Do Alcohol Markers Work On Acrylic Paint?

Do Alcohol Markers Work On Acrylic PaintWe’ve all got a nifty little personalized stash of art supplies and finding out what plays well together is a lot of fun. If you are wondering ‘do alcohol markers work on acrylic paint?’ then you’ll be happy to hear a little good news. Alcohol markers will work with acrylic paint.

While alcohol does break down some of the acrylic polymer resin chains, in small amounts like those in alcohol markers you should be fine. Slightly larger amounts, such as quick sprays of rubbing alcohol on wet acrylic can even be used to make some stellar effects. As with anything worth doing, it’s all about moderation.

In this article I’ll talk a little about alcohol markers and other things you can use to draw on acrylic paint, and we’ll also go a little more into rubbing alcohol and your acrylic paints and by the end of reading, I’m sure you’ll have some fun experiments that you’ll want to try!

Can you use alcohol markers on canvas?Can you use alcohol markers on canvas

Yes, you can, but there are a few things that you will need to know if you want to do this. First off, you’ll want to consider that this is very different medium from paper, so your markers are going to saturate a little bit different unless you prime the canvas, perhaps with a little white gesso, but you can still draw on it without this. It will look different, but interesting, so give it a go!

If you like what you see, then you’ve going to have to ‘put a ring on it’ in the form of varnish, just like you would any other painting. Since the marker isn’t quite saturating the canvas the way that it would with paper, you don’t have any way of telling how it’s going to do over time and which colors are going to start fading first.

So, give it a varnish coat and you win the game. The varnish will keep your marker work protected from water and UV and the only thing that you’ll need to worry about in the years to come is dust.

What do you use to draw on acrylic paint?

What do you use to draw on acrylic paintDrawing on top of acrylic paint is a great way to make some guidelines or to simply add some interesting effects to produce a mixed-medium masterpiece. There are a few things that you can use. If you are just making some ‘tracing points’ for something that you want to paint on later, you can use regular ol’ pencil, but if you want to add some effects, colored pencils are also an option or you could even use a pen.

One of my favorites, though, when it comes to drawing on acrylic paintings, is charcoal. Charcoal and white charcoal look really fantastic on top of acrylic and if you’ve never tried this before, then you really should sometime. The white especially works a treat when making thing like waves or little touches of snow in a winter scene… just take my word for it and give it a try.

Add in a few details with charcoal and check out the results firsthand – it’s worth it. Just don’t forget to seal it up if you want to keep the finished product.

Will rubbing alcohol hurt paint?Will rubbing alcohol hurt paint

Rubbing alcohol can definitely hurt your acrylic paint if you are using it in large amounts. A rag soaked with it will actually let you wipe quite a bit of it off of your canvas, sort of like an ‘acrylic eraser’. It all has to do with acrylic’s composition.

Acrylic paint is basically a polymer resin, combined with a bit of pigment, in a water-based suspension. Trace amounts of ammonia and formaldehyde are also present to keep mold at bay and when you put it all together, you’ve got your paint.

Alcohol messes with those polymer resin chains, causing them to break up and sort of ‘flail about’ until they settle, and a lot of alcohol will dissolve them completely. A little alcohol, on the other hand, can make for some very pretty effects.

Try getting a little capful of rubbing alcohol to put nearby and paint a few strokes on an old canvas and while the paint is still wet, give your brush a quick and light dip into the alcohol and flick it onto the paint.

See what happens? You get a sort of ‘swirl’ effect that you can take advantage of and make some seriously surreal scenes. Try putting a little in a spray bottle too sometime and see what you can do. My bet is that you’ll enough fun with it that it’s going to take up your weekend!

Some final words before I go

In this article I’ve answered the question ‘do alcohol markers work on acrylic paint’ and the answer is ‘yes, they do’.  Alcohol markers will work just fine on acrylic, because the amount of alcohol in them is minute enough that it should not unduly affect your acrylic. Your acrylic paint dries into a pretty durable semi-plastic anyways and the alcohol vulnerability is most pronounced when the paint is still wet.

Before I get back to the workshop, I’ve gotten a link for those out there who might be curious about some interesting surfaces for using their alcohol ink markers on. Visit this 3rd party link and you can get some nice suggestions to try just to get a little more fun and mileage out of those markers.

Whatever surface you choose, just be sure to have fun with it!