BobBlast #278

"Special Effects with Alcohol"

Welcome back to another BobBlast!

Looking for something new? A fun way to start a painting? Something a little magical...? Painting with alcohol! 

No, not that kind of alcohol - Isopropyl Alcohol!

Isopropyl alcohol sprinkled on wet water-based paint will make a bubbled and marbled textural design in your painting. It's one of the loose techniques used  by water colorists and acrylic painters worldwide.

However, I suggest following certain criteria and procedures for this technique to  work.  First, prepare the surface of the watercolor paper (or canvas) with a coat of really good gesso. Let it dry. Then, apply a light wash of pigmented color over the entire surface. Then while the surface is still wet, sprinkle the alcohol either by hand or a spray pump with an adjustable nozzle (use the course option, rather than fine). Don't use a "mister" as the vapors will be too fine to have much of an effect. Instead, "drop" the alcohol from above, to splash into the wet paint. In an instant, you will have bubbles and rings!

After the first phase of splashing, wait a couple of minutes before a second splash. This is where is gets to be way too much fun - especially now, when you alternate acrylic inks and more alcohol.

A few more pointers:
#1 - I have not found much of a difference between 71% or 91% isopropyl alcohol.

#2 - I get better effective results if the surface has been first coated and sealed with gesso. 

#3 - This is not really about painting, but more about another goofball way to have experimental fun while painting. Try it on a big gessoed sheet.

#4 - And finally, it's never about your technique. It's about your voice. It doesn't matter how you communicate - It just matters that you do. 

This technique is solely meant as a loosen up exercise. I don't do this too often, but it is a fun exercise to get your painting out of a funk!

Thanks again for watching and telling your friends! All my BobBlasts are archived on my website and my YouTube Channel. We post new studio tips weekly that offer real content, substance and useful techniques that work for me. And they're free! We appreciate your interest, questions, comments and support! 

Some of our subscribers have asked about the "behind the scenes" people who make the weekly BobBlast possible - so we want to give a shout out and thank Bo von Hohenlohe for editing the BobBlast videos. Bo also produces websites and helps authors self-publish book. Please visit his website at

Below is a list of featured workshops - but did you know that I also offer private sessions in my studio? Perfect for beginners who want a crash course in watercolor or acrylic or for artists who are designing an exhibit and want to bounce ideas for content and techniques. I devote 100% of my studio time to you! Designed for 1 to 3 people - if you are interested or have questions, email

Here's a quick reminder and some upcoming workshops and dates. 
If interested, sign up now!

Featured Workshops - come paint with me!

November 14-17, 2019
Art of the Carolinas - Workshops & Art Materials Exhibition
Sponsored by Jerry's Artarama
Raleigh, North Carolina
Contact Sharon DiGiulio (800) 827-8478 ext 156
click here for more info

January 13-16, 2020
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
4-day Painting Workshop (Monday-Thursday)
San Diego Watercolor Society
Contact Mary McWilliams, (760) 703-6287 or

January 20-22, 2020 
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
Art Trysts Studio
Clearwater, FL
Contact Lorie Ulen, (888) 727-1190 ext 1

January 25 - February 1, 2020
February 1-8, 2020
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage in Mexico!
Casa de Los Artistas
Boca de Tomatlan, 10 miles South of Puerto Vallarta
Contact Robert Masla, (413) 625-8383

February 17-21, 2020
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
5-day Painting Workshop (Monday-Friday) 
Quayside Gallery, Pensacola, Florida
Contact Quayside Gallery (850) 438-2363
Click here for more info for more info

March 3-6, 2020
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting
4-day Painting Workshop (Tuesday-Friday)
The Villages, Florida
Contact Wanda Boyd (804) 536-1794

March 28 - April 7, 2020
Holland Riverboat Cruise!
Sponsored by Dillman's Art Workshop Retreat
Contact (715) 588-3143

April 24-28, 2020
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
Workshop Location - Hotel 10
10 Sherbrooke West, Montreal, Quebec
Contact Lucie Michel, 514-889-8191 or

May 3-9, 2020
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
5-day Painting Workshop (Monday-Friday)
Hudson River Valley Art Workshop
Greenville, NY
Contact Kim LaPolla (518) 966-5219 or (888) 665-0044
PO Box 659, Greenville, NY 12083 

May 18-20, 2020
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting
3-day Painting Workshop (Monday-Wednesday)
Sedona Arts Center
Sedona, AZ
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809
Click HERE for more info

May 22-24, 2020
Contemporary Abstract Figure
3-day Painting Workshop (Friday-Sunday)
Sedona Arts Center
Sedona, AZ
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809

View Bob's Workshop Schedule, click here
...Check out his 2020 Studio Workshops! click  here .

Hope you have enjoyed these short, weekly blasts! Sign up on my website and keep watching. There are lots of them! 

Click  HERE to view BobBlast Issue 278
"Special Effects with Alcohol "
Special Effects with Alcohol

Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge
BobBlast #278 - Video run time 8 minutes, 42 seconds

* To read about Bob's studio practices, intentions, and painting tips, 
check out his Loosen Up and Studio Notes Workbook. Click here for more info and to order.

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*We even have a special for BOTH color wheels! Click here.

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by clicking here! 2 charts for the price of 1!

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