copic marker And there are 358 colors of these too, which work in fun and interesting ways. And so I thought we would Experiment and give those a try here today. In a slightly more controlled fashion than I normally do But then again who knows what’s going to happen, because I’ve already pulled out things I haven’t used before. All right? And as always after the video has been produced live. I will go down below and answer any questions you have so here we go! I’m flipping to the downward camera… Tada here’s my dirty workspace. Okay. I am going to be working with The six inch round plate today get the glare off of there. So this is a six inch round and it’s a great size for doing small work in an art journal or making cards and as you can see mine is not pristine, but it works really great and use the packaging as storage and It’s fabulous. It’s ready to go so I am working with this, and I’m gonna be pulling out some of the fabulous Carabelle Art Textures. Also, sorry about the glare, but this in the packaging so you can like see these oh, yeah, that’s been used a lot. But Carabelle came out with these art textures which work beautifully for monoprinting. I have a few of them here as you can see they’re well loved by me, and we’re going to use those as well Some stencils… and let’s just get going. So this is the Gel Press mono printing plate. It is a gel it is flexible it is not a hard surface, for anyone who hasn’t experimented with this before. Let’s bring the camera just a little bit closer maybe. Every time I mess with that thing it like falls off. Alright. I’m going to bring first a stencil into play. Here so this stencil It’s beautiful And I want you to see when you place a stencil on the surface of the Gel Press It kind of hugs it to the surface. And just to assist with that I’m brayering very lightly not even applying any pressure. Just put that brayer across the surface so you can see that it is really clinged on the surface nicely and that way we can control alcohol ink in a way that we can’t traditionally. So I’m gonna take a few colors and just get started. This is coral. I believe this is a new color from Ranger. I’m just gonna apply this randomly in different areas here. Maybe also bring in green because yeah green and orange because those will make, mud. But the nice thing is if you don’t over brayer you can get things applied nicely without getting too muddy. I like to get the majority of my colors on in one go. Because I don’t want to overwork them. I’m going to take a brayer and just kind of roll these across the surface. As they are wet it will move them from one area to another. This is really just to create sort of a Background for me to work with and then I can start adding other colors to specific areas So around the border of it, I’m gonna apply this purple and I always work with complementary colors because I’m weird. I wanted to show you that even if you decide you don’t like a color, you’re going to just apply another color over the top of it, and it will push the other one out of the way. They’re very pushy that way yeah. I’m definitely making a little mud there And if you have alcohol ink already on your stencil, as I do here, it is going to reactivate that. I know this is difficult to see on camera, especially in the glarey areas. Let me try and bring in one more light see if this helps. Don’t know if that’ll help hurt it’ll definitely make me feel like I’m in a spotlight, and I don’t like to have a lot of glare. Alright, so now this is pretty much dry on there. Alcohol Inks dry almost immediately. because Gel Press is engineered to release the media Anything that touches this alcohol ink on the surface is going to Basically remove it in different ways. And so if I go in here now and just lift off the stencil You know I can see my design and I can also start applying textures to it. So I can take you know textures like a little textured sponge and apply that to different areas and it’s going to create that effect. It’s lifting off the ink it’s not actually adding anything to it. Just making a lift because I want to make kind of a vintage look with these bright colors. So this is a first go. I’m going to go ahead and put a piece of paper underneath my plate so you might be able to get a better contrast. There we go. So the colors are absolutely gorgeous, and they’re vibrant and beautiful And it’s a great mixed-media layer underneath something. So now when we have a dry media, such as alcohol ink, all we have to do to print with it is pick it up. That’s just a matter of applying a different media over the top. I typically go for something that has some contrast to it. So as simple as a titanium white:this is an Amsterdam Acrylics. A titan buff color. This is from Golden. Something with a little body to it. Rosey is a current favorite from Ranger. These are just great backdrops. Because when you do a dry print, the first thing in will be the last thing facing out. So the paint that we apply at this point will simply be a backdrop. So we’re gonna go ahead and I’ll take out my little palette to the side I always use a plate as a palette, especially when working with alcohol ink. (I’m gonna use Rosey here because it’s just gorgeous). I want to use a plate as a palette because if I roll a brayer across the alcohol ink it’s going to remove it. Now that could be a good thing if I have areas of this I don’t like I can easily lift them off. Even using a blender pen, such as the blank blender pens from Copic, I could go in here and erase things that I didn’t want to keep. But if I run a brayer across it I’m gonna lose things that I do want to keep. And so what we want to do is just prime our brayer I’ve got a little bit too much paint on here, but and then roll that across. And that acrylic paint is going to protect the alcohol ink from being pulled off by the brayer. That’s the most important thing because we want to protect the alcohol ink and keep it in place. I know, it’s difficult to see on the camera but the key to a successful pickup print is being able to see the print through the paint if you can’t see it you can’t print it. And conversely if you can see it you will print it. So I’m going to start just with this simple one. Take a piece of paper place it over the top. Just make good contact. Basically the paint in this case is acting like a glue. And you could use a gel medium for example for this step, but we’re just going to use paint right now as a backdrop in our first one. But it’s acting like a glue. It’s adhering to the skins on the plate and then adhering them to our surface Whatever that is. It also holds your piece in place. So if you didn’t get everything you could go right back down and pick it up again. But as you can see I’m going to get every single detail. So as you can see from this You get every single bit of the detail. Now I chose a metallic paint so I know there’s a bit of glare there But I promise I will go ahead and scan these later. What’s really great about alcohol ink as a base layer is that when you’re working with this you’re going to have your alcohol ink on top. Which will still allow you access to it, so you can manipulate it further. But also alcohol ink can only be reactivated by other alcohol ink. So that’s a good thing because basically what you’re going to end up with then is that It is not going to move. All of the tiny details that are in this piece… Let’s try to get this on camera a little bit better. Here we go over here. All the tiny details, even where I removed with the sponge and stuff, all of those marks will stay. The only way to reactivate them is with more wet alcohol ink. So you could do more dry pick ups on this same piece and you would have absolutely no issue at all. In fact why don’t we do that just to prove the point. So all of the fine detail of this piece? I’m going to do a More complex print and we will put things together so you can see how that works, okay? Let’s keep going. Back down we go. Okay. Alright, the next step. We’re gonna move on and use one of the texture plates. I think that’ll be fun. So now I have this I’m going to start once again with a base of color. This time we’re not going to use a stencil. We’re going to use one of the texture plates. I might even combine. What I’m going to use a stencil again for this one, just to get you some really fine detail. To start with a stencil I like to start with a little bit of color in the background. I have a little remnant of paint. I’m going to get rid of that. A little bit of color, just in the background, just so there’s something there. Then I’m going to take a Super duper detailed stencil… Really, really detailed. And I’m going to apply this to the surface. Once again lightly brayer it over the top just to make sure you get contact. The thickness of the stencil is protecting the alcohol ink from your brayer. So you won’t get any removals at that point, but as you can see here it’s firmly attached which is really great for getting some detail. And now we can go in even though we have a blue down there I can take this light coral and place it here. And it’s just going to push that blue out of the way. So the parts that are covered by the stencil will be blue But the open area will have that nice coral color. And just press a little bit harder and then I can get in there and move that around. So let’s add some more colors to manipulate this. This is a super detailed stencil because I just wanted to show you the amount of control that you have over how the alcohol ink works on the Gel Press. I’m going to bring in this brighter, burgundy color. Okay now if I felt that that was too much, or I wanted to add a different color once again… I’m going to bring in something like this green, which is a really light color. I’m seeing some little stopping on the video, and I want you to see that even though this is a much lighter color, it will take over the space where the other color was. So you can erase and move and move around and keep going because it’ll continuously reactivate the colors that are underneath. And it just allows you to get some really beautiful combinations. But the beauty of it is you have all the time in the world, even though alcohol ink dries. You just reactivate it and keep working with it until you see something you like. Also, because the the stencil is held in place I can even peek and look underneath and say, “oh I didn’t really catch anything over here”, and put it right back down and add some more color over there. So it Has sort of a self-registration, if you will. The plate holds everything in place and so I call that “self-registering”. It’ll hold it in place so you can fix it and make it work the way you want to. Let’s lift this off now. It just has such a really great combination of stuff there. Now again I’m going to use my palette to the side. And I’ll show you how I work with this. I’m not going to clean off that acrylic paint. I’m just going to flip to the other side, and I’m going to use it now as an ink pad palette. And Have a ridiculous stamp. This is actually just a mount that’s used for putting little tiny letters in. But I love the texture of this so I’ve been using it just as a stamp, itself. So let’s stamp with some alcohol ink over here I would like to add some other details. And so I’m gonna bring in, this one’s called Sepia. Oh, here’s a hint. There’s a reason that Tim Holtz told me. The reason why I like the new Sepia alcohol ink so much is it’s basically like a Vintage Photo. And of course that’s why I like it so much. I mean who doesn’t like that Vintage Photo color in the Distress lines? So yay! So we are going to use this as a palette so that we can stamp and do some additive work with the alcohol inks as well on our project. Okay, now at some point when you’re doing additive, you’ll notice that it starts doing subtracting. And so when you start seeing it lifting color rather than adding it, then you can stop there. You could also however then go in with something really detailed and do some other lifting techniques. I’m really happy with how this looks so far and we have a lot of really great detail. So I’m going to go ahead and pull a print. But this time, we’re going to use The Bindex gel medium. I did not bring baby wipes to my surface, so don’t laugh. I may get some color in this as well. This is a gel medium. And gel medium is pretty much acrylic paint without pigment. Think of it that way. And so we’re just going to put some onto our brauer here and To prime it again to protect the alcohol ink from the brayer action itself and put a very light coat of that. And it’s completely clear now. Which is really great because that basically going to pick it up. And then everything will be transparent. Why is that important? Well, what if you wanted to print on top of something that you had already done? So for example I’ve got a nice print here. And it’s got a lot of blank areas over here that I thought would be really nice to add some design to. So now I can take this. Can you see everything on camera? I think so. And I can go ahead and place the print where I want it, on top. See you don’t have to pull a print by placing your paper on top of the plate. We can flip the plate over, especially when you’re working with a dry pickup like this. What’s first in, is last out. So I’m seeing what the print is going to look like, by looking through the other side. Let’s go ahead and lift that off. It’s just glorious. And it pretty much lifted off onto my piece of background sheet or I would have had the rest of that to use as well, but I will show you something We’re gonna look at this in just a moment because…YUM! There is still leftover alcohol ink on this plate. Because I used the Bindex and/or any of the paints to Let’s call it loosen it It’s not a traditional ghost print at this point because this media is dry. But because it’s been loosened by that paint already. I can go ahead and take something like, let’s take a piece of book paper for example. This is really old and I would never want to use wet media on it because it would just fall apart. But I can take it onto the plate and get a nice basis for my piece of work on here. Because it’s already been loosened. I can’t explain you the scienc part. I will ask Chemical Engineers at work why this is working, but it lifts it right off! Almost like it were a ghost print and allows me to get that onto the book paper as well. And so even this really delicate paper that literally falls apart just by looking at it, is giving me a gorgeous ghost print. And I can see through every bit of the Copic or the Ranger alcohol ink because they are translucent colors, so it has a stained-glass effect. Back to this one. I’m gonna put that aside to show you later back to this one Look at that every single detail, but where this Existing print you know was before those marks are still visible through the print that I just applied with the alcohol ink. So it really does layer beautifully on top of other things when you use a Bindex or a gel medium as your pickup media with the alcohol ink. You get that true stained glass effect. So you can see through the alcohol ink and you can see through the backdrop. Super fun. Now I told you this was about working in a book when as the description in this and part of the reason I wanted to bring this up to you was because all of the things that I do with alcohol ink I came to create because I wanted to be able to work in my art journal. And so I’m gonna go now to the book to show you why this is really exciting. So we’re gonna do alcohol ink in the journal. Yeah, I’ve got some free pages in here. This is the one that I always use for my experiments. Okay, so let’s take some ink. We’ll start like I said before, with a base color. So I’m going to put this lovely pistachio down. Just a little bit of it. The beautiful thing about a brayer is that when you roll a brayer that has had alcohol ink on it typically it’ll reactivate those colors as well. I’m being really bad and combining my brayers today because I haven’t unpacked from this weekend. So I apologize, because usually I separate a brayer per medium. Okay this It’s a nice gorgeous stencil that has a really great open design. I believe this is by Joggles . So I’m gonna use this just once again making it hug to the Gel Press surface so that all of those really detailed lines will You know get a firm grip on this I’m gonna get a grip onto the surface, and it has this great border area over here as well. So let’s start filling those in with some color. I’m going to take some purples… And you can see how carefully I’m applying this. Totally different, let’s take Because I’m weird and I apply colors that are complementary. I know purple and yellow are complementary. But I kind of like the mud that happens in between, so it’s alright. It’s my journal not yours. I’m going to go ahead and brayer those, just a little bit to get them working. See while it’s wet it’ll break out nicely, and you can make sure you’re getting good coverage/ But that’s also great because you have that color underneath that’ll fill in the spots So we’ll start with that and then we have this area to the side, which has the border. So I’m going to bring in something totally different. This kind of aqua color, which won’t show up a lot against the pistachio. But you’ll see where I’m going with it. I kind of want them to play together, and then I’m bringing in the sepia. Vintage Photo type color. Because I want that to go together. Okay, so I think you’re getting a sense of how much we can control the alcohol ink on the gel surface. But now we have all these open areas which we could then texture. So I’m going to go ahead and take Take a Carabelle Art Textures and apply that to the surface, just to get Pull off some of the ink in its pattern. I know you can’t see this right now, but you’ll see it when I pull the print. But these wonderful, cellular, circle designs And I’m not sure which designer made this particular design, but I love it so much. Her name is Zorotte. I’m killing that pronounciation. I’m sorry I grew up in Kansas. But I’m gonna go ahead and apply this texture to all of the elements just lightly. This part I don’t really want to texture that much. I’m going to actually sponge that. I’m getting too caught up in the art. And not the technique. I apologize. Alright, so we have all of these different designs. Let’s go ahead and lift off the stencil. And the act of lifting off the stencil itself is going to lift off alcohol ink that was underneath it. And so You can see the designs that are left on the plate. Now I’m going to go ahead and take a Color of paint and just for the purposes of this one. I’m going to use the buff I Tend to like this buff color versus a white Or even a clear color on my pages. I’m just gonna use buff this time. Prime my brayer again. I’m running out of space. Hmm this is kind of interacting with the gel medium that was on there already, so this is going to make an interesting print. We’ll see what we get. I have a feeling it’s going to look a little more vintage. Because it’s kind of pulling apart. Okay, I’m going to place the book now. If you wanted to go across the spine… let’s do that. Let me get a little more paint on here. The beauty is that we don’t have to work really really fast. Which is nice. I’m going to get a little more paint on here on to the border area. I’m like forgetting it and it needs a little bit of our attention as well. Okay So we paint on the border paint done there Now we’re gonna place our journal in here spine down, first. Just make good contact with that spine. You know the more flat your journal lays, the better. But because you can push into the spine you should be able to get across the whole thing. And I can even lift up of course these other pages and just get a little closer to the work. It’s holding everything in place. It self-registers. So you should be able to get a really good print via this method. I could also have flipped over the gel plate and pressed it in and actually seen it making contact. But I’m the 12 by 12 plate in the area that I’m working in as little bit unwieldy for right in front of my computer. See how we’re doing. Yeah, gorgeous. Okay. So there we go. Now we’ve got a print and it went across the spine. Here’s the spine Went across and got the other stuff too, and so a really fun basis for a page See how it went across the spine with no issue. Here’s where the spine is located. Really fun, so just to show you those techniques today… Should we have one more that we want to do? Yes! One more. Okay. So printing in your art journal is easy. Once again, place the spine down first and you can get an amazing print. Next up, totally different animal. I’m going to do a print with the Impressables. The Impressables are textured gel plates. They have an embossed raised design. And I’m actually just placing it on top of my 12 by 12 plate here. We are going to do a print with alcohol ink on the Impressable. Just to show you how pretty they are. And we will add this to our page. Okay. Fiirst off, I tend to use the plate here kind of like a palette. So first thing I’m going to do is clean off some of this acrylic paint that’s already on the plate. So I can have kind of a cleaner area to work with. Okay. Now I’m gonna take some some alcohol ink and just place it here as usual. I can use the rest of the Gel Press as a puddle pad while I’m working with a smaller area. And I’m gonna brayer that beautiful color directly on to the Rose Mandala Impressable. Let’s bring in another color. Purple this time. And once again brayer. Onto the Rose Mandala. I thought you might be able to see this color a little bit better. Yeah. And lastly, I’m going to bring in a light color. A totally different color. Over here, so it doesn’t reactivate the other guys. And just do a little bit of this. I think I’m gonna add that directly on. Lighter colors tend to brayer off very easily. I’m gonna add this directly on to the Rose Mandala itself, and just brayer it from there. Light colors lifts off so easily, but they do give nice subtle patterns. I just love this coral for that purpose. Okay. So we have alcohol ink all over the Rose Mandala. Knocking everything over. And now I want to texture it a little bit so I can go in and do the same, different kinds of texturing I want to do. Or grab something as detailed for example as a rubber stamp. this is a really detailed text rubber stamp, and I can take that and just kind of kiss that design in different places across here. And it is lifting off the alcohol ink in its pattern, which is really cool. And Last thing we need to do when we’re working with dry ink. First of all you get a sensation of how quickly it dries just by the lifting I just did. But the last thing we are going to do… first I’m going to place this actually on a piece of white paper. So you can see it better because I’ve got plate in between it and and us. So let’s get this out of the way. And put it down on this piece of paper just so you can see. All right. So you can see all the design, all the texture. And you can see that when you’re doing the lifting with the stamp you can see how dry the ink is already? So now let’s do a lift. We’re going to pick it up. And I’m going to take a contrasting color. I think this time I will just use a gel medium again. So let me clean off my little palette. So it’s not chock-full of paint. We’re going to take our gel medium That careful application that I always do. And prime our brayer. And apply the gel medium across the Rose Mandala. Now I want to show you that I am also attempting to hit, when I applied with a brayer, I did not avoid the areas around the Rose Mandala. Specifically because I like to get all of these areas. So if I press just a little bit harder I can get those covered with the gel medium as well. Because I want all of this. There’s nothing I don’t want to get off of this print. And so I’m going to take the now and place it… Shall we do it in the art journal? I think so. I think it needs more fun. We’re going to take this and we’re going to place it on top of the art journal. Just to show you again that you can go directly into your book. Yeah. There we go. So just pressing firmly, making good contact. Once again it sort of self-registers. I’m pressing in the open spaces to the side as well, because I want them to make contact with the paper. And if I’ve applied enough Bindex I should see that lifting off. Yep. You can see when I’m peeling it back Like I said it’s self-registers, so if I missed a spot I could always go back down. And in the past, actually gone back down and started lifting from the other side just to make sure I’m happy. I’m happy with the whole thing. Thank goodness. So we have a gorgeous Beautiful mandala pattern in here and I do have this part over here Which I could also apply to the remainder of the page. Just to tie the two sides of the page together with the rest of the design. Once again, I’m making sure that I get contact even with the parts that are the open areas. Make sure and get all of that. Voila! So that was the Rose Mandala Impressable. With alcohol ink. And showing you again that you can see through all of the areas of the design to everything that was on behind and underneath it. Once again because the alcohol ink is a dry pickup There’s no bleed through in your book at all. So you can work with all kinds of different media, using the Gel Press and Not waste a drop of it. So a quick walk through again. There is our art journal page. This is the alcohol ink printed on top of the existing acrylic print that I had. Showing you the transparency because we used a gel medium for the pickup agent and The fact that you can print on old books because you’ve released it already. So there’s no bleed through and it’s not wet. So it works really well doing a… I’m not sure if I’m going to call it a ghost print… an alcohol lift, let’s call it. Because once it’s been lifted once, it just lifts right off onto other pieces as well. So I hope you’ve enjoyed the presentation today. And that my camera has stayed on focus and on point. I will of course take all of these prints that I’ve made and scan them in and post them in the video edit when the presentation is over. Thanks for sticking with me, I know this was a long one! I hope you had fun, and I’ll be answering your questions once I stop streaming. Thanks for watching. Bye!