Have you wondered how to finish your alcohol ink art to hang on the wall? I’m also sharing my secret technique of creating plaster relief to add that extra special design element. Why not learn how to make 3D Textured wall Art with Alcohol ink that outshines the rest…
Why Make Textured Art?
Have you ever seen unique three dimensional art and wondered how it was actually made? Well, in this post show you an easy way to add that extra element of texture to your art. Texture makes art look more original and appeals to the senses of touch.
My Secret Technique:
This method of making the texture without sanding has been in the works for a few years! My love of making in concrete has led me to some important conclusions; plastic works well as a non-stick mold material. In other words; it lets the concrete or even plaster have a super smooth finish without sanding. I hate making dangerous dust!
Find sheets of plexi-glass, lexan, or even stiff packaging that is flat. Inexpensive frames often have plastic instead of glass. Glass is too stiff and you can not flex it for removing. Small strips will help finish sides of the boards.
How to Make the Texture Paste:
When I made my white birches texture art I used plaster mixed with white acrylic paint and Elmers glue. It worked well and has not cracked or fallen off. In this case I am wanting a basic plaster look with some added bonding strength. I decided to make dimensional layers, not that thick in depth, but did not want to just spackel it on.
I mixed Plaster of Paris with water to a creamy sour cream-like consistency. To add some polymer fortification I add some medium quality white acrylic paint. Do not add more than about 10% of the plaster amount. I notice that the fluid paint immediately makes the paint become thicker. It should be still a spreadable consistency but not too fluid. If you are not sure, test a small dab on a scrap of board.
Once you have the plaster/paint mix ready you can put some dabs on the alcohol ink art that you already made. This works best on a solid surface like the wood panel boards (instead of yupo paper) so there is no flexing and possible cracking. I primed the boards with Zinsser Primer.
This unique artwork design method is somewhat intuitive and not exact. My intention is to mimic the way natural shores follow around bodies of water. Is there really a right or wrong to nature?
Making Flat Texture Art:
Here is the magic; press a sheet of clear plastic over the plaster. It will spread it out and flatten it. It may leaves some small voids depending on your plaster application. Once I pressed it flat it was about 3-4mm thick.
To add some of the plaster texture to the sides a small strip of the plastic (clear packaging boxes can be used) can be used to make a square edge.
See the video to watch how it all comes together. The plaster set up quickly and became hard. The plastic sheet comes off easily as the plaster does not stick to it. You can add more alcohol ink in areas if you feel it needs it.
How to Add Some Gold Leaf
Well, I love how easy that was! It could just stay like that, but I think it needs some embellishment – gold! To add some extra shiny gold decided to add a faux gold leaf to the edges of the plaster only. Acrylic colours also come in gold but not as opulent. It is amazing how inexpensive it is. The Gold leaf sizing (adhesive) is a special glue that stays tacky enough to all the super fine sheets stick to wherever you have painted it.
It is a bit of a messy job but can be so effective. Some professional artists have different techniques for applying gold leaf.
3D Textured Wall Art with Alcohol Ink
- Heat Gun
- Miniature Torch
- Mixing Container & Utensils
- 2 Cups to Measure resin
- Paint brushes, variety
- Plastic sheets (shiny & stiff)
- Xacto Knife
- Plaster of Paris
- White Acrylic Paint
- Alcohol Ink Panel board Artwork (previously made)
- 2 part Epoxy Resin
- Gold Leaf Adhesive
- Sheets of Gold leaf (faux)
- Use prior prepared Alcohol Ink wood panel
- Mix Plaster with water (until sour cream consistency)
- Add some white acrylic paint (less than 10% by volume)
- Apply dabs onto art work
- Place plastic sheet over and press to flatten
- Add some at edges and strips of plastic at edge
- Once cured hard enough remove plastic to further dry/cure
- Paint Gold leaf adhesive along edges (dimensional thickness) and let dry (according to instructions)
- Apply sheets of gold leaf and move extra pieces to cover all adhesives
- Brush with soft brush to remove leafing from areas without glue
- Mix resin according to instructions
- Once well mixed pour into recessed areas, to dome at edges
- Spread and use mini torch to rid of any air bubbles
- Let cure until cured hard
- Spread resin on edges
- Use a heat gun to warm any drips to easily shave off.
- Add hardware to hang on the wall
My fingers pushed the main sections of gold leaf onto large sections and then filled in the rest with remnants.
All the ‘bits’ that you brush away from areas can be used again. Metallic leaf is also available in flakes that are sprinkled onto the adhesive and brushed to adhere.
Have you seen the ‘map art’ that is available? This is an artistic version of that. The soft brush will sweep off the unstuck flakes.
The gold edging gives the raised areas such dimension. Even the bubbles look interesting.
Let’s make it Shine:
To continue on the theme of imitating water, this tutorial includes the extra step of coating with a 2 part resin. A wet look can be achieved by applying Epoxy resin where the ‘water’ section is. Resin will help seal the alcohol ink and add depth to the colours. There are many brands of resin available; as well as ones that are set with LED lights. Resins have a tendency to yellow over time so the cool colours of the ink will camouflage that.
The Craftsmart brand of resin that I used is simple 1:1 mixing ratio, mix for 5 minutes and pour on. This resin’s working time was also long enough so that I was not rushed. Spreading the resin is like working with honey, slow and self spreading. When it is evenly spread there are small bubbles that can be burst with a quick use of a propane mini torch. (Be aware of your alcohol & inks as they are flammable)
To keep it from flowing over the top I stopped it at the edges (called doming) and therefore it stays put as long as everything is level. To cure keep it undisturbed in a dust free area overnight. It is not completely cured but it become pretty hard by morning.
Finishing the edges:
To add some shine on the edges, mix a small amount and spread a thin coat on the sides. It will drip if too much and can be wiped along the bottom. Once cured and hardened the excess drips can be softened with the use of a heat gun.
If there is any stains on the plaster you can give it a coat of acrylic paint to protect it as well. After adding some hardware to hang it is done! What do you think? I’m pleased with the abstract version of texture art!
Be creative with your designs, shades and colour combinations. Perhaps it’s just a starting point for your own ideas…
This technique does not require fancy art supplies, or purchased molding paste. I would say no 2 can ever be the same.