How to Paint Loose Spring Tulips with Alcohol Ink.

by | Mar 4, 2023 | Alcohol Ink, Alcohol Ink Art Demo, Alcohol Ink on Grafix, Florals, How to Paint With Alcohol Ink, How-Tos, Painting, Teri Jones

In this fun and relaxed video, artist Teri Jones demonstrates painting these bright and fun Sprint Tulips in Alcohol Ink.


An Alcohol Ink Journey: Painting Loose Tulips

Hello art lovers and enthusiasts, it’s Terry Jones here, wishing you all a happy Friday! Today, I’m excited to guide you through a free-form alcohol ink project. Our primary focus will be painting loose tulips, harnessing alcohol ink’s fluidity and opacity principles. Ever since I created a loose tulip painting years ago that I loved, I’ve wanted to revisit the subject.

Prepping The Paper

I started with my white paper, cleaned its surface using alcohol, and then prepped it by soaking it wet, an essential step for alcohol ink painting.

Clean the surface. Wetting it.

Once it was prepped, I set up my reference image above my workspace and started brainstorming colors.

Selecting Colors And Painting Flowers

With numerous potential color options, I decided on some key candidates that I thought would best embody the tulips I had in mind.

  1. Ranger Ember for some of the flowers
  2. Ranger Yellow
  3. Ranger Fiesta for a pop of pink (Maybe a little Valencia for variation)

“Tulips are gestural… The aim is to give an illusion of tulips, not necessarily a perfect reality.”

Before starting to paint, I made sure my brush was clean, then began by painting basic shapes that suggested the form of tulips. The trick here is to not get too caught up in perfectly capturing the flower’s shape. Emphasizing free-formed strokes allowed me to achieve more expressive flowers.

How to Paint Spring Tulips with Alcohol Ink Step 1

Next, I introduced Ember, applying it liberally, creating more shapes and suggestive petals. I also added in some Fiesta for a closer, fuller tulip and one further away.

With these initial layers set, I began refining the shapes with purple undertones and playing around with color reduction on the Fiesta. A handy tip for cleaning the edges of the flowers: use a Q-tip!

Adding Layers And Looseness

Following the first layer, I moved on to the second layer of colors and more tulip shaping. I was liberal in re-shaping my flowers, and started to introduce yellow into the mix for more depth and color variation.

At this stage, your painting may not look perfect, but that’s alright.

“Tulips are not about perfection, they’re about energy and vibrancy.”

Introduction Of Greens

Post shaping my tulips and applying the initial colors, I started thinking of the colors for the stems and leaves. Ranger Limeade and Ranger Everglades were my preferred choices for the green elements.

It’s crucial not to let these green elements bleed into your tulips, as they can overwhelm the warmth we’re trying to achieve with these flowers.

Adding Sky And Shadows

For the illusion of a sky in the background, I brought in a little Ranger Mermaid color. Enhancing the shadows and the lower part of the composition, I used a mix of Ranger Stonewashed and yellow splashes.

At this point, our painting should be yielding the desired ‘loose’ look. Enhanced by loose brush strokes, free-formed flowers and the play between red, yellow, greens, and blue, this painting radiates energy – the quintessential vibrant spirit of tulips.

Final Touches And Making It Rain Splatters

As with most painting processes, there’s always room for last-minute adjustments. I touched up the yellow parts that needed a heavier color concentration, cleaned the edges of my painting, and then proceeded onto my favorite part of this painting journey – splatter detailing!

Quote: “When I need to connect things, I find that splattering helps. It gives the illusion of rain falling, adding a dynamic quality to the composition.”

I then gave my composition a rain-like splatter to connect different elements of the picture and make it more cohesive.

Voila! Our loose, expressive alcohol ink tulip painting is complete!

How to Paint Spring Tulips with Alcohol Ink Step 8

Creating art should be free and fun. Remember, it’s about creating an impression, a feeling – not a perfect representation. So unleash your creativity, and most importantly, have fun with your painting process.

Happy painting, everyone!

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Teri Jones

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  1. Julie Deaugustine

    Love this I’m definitely going to give it a shot ! I’m self teaching


    I love this. I did paint along but mine didn’t turn out quite so well

  3. Lissa Goldsmith

    This is beautiful. Can’t wait to try

  4. Marcia Borgstadt

    Hi! What kind of paper do you use? Do you get it wet ahead of time?

    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Not 100% sure what Teri is using here, but it’s probably Grafix DuraBright or NARA paper. You can also use YUPO and the back-side of some glossy photo printing paper.

      • Theresa Jones

        Yup, it was Grafix DuraBright!


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