{I} Inky fun

Let’s spend some time today talking about inks. And no, I don’t mean the Parker ink you used in your school pen {I hope I didn’t just give me age away with that comment!}. We are going to focus on three types of ink: drawing {or India ink}, acrylic ink, and Inktense pencils.

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Drawing ink
The most popular drawing ink is Dr. Martin’s India Ink, which is available in a wide variety of colors. The colors are very intense, and when mixed with water, can be thinned into more transparent washes. Until quite recently, however, they were unavailable in India. And now that they are, they’re frightfully expensive!

But, inks are wonderful – you can mix them in a spray bottle with some water to make your own spray mists; use them with a dip pen to do line work and calligraphy; create washes, drips and splatters…If you don’t want to break the bank to buy some of these, I would recommend that you try a box of Camel Colored Drawing Ink. Though it is available in far fewer colors, it works just like the Bombay India Inks, and like them, is waterproof once dry.

Note: Do not use these in a fountain pen – it will clog up the nib and ruin it!

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Acrylic ink
What would you get if you crossed acrylic paints with inks? Acrylic ink!

Jokes apart, these are highly-pigmented, extremely fluid acrylic paints that dry quickly, are permanent and water resistant. The colors are really vibrant, and a little bit goes a long way. You can use it to create drips, and the colors remain vivid even after you spray them with water to make them run down the page.

You can also use inks as a glaze over your painting. 2-3 drops of ink plus a wet brush, et viola! I particularly love doing this with the yellow ink to instantly boost the warmth of the image.

You could also fill these into a water brush and use them for fine line work and lettering. This is also a great way to carry them along when you’re traveling.

Note: For this purpose, you will need Liquitex acrylic inks, which are non-clogging. The Daler-Rowney FW Ink will clog up your water brush.

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Inktense pencils

Wondering why pencils make it into a discussion on ink? Because these are no ordinary pencils. These are ink pencils! What that means is – you use them like color pencils, go over them with a wet brush to dissolve them {like you would with watercolor pencils}, and once dry, unlike watercolor pencils, they’re permanent! These colors are quite vibrant, and being in pencil form, they are very versatile.

Monocromatic art journal pageFine lines and delicate shading are a breeze because you can be very precise with where you put the color. You can also lift some off with an eraser if it “goes outside the lines”. If you scrape some of the color off with a blade, you can put it in a spray bottle, mix some water, and you have yourself some sprays!

They are somewhat pricey, but they do make an excellent addition to your art journal stash.

Note: these are available as pencils and blocks. Both do exactly the same things.

Put this lesson to work: Create an inky background with acrylic and/or India inks. Or use your Inktense pencils to create a monochromatic art journal page.

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  1. Oh please count me In ! I never knew art journaling would be this vast a subject and you are certainly a pro at it .. If your posts are indicative of even an iota of your expertise( and your patience & love for the craft ) You’d make a spectacular teacher 🙂

  2. looking at painting I was always left wanting to know what pen or ink they would be using and here I have all my answers, thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Okay. Honestly, I’d never even heard of half of these names much less actually use them 🙂 Your post is really informative, showed it to my ink loving husband, he sends his compliments 🙂

    • Make sure you pick up acrylic inks. They’re super fun – so many lightbulbs went off for me when I started using them. 🙂

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