How To Use Inks – 10 Ideas For Using Acrylic Inks

hey creatives I love helping you to get
the most out of your arty stash – so today I thought we could explore inks and I’ve
got ten great techniques for you to try so if you have inks in your stash or
you’re looking to buy them then hopefully this will give you some ideas
to inspire you to get creative with them now the inks that I’m going to use today
are acrylic inks but a lot of these techniques will work with other inks that you
might have, so drawing inks, dyes and your liquid water colors which are very
popular at the moment and even your ink pad reinkers so grab what you have and
give them a go and see what you can do so the paper I’m going to use is this
Fabriano artist paper pack and you can buy this in different weights so the one
I’ve got is the 120 GSM which I believe is around 32 pounds if you do your paper
weights in pounds. So this paper is perfect for printing on and it will take light
washes and of course it’s great for drawing on as well and I buy it in bulk
like this because I get through a lot of it and it works out a lot cheaper so
have a look around and see what you can get. For these types of experiments you
don’t necessarily need top-quality artist paper you just want something to
play around with and make lots of messes with and as usual I’ve listed all the
products that I’ve used in the description below the video so if you’re
using a critic inks or pigment inks then it’s possible that you’ve got a bit of
sediment at the bottom of your bottle if they’ve been standing for a while so
you’re going to need to mix that back in so give it a good old shake or if
there’s instructions on the bottle just follow the instructions so technique
number one let’s use it with a brayer so there’s tons of ways that you can use
inks with Briers and if you’re a card maker then you probably know quite a few
already but you may not have thought about using the inks that you get in
jars with brayers like these acrylic inks so quick simple way just drip it
out onto a non absorbent surface like a craft mat or a flat palette pick it up
with the brayer and spread it out on your paper now doing it this way you get
some great texture but if you want to smooth a look then apply your ink to a
piece of foam to make your own ink pad and use traditional ink pad brayering
techniques but if you’re using acrylic inks in that way then you are
to need to make sure you wash that foam afterwards as the acrylic inks might dry
hard. Another fun way if using the brayer is to use one that already has a texture
on it and I love making my own textures using craft foam and I’ve hand-cut
these and just stuck them to my brayer you can also use dies to do this so if
you’ve seen my 5 ways with background dies then you would have seen me doing
that so I’ll leave a link to that video in the cards and also in the description
below and then of course there’s always the elastic bands isn’t now you can just
add an elastic band to your brayer and has just a super simple way of adding
some more texture and getting some fun mark-making [MUSIC] so whilst we are on brayers why don’t we
try cutouts and masking? So I’ve just cut out some really simple shapes just using
ordinary copier paper so this is the kind of stuff that you just put in your
printer so I’m just gonna use these shapes to mask of some areas and I don’t
want the shapes to move as I pass the brayer over them so I’m just going to
use some low tack tape like washi tape fold it into a tube and stuck on the
back of my shapes to keep them in place so let’s have a play and see how well
this works [MUSIC] quite a useful little technique now what
you need to do is just to make sure that you have enough ink on the edges so you
can see that definition between where the mask was and where the mask wasn’t
when you take the mask off. Okay next up, let’s play with some ink washes now how
these work will depend on what type of ink you’re using so if you’re using watercolors or dye based inks they may act slightly differently to the acrylic inks. For
one thing quite a lot of the acrylic inks will dry permanently so once they’re dry if you
add water over the top they won’t budge whereas with a lot of the fluid
watercolors and dye-based inks you may still get interaction with layers over
the top even after they’ve dried. But there’s nothing stopping you with
playing around and seeing how they work Plus another thing about the acrylic
inks once you’ve put them down they tend not to blend in the same way that say a
fluid watercolor will or a dye based ink will and if you can see here you can
still see the lines where I put the brush marks so if you want blended looks
they do take a little bit more work. So once I’ve dried this off let’s have a
look at what happens when I add another color over the top so first I’ll add
some strong color where I’ve only used a little bit of water and then I’ll add a
more dilute wash using more water As you can see there’s been no movement of the
color underneath so you can happy layer these colors to get interesting looks
and as this rather wet layer dries you will get the kind of watercolor blooms
that you see that sort of cauliflower look edges to them which I think always
makes a really nice and interesting texture but I know it’s not to
everyone’s taste. Another thing to look out for is your edge. So the lines that occur where the pigment sits on the edge of where you put the color. You get these
in watercolor as well but if you try and layer over the top of those you will
dissolve and change them but with acrylic inks, if they’ve dried, they tend
to stay pretty put and pretty sharp so they can be quite fun texture to play
with as well and we’ll see more of those and how to
use them in the next technique which is drawing so coarse the simplest way of
drawing with these types of inks is to use the eyedropper that comes
the bottle and you can make some really great marks and do some really
expressive kind of drawings with this type of technique. If your ink doesn’t
come with an eyedropper or you don’t want to use it too then of course you
can use dip pens to do the same sort of thing and you can use them as dip pens
or you can use them as I’m doing here and that is to spread out the ink and
make more marks and I’ve got two different types here I’ve got one that
holds a nip and one that’s been carved from a piece of bamboo and it’s just a
fun way of trying out different ways of making marks and don’t forget also to
use the flat side of your nib as well so turn your nib holder or your bamboo pen
upside down and use that and this is a great way of making some broader marks
and if you don’t have dip pens try using a brush handle [QUIET MUSIC] and of course don’t
forget your palette knife, you can make some very interesting marks with palette
knives but what I really wanted to show you with the palette knife is technique
number five which I’m calling scraping and then we’re gonna do a wash over. so is exactly how it sounds I’m just scraping the ink that’s still wet across
this page and I using my palette knife for that but you can also use a plastic card
or any straight edge that you might have and if we take a closer look you can see
some of the marks that I was making earlier with the dip pens the brush and
the eyedropper and that’s because some of the pigment in those marks has dried
and is permanent so this is another great use for your acrylic inks over
your dye based or your fluid watercolors and look what happens if I then put a
wash over the top. So this is just ordinary water on a brush and it’s
picking up any of the pigment that’s still wet and just drawing it across the
page so there’s definitely an element to serendipity in this it’s not something
you can control perfectly but it’s something that you can play around with
and see how long you need to let things dry how long they need to stay wet to
get these kind of effects and then work on how to use them to great effect in
your artwork. Okay so as we’re kind of on eyedroppers at least that’s where we
started let’s stay with eyedroppers for technique number six which is drops and
splatters now I’m sure you’ve probably played
around with these a lot already if you haven’t tried them at different heights
to see what kind of splatter effects you can get and also don’t be afraid of
bubbles in these bubbles can be great fun and a great way to get an
interesting effect and if your ink bottle doesn’t already have an
eyedropper you can just get plastic eyedroppers and they’re often available
in chemist shops or in art shops. Other things you’re going to want to try is
flicking so see how flicking onto the paper works for you this is a very messy
technique so you might want to make sure that you’re wearing an apron and that
your surrounding area is covered. And don’t forget to also play around with
letting those drops just dribble down the page and see how that works for you.
So more things that you can try with this technique is to just use water as
well, nothing to stop you from splattering water over a page and seeing
how that works in the wet ink and whilst we’re at it why not just add another
color? Giving yourself permission to just have play with inks like this
is really good fun and a really good way of getting to know them and I hope
that’s the techniques that I’ve showed you so far have been helpful to you.
We’ve got a few more techniques to go but before we do, give me a shout out
what kind of inks you are using at the moment I would love to hear and let me
know what your favorite techniques are for using with them. And of course if you
are finding this video useful then I really would appreciate if you could
like it that would be fantastic share it with anyone you think would
also like it and find it helpful and of course if you’re not one of my
subscribers become one of my subscribers as well it’ll be great to have you on
board! Ok so who’s up for technique number
seven? Everyone get your hands up? So technique number seven is some more
mark-making but this time we’re going to use the sponges and a bit of stamping so
it is in fact two techniques for the price of one! Cut up an ordinary piece of kitchen
sponge but if you wanted to you could also use some foam like the Rangers ink
inkssentials foam I’ve put a little bit on a plastic sheet and I’m just picking up a
small amount on my sponge and if you’re using it through stencils like I’m using
here then you really only need the tiniest amount it’s better to start with
less and build up than to have too much and have it squidge underneath the
stencil after a few days you soon get the hang of it
and you can do all sorts of other mark-making with sponges as well so try
all of those out too. so there’s lots of different ways that you can use your
stamps and do some printing with your inks as well. So you could put the ink into a sponge and sponge it onto the stamp or printing mark maker. You can do what I’m doing here and that’s just dipping the mark maker into the ink and
then dipping it onto the page. You can also use a brush, brush it on or a brayer
and brayer it onto the surface and press that surface onto your paper. So
have a go and see which one’s you prefer to use. [QUIET MUSIC] And as we have all this lovely
ink still in our plastic piece of paper it’s time for technique number eight and
a bit of mat printing. So I used this technique a lot in all sorts of things
not just with my inks but also with my with my paints as well. And here I’m showing you
what it looks like neat but then also what it looks like if you spray water
onto the ink as well to get a more watercolor effect and if you’re a galaxy
art fan then this is a really fun technique for making galaxy art and I’ve
got a tutorial over on the blitzy blog when I was working with them that uses
this technique with fluid watercolours to make some galaxy art in this it’s a
great fun way to do it so have a look at that I’ll leave a link to that in the
description below. Okay so next up is a really fun printing technique. So in this
technique I’m going to use ink to get a rubbing off of a textured surface and
I’m just using some chipboard pieces to make my textured surface and you can use
anything if you’ve got embossing folders you can use that, I’ve even done it on
things like paper clips and scissors all sorts of things so give it a go so it’s
very similar to the technique where you’d use a pencil or crayon to make a
rubbing over a textured surface but in this case we’re going to use ink. Now it
takes a little bit more practice because you want another thing to make a rubbing
but not so much ink that it just drowns out the shape so you might need to try
it a couple of times to get the hang of this now this also works with other
paints as well so this will also work with acrylic paint too
– so again it’s another one to try and see what you can do that and of course
if you’re inspired for anything I’m doing here and you try these out I would
love to see how you get on with them and what you do with them next I always love
seeing the creations you make and where it takes you
I mean that’s the best but the job isn’t it? So if you do share anything you do
tag me in and I’ll come over and have a look and all of my social media tags are
below so give me a shout. And a big thank you to everyone who does that I love
seeing what you make and it’s great to connect with you and I can’t wait to see
what you do next okay. Ok so our last technique today we’re going to need a
piece of string and this is just ordinary string so let’s see what kind
of marks we can make with it. So ink and string are a perfect match,
so first up is really great at straight lines and the texture is great fun too
but catch this I love making circles with them this is
really good fun hey you think I’d get a bit overexcited by a piece of string?
Okay let’s try making some rounded shapes and to do this I think I’ll sand
with some between two pieces of paper [QUIET MUSIC] okay let’s try that again and this time
put a little bit more ink on there and see what effect that has so you’ve got a
couple of really good examples of how to utilize string with your ink but another
thing you can do is string which is brilliant is to load it up with ink and
then strum it over your surface so what I mean by this
if you hold one end fixed and stretch the string tight over your piece of
paper and flick it like you would a guitar string so the vibrations cause a
great mark on the page and if you lift the string up and down you can also get
interesting splatter marks as well which is great fun and if you want a closer
look at these splatter marks I’ve got a picture of them on my blog so I’ll leave
a link below the video or if you’re watching this on my blog just scroll
down! So I hope your head is buzzing with lots of creative ideas and things you
want to try out today have fun and I’ll see you on Wednesday
thanks for watching bye


  • Karen Toms

    Informative video as always Kim. TFS X

  • Jane Royston

    Thank you Kim, have a few acrylic Inks and am always stuck with what to do with them! Love the string ideas, definitely some I will be trying out ? xx

  • Heidi Lilley

    I have a few different kinds of acrylic inks (lots of colors), and had put them away after my first few experiments with them, but earlier this past week I pulled out my container of them and just played and played for over 2 hours making background pages. I had so much fun. I got some great ideas from you. I do not think that inks are my favorite medium, but they are definitely fun to just let loose.

  • Kim Daniel

    I have just started playing with the inks I have and you have given me so many great ideas. I really like the string ones. I hadn't seen those before

  • Diana Trout

    fun stuff, Kim.

  • Anne Faint

    Thanks for some lovely ideas,,,.xx

  • Catherine Peddel

    Excellent ideas, thank you Kim.

  • Catherine Peddel

    Which supplier did you use to buy your brayer from? I had a look at both suppliers but couldn't see one with a detachable head.

  • Dorothy Radley

    Some great techniques Kim. I love the string one. I have Winsor & Newton inks but I haven't used them yet. I will have to dig them out and have a go. Thanks Kim. xxx

  • Marsha Pitman

    Kim, this video is so on time! I ordered some acrylic inks last week and now I can't wait for them to get here!!! Thank you!!!

  • Chattylaine Creates

    Oh yes I love string loving that last one where you've gone round in a circle….. also you can pull the string out from between 2 pieces of paper… make a loop first load the string with paint then pull…

  • Ruth Andrews - Crafting While the Baby Naps

    I had no idea you got so many different kinds of ink. I don’t have any – not even distress reinkers. Loved the marks you get from string – that’s really creative. Great ideas! Xx

  • Kim Dellow

    Get more from your stash with these ideas to help you use the products that you have:

  • Manal Sugar Art

    Love it !! Thank you Kim ..

  • Eco Artist Nick

    liquitex inks all the way!

  • Jean Zaccardelli

    thankyou ive Amsterdam inks now ive seen how to use them thanks to youre fab video .

  • Tiff Hop

    Just found your channel.. love love ♥️all these ideas..gonna try them all???

  • Jess Butterfly

    Could you please tell me the beautiful paint brush your using in this video?

  • Fianne V

    Thanks for this video. Very useful. Love that you also show what happens if you use it 'wrong' (although there hardly is anything wrong in art). I especially loved the string techniques. I'm still working out what kind of inks I'm gonna buy. Up to then I will try this with acrylic paint and watercolors.

  • Debbie Bonner

    Great video, thanks for sharing!

  • Arlene Mraz

    Thanks for reminding me that I have some lonely inks that I need to get out for some play time……like the string Leda…mraz

  • Nora Medwell

    Hi Kim ! Thank you for showing interesting techniques. I use Liquitex and DR inks. Do you know how to use acrylic inks on a stretched canvas to create an interesting background? How to prepare the canvas for the ink ? Thank you !

  • Drinie Cilliers

    You are the most wonderful person in the world.

  • 57mobird

    Was just searching for techniques to use with some black acrylic ink I bought – my first time to use it, and I came upon your vid here. Had to stop the vid to comment before it was even over because I'm so psyched by the tips and ideas you're sharing – thanks! Now back to the vid…!

  • Zanner Bateman

    I do a lot of card making and I would have liked to have seen more drawing with the inks, creating more definitive patterns than just backgrounds. I'm very interested in inks, of all kinds …. and had hoped to see more being done with them.

  • Eileen Murray

    I am wanting to learn how to create transparency in layers and I think #5 is one way. If you have more info that would be great.


    Great ideas. Thanks!

  • Tanya MICHEL

    bravo c"est du papier yupo que vous utilisez ou un autre

  • math1mom

    Do these acrylic colors breakdown if they are watered down too much?

  • Angela Caig

    Agree that the paper is great i have the heavest in a3 and next one down in a4 it also makes posh printer paper for things that matter

  • Griffly Art

    Since India ink dries permanent as well, does that mean it is an acrylic ink?

  • Manali

    What's the difference between watercolor inks, acrylic ink, drawing ink, india ink and fountain pen ink?

  • Manali

    Are white inks opaque in nature?

  • Kristina Kowalski

    Delightful presentation

  • L McGlinchey

    Very nice! I’ve been watching oodles of videos and you had LOTS of unique ideas. Very cool!

  • Timothy Mathetes

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have not tried inks before and this video has been very helpful. I will watch it again and try out the methods you shared. I have one Liquitex ink to try for now. ADEBO

  • Brenna Croker

    can you use liquitex acrylic ink in a brush pen? i can’t find any good info on the subject

  • Cathy holmes

    Love that big fat wash brush! What should I look for when shopping for one?

  • Kathryn Parmeter

    You are delightful. I’m so frustrated with acrylic inks! I made a huge mess. *sigh. I so look forward to your posts. I’m using liquitex, Daler Romney and Dr. Ph Martin’s. I loved the mat printing!

  • Mackenzie Breanne

    These are such fun new ways! High quality video too!

  • Online College of Art and Design

    very helpful!

  • xxOwLEyeSxx

    I love how you put this video together! Such a variety of techniques! Can't wait to follow you on all the social medias! Thank you for sharing these. I can't wait to try them all out! Fun fun!!

  • Elaine Foran

    I absolutely love your encouraging give it a go attitude. A lot of people are all for the rules of their products which can be intimidating. You are so open and creative.
    One technique I was itching for you to try is to manipulate drops and splashes by blowing with a drinking straw like we did when we were in school. It's really fun and gives lovely effects.

  • Jean Kirschtein

    The string tip was my favorite

  • Dalprem Kaur Art

    Thank you!!! So inspiring!! What kind of paper are you using?

  • Lucy art and crafts marrerito

    Your ideas are great thank you


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