Northern Lights Alcohol Ink Painting by Teresa Kovalak

Join Alcohol Ink artist, Teresa Kovalak for a step-by-step Northern Lights video tutorial using Alcohol Inks on Hard-Core Art Panels. Learn simple techniques for creating stunning Alcohol Ink paintings in this easy to follow tutorial.


Teresa Kovalak Alcohol Ink Art Panel Painting

Step 1: Start by putting a large amount of Alcohol Blending Solution onto the Alcohol Ink Hard-Core Art Panel.

Step 2: Add Limeade Alcohol Ink to the center of the tile. Tip the tile as necessary to create a streak in the sky, the way you would like your northern lights to look.

Step 3: Add Stream to the sides of the Limeade. Tip as necessary so it runs to the top of the tile.

Step 4: With a fan brush, add some darker blues and pinks using Demin and Wild Plum Alcohol Inks. Tip down so the ink runs to the top.

Step 5: Using the fan brush, create the water below with Demin, Sailboat Blue and Stream Alcohol Inks. Move the brush from side to side as necessary.

Step 6: Add Pitch Black to create a distant landmass on the horizon. 

Step 7: I clean the fan brush with alcohol, and now that the sky is slightly dry I pull the fan brush over it going to the top of the tile to give the northern lights their iconic streaks. 

Step 8: Using Pitch Black, I add pine trees on the landmass in the horizion and add their reflection into the water.

Step 9: Start forming the rocks in the foreground, using Pitch Black. Using a tiny bit of Limeade I add some highlights to the rocks. This is also done with a fan brush. 

Step 10: At this point, I added the green northern lights reflecting in the water, this could have been done earlier when making the sky (but as I mention in the video, I had overlooked it!). I use the same Limeade and Wild  Plum Ink as I used before.

Step 11: Take a Q-Tip and remove a little bit of the cotton end off, dip it into the alcohol and press firmly down on the art panel and pull up to put in the birch tree. Using the Q-tip add branches to the tree in the same manner, pressing into the art panel and pulling up to make your desired amount of branches. 

Step 12: Using Pitch Back Ink, I come in with a 20/0 paint brush and add the notches and groves into the birch tree.

Step 13: Take the fan brush and add some details to the rocks, some grass for example. 

Step 14: Lastly, add some birds into the sky with the small size 0 round paintbrushes. No reflection is necessary since they are too high up in the sky to be seen in the water. 

Teresa Kovalak shares how to recreate this Alcohol Ink Northern Lights painting in this easy to follow, step-by-step video tutorial.


Teresa Kovalak

Hi my name is Teresa Kovalak, I have been making art my whole life but professionally for almost 30 years. I am a mixed media artist, I originally started doing oil paintings but when I had my daughters I started doing jewelry and upcycled work. Recently 3 years ago I ventured into the world of Alcohol Inks and more recently I have begun to do art tutorials on YouTube. I’m a native Michigander but a part of me will always live at the ocean’s shore, you will see this reflected in my art where I am highly inspired by Michigan nature and the beauty of the seaside. You can find Teresa on YouTube, Facebook, or on Instagram

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