Cactus Alcohol Ink Painting

Draw and paint with alcohol inks and mixed media paintbrushes to create a quirky cactus painting! Explore new and exciting mixed media techniques using alcohol inks, gel pens, and Yupo paper and learn how to mount your artwork on a hardwood panel for a ready-to-frame effect. You’ll be left with a co...


1. Transfer drawing on to Yupo paper or draw directly using a graphite pencil.

2. Add inks to round well palette, and dilute with alcohol ink blending solution.

3. Using a soft brush for mixed media, watercolors or acrylics, apply alcohol ink inside drawing keeping the ink away from the edges and allowing to seep outward. Lift any ink using a dry brush that runs too far off the drawing.

4. Apply a variety of colors from the palette and allow them to blend until the drawing areas are filled. Use pearlescent white alcohol ink to indicate highlights.

5. Use Sakura gel pen to draw around edges, and add fine lines on cactus needles that extend outside of the drawing. Blend gel pen colors by layering them on top of one another. Use purple and red colors to draw cactus needled inside the cactus drawing once alcohol inks are dry.

6. Use a micron pen to add hard edges around the cactus painting and help detail areas to stand out.

7. Adhere Yupo paper to wood panel using a flat brush and gel medium as an adhesive. Work gel medium into the surface of the board, then place Yupo paper flush to the edges. Place a clean piece of paper on top of the painting, then roll over with a brayer and apply pressure to release any air bubbles.

8. Prop painting up from the tabletop surface and place over a tray to catch any run off in the resin pouring process.

9. Mix 2 ounces of Colorberry resin in a container with a craft stick using a 1:1 ratio until the cloudy mixture turns clear and pour mixture over the entire painting. Gently tilt and apply resin over the entire surface until completely covered.

10. Use a handheld torch at least 6 inches away from the surface to release air bubbles from the resin and allow to dry flat for 24 hours.

PLEASE READ: Important Safety Precautions to follow when using Alcohol Inks and Blending Solution

Before beginning this project or before using alcohol inks or blending solutions of any kind, please make sure to do the following:

  • Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area such as a room with open windows or outside.

  • Wear a mask to avoid directly breathing in alcohol fumes.

  • Wear gloves to protect hands from staining.

  • Hold any heat or air tool (straws, hair dryers, heat guns, etc.) at least six inches away from your work surface.

  • Please read all product instructions and labels before using.