Ink Your Drink: Whimsical Cocktail Art with Ink Transfer and Watercolor | Amy Stewart | Skillshare

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Ink Your Drink: Whimsical Cocktail Art with Ink Transfer and Watercolor

teacher avatar Amy Stewart, Writer & artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Supplies, Ink Demo, and Project

    • 3. Ink Your Martini

    • 4. Paint Your Martini

    • 5. How About a Strawberry Daiquiri?

    • 6. It’s Aperol Spritz O’Clock

    • 7. Make Mine a Mini

    • 8. Last Call

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About This Class

Create whimsical cocktail art using an easy DIY ink transfer technique that was once a favorite of Andy Warhol, with watercolor washes. These delightful paintings are easy to create in sets, and make wonderful party invitations, gift tags, greeting cards, hostess gifts, and dinner table placecards. 

All you need is waterproof ink, tracing paper, and watercolor paints and papers. A supply list is attached.

Amy Stewart is the author of a dozen books (including one on cocktails called The Drunken Botanist!) and has been painting and drawing for twenty years. Find out more at, and see her art on Instagram.

Meet Your Teacher

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Amy Stewart

Writer & artist



Welcome! For the last twenty years, I've devoted my life to making art and writing books. It gives me great joy to share what I've learned with you. 

I love talking to writers and artists, and bonding over the creative process. I started teaching so that I can  inspire others to take the leap. 

I believe that drawing, painting, and writing are all teachable skills. Forget about talent--it doesn't exist, and you don't need it. With some quality instruction and lots of practice, any of us can make meaningful, honest, and unique art and literature.

I'm the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books. When I'm not writing or traveling on book tour, I'm painting and drawing in ink, watercolor, gouache, and oil. Come f... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Amy Stewart. When I was in Pittsburgh at the Andy Warhol Museum, I discovered this totally charming ink transfer technique that Andy Warhol used in the 19 fifties when he was drawing advertisements for shoes. It's kind of like D I Y printmaking. The prince you can make are all a little imperfecta, little hand drawn, sometimes kind of splotchy. But that's exactly why I love them. And my favorite thing to do with this technique is to make images of cocktails because glass, where can be really tricky To get right, you have to nail all those circles, and sometimes you're working with really unusual angles. But because you're tracing with this technique, you get that part right every time will be adding really simple water color washes to these , but you could also use squash markers or whatever art supplies you have. These are charming little cocktail prints. You can use them for greeting cards, party invitations, placeholders, dinner parties or gift tags on because it really is a printmaking technique. It's easy to do a whole set. All right, let's get started 2. Supplies, Ink Demo, and Project: Okay, let's talk about supplies. Most important, you're gonna need tracing paper for this project. You're also going to need some kind of watercolor paper. This is just a pad of pretty inexpensive watercolor paper, and this is a block of hot pressed watercolor paper. It can be hot presser. Cold press doesn't matter, and you certainly don't need sheets this big. This is just what I happen to use. You'll also need some kind of watercolor palette with just basic colors and brushes. But most importantly, you gotta have ink, so there's a couple different ways you can do this. You can use a dip in and waterproof India ink if that's what you like to use, and I'll be demonstrating that, and you can also use a fountain pen with ink. So this is a Lammy Safari fountain pen, and this is waterproof platinum carbon EQ, and I'll show you how to fill one of these up. If you've never used one before, I'll just show you how it works, OK, here's a few different options for ink. One would be a dip in, and this is, ah, very inexpensive depend that I bought at the art supply store. Uh, Nibs just pop right off so you can just take him off, change him out, and put another one in Excuse my inky hands, but you know, that's what happens. And with this, I'm just using waterproof India ink. It's important that it's waterproof because we're gonna be painting on top of it. So literally all you're doing here is dipping into the ink and drawing, and I'll show you that in a minute. Another option is a lot of fountain pens come with cartridges. This is a platinum carbon desk pen. I love this pin, but the lines a little too fine for what we're gonna be doing today. But I'll just show you that all you do is snap in this cartridge and this ink, this platinum carbon ink is waterproof. So I do like it for that. And it's specific to this pin. So if you have one of these that'll work. Your lines might be a little fine. You might have toe, um, go over him a couple of times, but that will be OK. And this is a Lammy safari pen. And I love this is really my favorite pen. So, um, it's great because you can swap out the nib, and also it comes with cartridges. But again, I want waterproof ink. So I'm using a Lammy converter that's is specific to the pen, and it lets me swap it out and put in my own ink. So the ink I'm using is platinum carbon ink. It is exactly the same Incas. What's in here? Only it's in bottled form, and this converter is just like a syringe. You just twist it and it pushes the ink out and twisted again, and it pulls the ink up. We'll try to demonstrate this without making too much of a mess. But basically, I'm just gonna, um, dip it down into the bottle. And this is just like a plunger. So I'm just gonna twist that plunger down and then pull it back up. Sometimes you have to do this a couple of times if you get an air bubble in there, but you'll be able to see that it's full of ink now. It's gonna be very messy when it comes out of that bottle, so be sure you're ready with a paper towel, and you can what that off. And then all you have to do is put the pin back together, go wash your hands and, um, you're ready to go. OK, those are all the supplies now for your project. Of course. I want you to draw cocktail. So either take a picture of your drink when you're enjoying happy hour tonight or look through your photos. I'm sure you've been out with friends and taking pictures of drinks before. You can even use something from a magazine. Print something out online and please post your pictures. I would love to see what you dio and let me know if you have any questions. I'll be hanging out in the discussion, and I'm happy to answer your questions, too. 3. Ink Your Martini: the first thing we're gonna do is walk through the ink transfer process. So I've got my watercolor paper on the right. I've got my tracing paper, and then I have the image that I'm working from and I printed it out in black and white on purpose. I don't want to be distracted by color. I just want to see the lines that I need to trace. So the first thing I'm doing is taping the tracing paper and the watercolor paper together they fold over like that. Now the image has to go behind the tracing paper. You know, I'm gonna turn that over again and take that one down behind the tracing paper. So I'm basically just making a little hinge right here, because I'm gonna be printing over and over again. And of course, I want the ink to go in the right place every time. So I'm starting with my Lammy safari pen. So this is a fountain pen with a fine nib, but it's actually a pretty good line, and all I do is ink a little section and then move it over and press it. The reason I can only do a little section at a time is that the EQ actually drives pretty fast. You'll be surprised at how fast it dries, so you're just working a bit of time. You'll sort of get a feel for how much ink you can put down at once before you need to move it over and transfer it. And I'll say that one important thing about using riel tracing paper is that it's non absorbent. So the ink is sitting on top and not soaking in, which is what lets you transfer now with a dip pen. Even though I'm using a really fine nib here, the Incan go down a little thicker. You see, I just got it kind of a little blob on there. And you're about to see what happens when, um when you get a more of a blob of ink. I actually think that looks cool. Like I love this kind of It feels like some sort of old school printing, almost like Mini a graph kind of look, and I like that. So, um, I might use one or the other or a combination of the two. It's just that with the depend, you do have to be careful like I didn't get quite enough ink down there. So I'm going over in a second time, and this time it is gonna be, you know, a boulder line, and you can see the difference between the line I made with a dip pen and the line I made with a regular pen. In both cases, these lines air kind of faintly dotted, and that's on purpose. That's actually how this is supposed to look. It's one of the things Andy Warhol liked about this technique is those little dots. It does look like something that's printed. It's important with cocktails to get the line where the liquid is. And, um, one of the cool things about doing this when you're tracing is that things like this olive pick This olive pick is distorted by the curve of the glass. And those are things that when you're drawing, it's super tough to get that kind of stuff real accurate every time. And so I love this technique for getting some lines down and really getting the shapes completely accurate. Even though it's tricky to draw rounded objects on the bottom of the glass, it's often tricky to get that just right in perspective. But it's something that's of course, very easy to do in your tracing. Now, any little details that you want to be sure and get in like here, I definitely want the olive toe look accurate. So taking a little more care with that, just doing one little bit of time. Make sure I get just what I want again. You can see that it's kind of blotchy but cool looking, so it really depends on how much you like that effect. 4. Paint Your Martini: Now remember, this is a printmaking techniques and so you can make multiples and you should make multiples. It's really cool to make a whole set of these, so obviously have already inked this one before, but I'm just re using it to make another one. And I actually made four different martinis just off this one piece of tracing paper. This one I'm doing entirely with the Lammy safari pin. And you don't need to see me do the whole thing because I think you understand the process at this point. So let's move on to watercolor. Okay, here's our print and this is the second version of this. I did, and I did it entirely with the Lammy Safari fountain pen. So the lines are a little finer, but you do get some of that kind of cool, blotchy look, this is my travel set of watercolors. I'll talk you through the colors I'm using as we go, but really be loose and be imaginative. The whole ideas for this to just be very fun and playful and cheerful. What I'm doing here is I'm mixing up a gray. There's sort of a bluish gray color that you see a lot in glassware, and I tend to use it as my default. With this, I'm mixing a little bit of pressure in blue and a little bit of shadow. Violet, those air both Daniel Smith colors. It just so happened that there was a little transparent earth in my palette there, so I let a little bit of that brown come in. Now. I'm just looking at where there's kind of a bit of a shadow in the glass. I don't want to get too precious or perfect with this. I just want to give a little bit of a hint that it's glass and that kind of bluish gray sort of reflection in the glass is a good way to suggest that. So in places I'm going right over the lines that I've already made and, um, again just being real loose with it, the rim of the glass will tend to have a little bit of that kind of, um, reflected light that might read as, um, sort of, ah, sort of a bluish gray color. Obviously, the dipping on your image. This could be different, but sometimes I cheat. If I think the colors of my image are a little too confusing. I actually just resort to that. I'm gonna go into the all of next, so I've got sap green. I'm keeping a pretty simple. It's a little bit darker on the bottom and a little bit lighter up top. So that sap green. And this is Hansa Yellow. These are all Daniel Smith colors. I'm adding it in wet so that they'll kind of blend together. It's meant to just look like, you know, an olive that's a little darker on the bottom in a little lighter on the top. The reason I'm doing that I want to let that dry before I get into too many other things. Um, these were things that I do quickly, and they're really fun. But I'm always trying to figure out how toe work on one section so that could be drying while I'm working on the other section. Just bringing in a little more dark with that olive. The thing that makes watercolor really pop is to get pretty dramatic with your darks, so I'm just keeping an eye on that and seeing how I can add more color. This is again just Hansa yellow and a little sap green. I just want to gray it down just a bit. So I dipped into my gray and I'm doing this to get the liquid, of course, a martinis, a clear drink. But the olive cast kind of a green sheen in the gym, so I'm adding it where I see it in the picture, which is kind of up in the corners. It's clear in the middle of the drink and that greenish color it comes down a little. You see it in other places in the glass. So it sort of sort of unifies the painting a little to just bring that down and added in a few other places. Now I've been waiting for that to dry so I could do the pimento inside the olive. And I'm just checking right now to make sure that paints really drive, just holding it up to the light so I can check the sheen on it and make sure it's dry enough for me to add in that little bit of red to the olive without having it go everywhere . So maybe wait just a second. I'll go ahead and work on that. I'll have a little bit more. Make sure it's just dark, as I really wanted to be. Mixing the green and the gray lets me do things like maybe work a little on the edge of the glass. It's already pretty well defined from the ink transfer printing process, but just a little extra color there. Sometimes, if you look closely at a glass, even though you can see the color of the liquid in the glass around the edge, you might see this kind of bluish, silvery, sort of, um, sheen. That's really just the glass and not what's inside of it. So I'm just kind of playing around with that. Down in the stem. Sometimes you see a reflection of what's in the glass. It can reflect down into the stem a bit, so it's cool to look for opportunities to just bring it a little bit down. But with glassware, I mean again, I'm trying to keep it pretty simple here and just use the white of the paper. Obviously, it's glass, it's clear. So my olive is a little more dry, and I'm just being super easy, going with a little bit of red. I'm there and that's it. That's our cocktail 5. How About a Strawberry Daiquiri?: Okay, here's a strawberry Dockery. Now I'm speeding this one up. So I'm showing you this one a double time because I think you kind of have the idea. By now. This is one that I printed just with my Lammy safari pin. So it's a little bit lighter print, and I'm starting with the strawberry. And I'm using a mixture of pyre Allred and a lizard crimson to do the darker parts of the strawberry that Aaron shadow first. And then I'm filling in with just pyre, all red. And you see that I am leaving some little white spots. I'm gonna actually show you, um, away to add back in a little white with a white paint pin. So that's coming up. But for the for the for now, I'm just trying to leave some white spots to kind of suggest that strawberry shape. And for the strawberry that's garnishing the glass, it's also it's darker around the edges, kind of the, um, skin of the strawberry. And then it's quite a bit lighter inside, and I'm keeping this with pyre Allred and a lizard crimson, and I'm being real mindful of the fact that this is a red drink, but the red of the drink is a different color red than the strawberry, so I'm letting those dry. I'll come back to the drink in a minute, and I'm doing my usual thing with, um, just working in some shadow color and some reflections of glass, really just using sort of a silvery grey blue. So it's that same mixture, shadow violet, a little bit of pressure in blue and just a tiny bit of transparent earth to make it a bit browner. And here again, you can see that in my picture there's quite a bit of reflection from the table, so it's actually this warm orangey would color from the table. And I'm basically ignoring that on purpose because I want this cocktail toe look more like sort of an iconic version of a cocktail and not so much get too distracted by the table it's sitting on. I'm just using sap green, too, do the leaves of the strawberry and trying to work in some really dark green down at the base of the leaves because it's those little bits of dark that can really make it pop. Now everything's dry and I can get into the drink itself and I've got pira will orange with a little bit of pyre. Allred mixed in just around the surface where the where the drink meets the glass. You can see that there's this lighter color, and there's also a little bit of that lighter color around the bottom. There. Now I'm working in its, um, Pire, all orange empire, all red so that it's still a red. But it's an orange or red than the strawberries. That was really my goal. You can see through the glass into the liquid that's inside of it. So I'm gonna bring a little more color in there, but try to leave just a bit of white so that I can I can get a sense of the rim of the glass just darkening in the strawberry, a little being a little bit of a perfectionist with that. And now here comes my secret weapon. This is a white Posca paint pin. I'm sorry that came and went so quick, but I'll put it in the, um, supply list, and I'll post a picture of it, too. This is just a white acrylic paint pin, and you do have to make sure it's dry. But I'm adding some dots and I'm not adding them evenly spaced. You really just want a cluster some together to suggest the reflection on the seeds there and a little bit of the reflection in that, um, liquid and also around the rim. It's great to have a white paint pin like this just to add in a few reflections. Also, the color kind of shines down into the stem of the glass itself. So I just dropped a tiny bit of that in. And, um, now I'm gonna dio a little bit of final touches. Well, paints, bladder. There you go. That's super fun. And that is our strawberry Dockery. 6. It’s Aperol Spritz O’Clock: Okay, let's do an Aperol spritz. So this is a print that I made entirely using the dip in, and you can see how it's super blotchy and dark in some places and barely even there and others. And I love the look of that. So this is to me this is a real success. It really has that look of, ah, kind of, ah funky, scratchy print for the, um, colors. What I'm using is pyre all orange and new Gambo, both Daniel Smith colors, and I'm being super loose and watery. You know, this is liquid, and I wanted to really look like liquid, so I'm letting it be really blotchy. But I'm also dropping in little bits of pure color to really make it very intense and vibrant. But I can also see that there's Ah, yellow around the around the edge, Like around the surface of this drink. You can see more of a yellowy color, so I'm working some of that in. I'm not going to get into a lot of detail with ice cubes, but I do want to suggest that the ice cubes were there and that there's light reflecting. So I'm trying to leave some white, and I'm trying to work in this lighter yellow color, which I see more on the surface and more with the ice cubes. As I go, I'm working with the water and sometimes blotting some of it up and adding more intense colors to just make it as well. Watery as liquidity is possible, and I'm just sort of playing around with it while it's still wet and the water's really moving around. Just looking at where those ice cubes are trying to leave a little bit of white around the edge of where the, um, where the liquid comes to the surface right there. There's just a little bit of of white, and I want to leave that. Of course I have my ink line, which kind of gives the idea of this is liquid in a glass and then for the lemon. The if the fruit part is a little darker, it's it's in shadow. It's maybe even picking up a little of that orangey light. But the rind is bright. So for that I'm not going to use the new Gambo show. I'm actually just going to use Hansa Yellow, which is super light, and there's also a little light hitting the front of that lemon wedge. So I'm also doing that with that white light yellow. No, um, just looking down at the stem. I don't even have the full glass in my photograph, so I'm not painting it. I'm doing just what I can see, And I'm once again using this mixture of shadow violet and pressure in blue. And there's a little bit of kind of, ah, transparent earth red so that it can go a little bit brown. And I'm just trying to hit around the rim and suggest those shadows and also just a little bit the way light can reflect off of, ah, off of a glass and you can see maybe sort of a bluish or silvery cast. And then I can also do a little bit of that around the rim. Just suggesting that sort of glass color. I mean, in this case, you can see that my photograph there's this wooden table. And, um, if I was really trying to do something super realistic, I'd be getting into the color of the wood behind it, and that sort of rich, brownish red color. But This is meant to be something sort of fun and quick and casual. And I also like that I'm taking the cocktails out of context and you're not seeing the napkin. You're not seeing the table, All that other stuff. It's really just meant to be sort of Ah, um, a lighthearted image of just the drink. I just added it. Enough of that silvery, um, kind of color, that grayish color to communicate that it's glass. Now. My straw, a straw was already too thick and blotchy from the ink, but I decided to just roll with this one because I like the rest of it so much so I did. This draw, just with a black eye, was using Daniel Smith neutral tent. And now I'm just gonna splatter on some paint. So I'm dipping it into the spiral orange and hitting my brush and splattering. I'll get a little bit of yellow and just add a couple of yellow accents really just makes it super light hearted and fun. And there's the Aperol spritz 7. Make Mine a Mini: this is a little bonus and by little I do mean little. I cut this picture out of a magazine and I made a really small one. I actually love doing these small. So I've sped this up a double time. It will be really quick. But I just want to show you that even if you're doing, um, a really small image like this I did use a depend to make this print. So it is got that kind of thick, blotchy look and that works even in a really small size. I'm using the same colors I did with the Aperol Spritz, which is new gambo je empire, all yellow trying to let a little bit of that yellow color show through more around the edges. So you saw me even lifting up a little bit of, um, paint just to have it be more transparent. There's a little bit of red fruit that spiral red, and, um, we'll go ahead and get into the a little bit of green garnish. I think that's just a little piece of mint. And I'm just using sap green. I'll get a little bit of yellow in there, just toe kind of brighten it up some that's hunts a yellow, and then I'm doing the same thing that you've seen me dio in the other ones with the glass and once again here, this is sitting on a marble table and, um, you're getting some colors from the marble and some colors from the from the drink itself, um, coming through. But I'm just using this kind of silvery color just to sort of suggest that this is glass and it's reflecting light. There's a pile of ice on top of this drink, and I just used a tiny bit of new GAM bows and sort of picked it up with my brush to just barely suggest that work in a little something with the straw. It doesn't need much because it's already got quite a lot of ink, and there you go 8. Last Call: All right, everybody, That's our class. Please post your projects. I would love to see how you use this technique and let me know if you have any questions. Just put that in the discussion, and I'll be there. All answer. Um, check out my other classes if you'd like. And, um come find me on Instagram. You can see my art there almost every day. Thanks so much.