I’m having the greatest time, playing around and learning about alcohol inks! The fun started by incorporating the inks and fusing layers of color into encaustic medium. The translucent qualities of the inks mesh beautifully with the similar translucency of wax medium. After an initial introduction to inks by combining them with encaustic medium, I decided to become a “purist” and focus on using the inks alone, working on papers, (so far, different weight Yupo papers as well as black card stock).

Tulips 16″x20″ ink collage on medium Yupo

Shadowbox frame with UV glass

I have needed to better educate myself, reading about different ink techniques on social media and other informative websites (the world wide web really does offer unlimited knowledge at your fingertips).

Favorite web source – Alcohol Ink Art Community

Right now I am learning about the archival qualities (or lack of them) and how to protect finished paintings. I use several layers of Krylon spray varnish followed by several layers of Krylon UV protection. I decided to also frame the Tulip collage above along with the Peonies painting below under UV glass even after using both protective sprays. I will watch and see if there is any fading over time.

Peonies 12″x9″ ink on card stock

Shadowbox frame with UV glass

The element of collage, adding literal depth to the visual depth, is a good fit with many of my recent works. It brings me back and reminds me of watercolor painting, the way I would add heavy spatter to create texture and translucent layers.

Full Harvest Moon from the Full Moon Series 30″x22″ watercolor on Arches

Creating collage, I cut up ink paintings that weren’t successful, mount pieces on foam core, and incorporate them until it feels like a good fit and composition.

Still Life 12″x12″ ink collage on card stock

Orchids 12″x12″ ink collage on card stock

I hope to attend an ink workshop taught by local artist Helen Dannelly next month, and will continue to pursue as many ways to learn more about this fascinating medium.


  1. Pam Powell on March 6, 2019 at 4:58 am

    I love your work! Especially how it has the 3-d effect. Is it in 3-d? I also am interested in your inclusion of encauymatetials but can’t see where they stop and the ink takes over! Yummy!
    Can I be on your mailing list and blog list? I’m new to this medium. Pam Powell, ppatgcrbc@aol.com

    • rsamiljan on March 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      I don’t do much emailing, Pam, the reason I do use social media to share my class and exhibition schedule so if we are connected on facebook you’ll be included in my happenings! The encaustic medium is a whole other art form that led me into using the alcohol inks. If you are interested, I explain more about encaustic in the “About the Artist” section on my website (in my biography). Thanks for connecting here.

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