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Background Technique Using Rubbing Alcohol

This is such a fun background technique. But, I gotta be honest, it took me some tries to get it to work in some cases. But all art is practice, right?

Use rubbing alcohol to make this magical background technique

So, the issue I ran into was that I wanted to use my regular craft paint, so I squirted some in a cup:

See what rubbing alcohol does to acrylic paint

But I know it has to be a bit runny, so I added some water:

Thinned acrylics plus rubbing alcohol

Now, you can do it that way, but it's difficult to find the perfect consistency. And the results weren't quite as awesome.

So, I'm going to show you how it went using the Golden High Flow Acrylics.

I squirted some paint on my card stock and filled my page:

Using high flow acrylics and rubbing alcohol
Find out what happens when you mix rubbing alcohol with acrylic paints

Then you're gonna want to let that dry.

Once dry, give your paper a coat of a different high-flow acrylic color:

Find out what happens when you mix rubbing alcohol with acrylic paints

And now the fun part...

Dip a dowel or something similar into some rubbing alcohol:

Rubbing alcohol paint effects

And then splatter or tap the alcohol onto the wet paint of your second color:

Rubbing alcohol paint effects

Ooh Aah. Isn't that neat? Now, let that dry.

So, I had a set of Golden High Flow Paints. It only came with five colors, so that's what I was going to use.

I did not expect my next color to be quite so dark:

Layering acrylic paints and rubbing alcohol

But it still looked cool as I did another layer:

Cool effects of rubbing alcohol and acrylic paints

And one more in a darkish magenta:

What happens when you add rubbing alcohol to wet acrylics

Final result:

Amazing mixed media background technique

I think it looks like a tortoiseshell, doesn't it?

Here are the others I made using watered-down craft paint:

Rubbing alcohol on acrylics

So, you can still get some really cool-looking backgrounds even if you don't have high-flow paints.

Have fun!

And if you like that technique, check out my acrylic resist background technique.

Rubbing alcohol on acrylics
Rubbing alcohol and acrylics

Mixed Media rubbing alcohol on acrylic paints


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