When it comes to alcohol ink and acrylic ink, many people don’t know the difference between them.
In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between alcohol ink and acrylic ink and how to use each type of ink.
We will also explore which type of ink is better for certain applications. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, read on to learn all about alcohol ink vs acrylic ink!
Alcohol Ink Vs Acrylic Ink
Alcohol ink and acrylic ink differ in composition and behavior. Alcohol inks are fast-drying, dye-based, and ideal for non-porous surfaces, creating vibrant, flowing patterns. Acrylic inks are pigment-based, water-resistant when dry, and suitable for various surfaces, offering rich, opaque results. Both inks cater to different artistic needs and techniques.
What is Acrylic Ink?
Acrylic ink is a type of ink made from acrylic resin. It’s similar to regular ink but has a higher pigmentation level and is waterproof.
It is used for a variety of applications, from painting to printmaking.
Unlike water-based inks, which can be easily diluted with water, acrylic inks are much more concentrated and require special solvents for cleanup.
As a result, they tend to be more vibrant and longer-lasting than their water-based counterparts.
What is Alcohol Ink?
It’s a type of ink that is typically used for crafting and art projects. It is made with, you guessed it, alcohol!
The ink is usually made with denatured alcohol, which is alcohol that has had its properties changed so that it is no longer safe to drink.
This type of ink is very popular because it is very versatile. It can be used on a variety of surfaces, and it dries quickly.
Plus, it comes in a wide range of colors, so you can really get creative with your projects.
Alcohol Ink Vs Acrylic Ink: Head-to-Head Comparison
Both Alcohol Ink and Acrylic Ink have their pros and cons, but which one is the better choice?
Let’s pit them against each other in a head-to-head comparison to find out.
1. Acrylic ink vs alcohol ink: Composition
Alcohol Ink: Predominantly dye-based, alcohol inks have their colorants suspended in a solution of alcohol.
This particular composition makes them fluid, allowing for spontaneous flow and organic spread on a surface. The alcohol acts as a solvent, ensuring that the ink remains spreadable and blendable until it evaporates.
Acrylic Ink: Acrylic inks derive their color from pigments—fine solid particles—suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion.
This composition provides them the flexibility of acrylic paints, but with a liquid consistency. The presence of pigments means that they can often offer more vibrant and lasting colors compared to dyes.
2. Acrylic ink vs alcohol ink: Drying Time
Alcohol Ink: Due to its alcohol base, these inks evaporate and dry exceptionally quickly.
This rapid drying time can be advantageous when working on quick projects but may pose challenges when blending or extending work time.
Acrylic Ink: While they do dry faster than traditional acrylic paints, acrylic inks dry slower than alcohol inks.
This provides a slightly prolonged working time, allowing artists more flexibility for blending and layering.
3. Acrylic vs alcohol ink: Surfaces
Alcohol Ink: Best suited for non-porous surfaces, alcohol inks shine on materials like Yupo paper, glass, tiles, and ceramics.
On these surfaces, they create beautiful, unpredictable patterns, blossoms, and halos.
However, on porous surfaces, the inks can be absorbed unevenly, leading to less vibrant results.
Acrylic Ink: Highly versatile, acrylic inks can adhere to numerous surfaces ranging from paper and canvas to wood and fabrics.
Their strong adhesion properties mean the final artwork is durable and less prone to chipping or peeling.
4. Alcohol vs acrylic ink: Opacity
Alcohol Ink: These inks tend to be transparent, which allows for a layering technique that can create depth and luminosity in artworks.
Their translucency is especially noticeable on non-porous surfaces, where the inks can freely flow, merge, and interact.
Acrylic Ink: The pigment-based nature of acrylic inks gives them the advantage of offering both opaque and transparent options.
Artists can achieve rich, consistent colors with acrylic inks, and they can be diluted for more translucent effects.
5. Acrylic ink vs alcohol ink: Water Resistance
Alcohol Ink: Once dried, alcohol inks are not water-resistant. This means that if they come into contact with water or another liquid, the artwork can smudge or lift off the surface.
However, this vulnerability can be mitigated by sealing the artwork with a protective layer, like a clear sealant or varnish.
Acrylic Ink: One of the hallmarks of acrylic inks is their inherent water resistance upon drying.
Even if they come into contact with water after they’ve dried, they remain unaffected.
This water-resistant quality ensures that artworks created with acrylic inks are durable and long-lasting.
Alcohol Ink vs Acrylic Ink in Resin
Alcohol ink and acrylic ink are two popular choices for resin projects. Each has its own unique properties that can produce different results.
Alcohol ink is thinner and flows more easily, giving it a delicate look. It can also be used to create transparency and layer colors.
Acrylic ink is thicker and more opaque, making it ideal for bolder designs. It can also be mixed with other mediums, such as paints or powders, to create unique effects.
So, which is the better choice for your next resin project? That depends on the look you’re going for.
If you want something subtle and elegant, alcohol ink may be the way to go. If you’re looking for something more dramatic, then acrylic ink may be a better option.
What is Acrylic Ink Used For?
Acrylic ink can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
How to Make Acrylic Ink?
While you can purchase pre-made acrylic inks, making your own is possible. To do so, you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup of acrylic paint
- 1/2 cup of distilled water
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon of glycerin
- A glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
Step 1: Add the acrylic paint to the glass jar.
Step 2: Add the distilled water and stir until the paint is completely dissolved.
Step 3: Add the white vinegar and glycerin and stir gently until combined.
Step 4: Screw on the lid and shake the jar until the ink is well-mixed.
Step 5: Use a funnel to pour the ink into an empty bottle.
Step 6: Label the bottle and store it in a cool, dark place.
What is Alcohol Ink Used For?
Alcohol ink can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Art projects
How to Make Alcohol Ink?
Just like with acrylic inks, you can purchase pre-made alcohol inks or make your own. If you want to make your own alcohol ink, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Food coloring
- A glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
Step One: Pour isopropyl alcohol into the glass jar.
Step Two: Add a few drops of food coloring and stir gently until combined.
Step Three: Screw on the lid and shake the jar until the ink is well-mixed.
Step Four: Use a funnel to pour the ink into an empty bottle.
Step Five: Label the bottle and store it in a cool, dark place.
Can You Use Acrylic Ink in Resin?
Yes, acrylic ink can be used in resin. When mixed with resin, acrylic ink disperses smoothly, allowing for vibrant color swirls and effects.
However, it’s essential to ensure the ink is compatible with the chosen resin and to prevent over-saturation. Testing a small batch first is advisable for optimal results.
Mixing acrylic paint with UV resin can achieve several desired effects:
- Coloration: Acrylic paint allows artists to tint the resin to a specific hue, enabling a broader palette of colors than commercially available colored resins.
- Opacity Control: The amount of acrylic paint added can adjust the opacity of the resin, shifting it from transparent to translucent or even opaque.
- Texture Variation: Adding acrylic can introduce a unique texture or visual depth to the resin piece, especially when layered or combined with other inclusions.
- Cost-Effective: Using acrylic paint can be a cost-effective way to color large volumes of resin, as only a small amount of paint is typically needed.
- Adhesion and Flexibility: Acrylic paint can improve the adhesion of UV resin to surfaces and provide some level of flexibility to the cured piece, reducing brittleness.
Can You Use Alcohol Ink on Acrylic Surface?
Yes, you can use alcohol ink on acrylic surfaces. However, the results may not be exactly what you’re expecting.
Alcohol ink is typically used on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal.
When applied to an acrylic surface, the ink will sit on top of the material rather than sinking in and bonding with it.
This can create an interesting effect, but it’s important to know that the ink may not adhere as well as it would to other surfaces.
If you’re planning to use alcohol ink on an acrylic project, test it out first on a scrap piece of material to see how it will look before you commit to the design.
Acrylic Ink Painting Ideas
- Create a marbled effect by adding alcohol ink to acrylic paints and then swirling it on a canvas.
- Mix acrylic ink with water to create a translucent glaze. Apply it over an existing painting to add depth and interest.
- Use a straw to blow alcohol ink across a canvas. The resulting design will be random and abstract.
- Experiment with mixing different colors of alcohol ink together to create new shades.
How to Use Acrylic Ink on Canvas
Acrylic ink can be used on canvas in a variety of ways. It can be applied with a brush, airbrush, or even sprayed directly from the bottle.
Acrylic ink is also compatible with other mediums, such as paints and markers.
This means that you can mix it with other colors to create new shades or use it to add detail to an existing painting.
When using acrylic ink on canvas, starting with a clean surface is important. Acrylic ink is permanent, so it will be very difficult to remove once it dries.
If you’re not sure how the color will look, test it out on a scrap piece of the canvas first.
Once you’re ready to start, apply the ink to the canvas in thin layers. Build up the color slowly until you achieve the desired effect.
How to Use Acrylic Ink on Glass
Working with acrylic ink on glass can be a bit tricky. Here are a few tips to help you get the best results:
- Make sure your glass surface is clean and free of oils or dirt. Acrylic ink will not adhere properly to a dirty or oily surface.
- Use a piece of scrap paper to test your ink before applying it to the glass surface. This will help you get a feel for how the ink will behave on the glass and allow you to make any necessary adjustments.
- When applying the ink to the glass, use even pressure and long, smooth strokes. However, avoid applying too much pressure, as this can cause the ink to bleed or feather.
- Allow the ink to dry completely before handling the glass. You can use a hair dryer set on low heat if you need to speed up the drying process.
Related Post: Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Glass?
Can You Add Water to Acrylic Ink?
Yes, you can add water to acrylic ink. However, doing so will change the properties of the ink and may affect the final result.
If you’re planning to add water to your ink, test it out on a scrap piece of paper first to see how it will behave.
Can You Add Water to Alcohol Ink?
No, you should not add water to alcohol ink. Alcohol ink is designed to be used on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal.
Adding water will cause the ink to bleed and feather, and it will not adhere properly to the surface.
Does Acrylic Ink Wash Out?
Yes, acrylic ink is water-based and can be washed out with soap and water. However, once it dries, it becomes permanent.
Does Alcohol Ink Wash Out?
No, alcohol ink is designed to be permanent and will not wash out of fabrics or other surfaces.
However, if you spill alcohol ink on your skin, you can remove it with rubbing alcohol.
Choosing the Best Acrylic Ink
There are a variety of acrylic inks on the market, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for your project. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an acrylic ink:
The type of surface you’re working with
Acrylic inks are designed for use on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal.
However, if you’re planning to use the ink on a porous surface, such as paper or fabric, be sure to choose an ink that is specifically designed for that type of surface.
Acrylic inks come in a wide range of colors, so you can find the perfect shade for your project.
If you’re unsure of which color to choose, ask for a sample at your local craft store.
There are many different brands of acrylic ink on the market, so it’s important to do your research and read reviews before making a purchase.
Some of the most popular brands include Golden and Amsterdam.
The Best Acrylic Inks
Here are a few of the best acrylic inks on the market:
1. Amsterdam ACRYLC Ink BLK
- This highly fluid acrylic ink has very low sedimentation, can be thinned with water or mediums, and dries waterproof
- Spectacular performance with airbrush, technical pen, fountain pen, brush application, poured or utilize the dropper that comes with the jar
- Ideal for a wide range of techniques like calligraphy, watercolor and airbrush
Amsterdam ACRYLC Ink BLK is a specially formulated black ink that is perfect for use with acrylic paint.
The ink has a rich, deep color that provides excellent coverage and can be used on a variety of surfaces.
The ink is also waterproof and smudge-resistant, making it ideal for use in mixed media projects.
Amsterdam ACRYLC Ink BLK is the perfect way to add a touch of darkness to your artwork.
2. Golden High Flow 1Oz Carbon Black
- GOLDEN HIGH FLOW ACRYLICS are an ultra-thin paint with ink-like consistency that provide incredible versatility. They can go directly from bottle to airbrush, refillable marker or dip pen and work great for drawing, staining, dripping, pouring and color washes. High Flow offers a palette that includes many single-pigment colors, as well as Fluorescent and Iridescent colors. While it acts like an ink, it’s an acrylic so it’s compatible with other GOLDEN Acrylic colors and mediums.
- COLOR ATTRIBUTES: ASTM Lightfastness I (Excellent). Opaque. Pigment(s): PBk7 (Nearly Pure Amorphous Carbon). Vegan.
- GOLDEN ARTIST COLORS is an Employee Owned Company.
Golden High Flow is an amazing product that can help you get the perfect black color for your project.
It is a true black and it flows beautifully giving you great coverage. The paint is also lightfast and permanent when used with Golden Acrylics.
Golden High Flow 1Oz Carbon Black is perfect for use on canvas, wood, or other painting surfaces.
Additionally, it is also great for mixed media and collage. This acrylic ink is essential for anyone who wants to create beautiful art.
Choosing the Best Alcohol Ink
There are a variety of alcohol inks on the market, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for your project.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting an alcohol ink:
Type of alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, or vodka?
Color: Choose a color that compliments your project.
Opacity: Some inks are more opaque than others.
Price: Alcohol inks can range in price from $0.50 to $30 per ounce.
Brand: Some brands of alcohol ink are better than others. Consider trying out a few before committing to one.
The Best Alcohol Inks
Here are a few of the best alcohol inks on the market:
1. Ranger Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Ink
- Favorite Colors Set – Includes all of the following color sets:
- Dockside Picnic, Summit View, Farmer’s Market, Nature Walk, Miners Lantern, Countryside
Ranger Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks are some of the best alcohol inks on the market.
They come in various colors, and they are opaque, making them perfect for projects requiring a lot of colors.
They also have a nice, smooth texture that makes them easy to work with.
Adirondack alcohol inks are also some of the most affordable alcohol inks, costing only $0.50 to $0.60 per ounce.
They can be used on a variety of surfaces, including glass, metal, plastic, and paper.
2. Piñata Alcohol Ink Exciter Pack by Jacquard, Overtones
- Highly-Saturated & Fast-Drying Colored Inks Made in USA: Perfect for precision, no running. A small amount goes a long way.
- Indelible & Impervious to Water: The quality of the colors will not be affected on surfaced that may get wet; they’ll look as good as when first applied.
- Extremely Versatile: Jacquard Pinata Colors quickly re-wet using rubbing alcohol that allows for dazzling effects that cannot be achieved with water-based products like acrylic paint. This also allows for easy cleaning.
The Piñata alcohol ink is the perfect way to excite your alcohol inks projects.
This pack comes with nine vibrant colors that are sure to add contrast and interest to any project.
The alcohol inks are also transparent, which means they can be layered for a more dimensional look.
They can be used on various surfaces, including glass, metal, plastic, and paper.
The Piñata alcohol ink exciter pack is a great way to add some fun and excitement to your alcohol inks projects.
What is the difference between acrylic and ink?
The main difference between acrylic and alcohol ink is that alcohol ink is a dye-based product, while acrylic paint is a pigment-based product. Alcohol inks are also typically more translucent than acrylics, which means they can be layered for a more dimensional look. Additionally, alcohol inks can be used on various surfaces, including glass, metal, plastic, and paper.
Can you make alcohol ink with acrylic paint?
This is a question we get a lot, and the answer is no. You cannot make alcohol ink with acrylic paint because alcohol will not dissolve the pigment particles. However, you can make alcohol ink from other materials, such as resin.
Is acrylic ink permanent?
Yes, acrylic ink is permanent. It is also waterproof and has a high degree of lightfastness, meaning it will not fade over time.
Alcohol ink vs acrylic ink final verdict
Alcohol inks and acrylic inks are two great products that can be used to create beautiful works of art.
Both have their own unique properties that make them ideal for different projects.
It is important to choose the right product for your project, so be sure to keep the above information in mind when making your decision.
Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful.