Vibrant colours spread and blend, creating enchanting marbled and shaded effects along with outlined abstract patterns. Welcome to the world of alcohol ink painting, a technique which is catching on in Chennai.
Christina Ranjan, artist and interior design lecturer, who has mastered the art, is working to popularise it among art lovers in the city.
“It’s no rocket science”, says Christina. But it's a skill that has to be learnt.
Alcohol inks are highly-pigmented, acid-free colours, she explains. Instead of water or linseed oil used with more conventional paints, these colours are blended using isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol. A 91% - 99% pure solution works best. “Alcohol dries much faster than water, which means that the alcohol ink paintings dry quicker than others”, explains Christina. The rubbing alcohol also acts as a corrector, helping artists to tweak their work.
These special paints ideally need a special surface too. The ‘paper’ to be used contains a lot of plastic, and is non-porous and recyclable. Both the paints and the paper are available at upmarket art supply stores in Chennai, though Christina imports the colours she uses from USA. “The Tim Holtz Ranger Alcohol Inks are most commonly used. They are available in over 60 colours and additional metallic tones”, says the artist. The very names of these hues - Blanc Blanc (white) Sangria (dark red) and Senorita Magenta (deep pink) for instance - add a touch of exoticism to the art.
This contemporary medium is ideal for designing posters and greeting cards, according to Christina.
Mixed medium art using acrylic, oil and other paints, and materials like resin and polymer clay is possible, but takes a lot of work, she says.
Christina’s art studio at Ayanavaram has been organizing popular workshops on this technique. Three are scheduled this month. (Jan 11& 12; Jan 21 & 22; Jan 29 & 30). Since the technique involves the use of alcohol, participants are required to be over 16 years of age....