Ceramic Painting Techniques: Rubbing Alcohol

Today we're going to share another awesome painting technique that you can use next time you're at your local pottery studio. This technique, using rubbing alcohol, creates a particularly interesting effect, especially when using multiple bright colors as the background. Give it a try!

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What You Need

  • bisque tile
  • bright colors (Gare- Orange Crush, Gare- Smiley Face)
  • a darker color (Duncan- Really Red)
  • water
  • mixing bowl
  • large paint brush
  • rubbing alcohol 
  • a small bowl for rubbing alcohol


 

What You Do:

Use bright colors that are going to contrast and  show through the darker color. 

Use bright colors that are going to contrast and  show through the darker color. 

  1. Paint your background color the super bright color(s). Use three full coats to achieve an even color.
  2. Once your background is dry, pour a bit of your dark color into the bowl and water it down so that it is a very watery paint. Have a little bowl of rubbing alcohol handy because you're going to need to act fast after you paint with this.

 

 
 
Water down a dark color to paint over your bright colors.

Water down a dark color to paint over your bright colors.

Quickly paint a couple layers of this paint over your tile.

Quickly paint a couple layers of this paint over your tile.

Immediately flick rubbing alcohol onto the still wet paint to achieve this awesome effect.

Immediately flick rubbing alcohol onto the still wet paint to achieve this awesome effect.

This is what the rubbing alcohol looks like after it's dry, pre kiln.

This is what the rubbing alcohol looks like after it's dry, pre kiln.

3. Paint the dark color on top of your lighter colors. The watery paint will dry really fast. The regular paints already dry pretty fast, so adding water will speed up the process. 

4. Immediately after painting with the watered down, dark color, dip your fingers in the rubbing alcohol and flick it onto your tile. Do it as much or as little as you'd like, you will start to see the effect immediately.

 
Ready for the kiln! Ceramic "Rubbing Alcohol" Technique on Too Into It!

Ready for the kiln! Ceramic "Rubbing Alcohol" Technique on Too Into It!

5. Using a writer tip, you can write or draw anything you like on top of this effect AFTER it fully dries.

6. Once dry, your piece is ready to be glazed and heated in the kiln!

 

 

The post was made possible thanks to Rachel Barraza, who makes pieces 1,000x better than you see here. You can follow Rachel on twitter at @Babypantss, or on tumblr and instagram at @racheltheriveter.