Ink – What can I say about Ink? Everything!

Well, now we come onto a subject that is very close to my heart – ink. How sad, I hear some (many) of you exclaim, but NO! Not to us artists, especially those of us who are lovers of the black ink! No, we love EVERYTHING about ink, how it looks in a bottle or tub, how it smells, how it gets absorbed (or not) by a surface, ESPECIALLY a smooth…white…surface…ahem! Well, you get the drift! So I like ink. Bit weird but hey I’ve seen plenty worse (Turner Prize).

So what about ink then? What is the best ink to use? Well it depends on what type of drawing you are doing, when pen or brush you have and what surface you have. For Japanese ink painting, you have to get the solid stuff in a stick and grind your own just before you use it. For western illustration you either need indian ink or a technical drawing ink such as Rotring ink. Nothing else will do, unless you want to wash your illustration away with the first wash you apply.

I use Rotring ink in a .10mm Rotring Pen, but have used other technical pens. I also use Windsor and Newton Indian ink with a dip pen when I need more of a line. Indian ink has a fine, deep colour, with little spread, and dries to a mid sheen, something to remember when using it in conjunction with Rotring ink, which dries matt. If you overspread it, it can get thin and transparent. Not something that happens with the mighty black of Rotring ink. That stuff is well bastard hard black. Get it anywhere where you don’t want it to be and you are stuffed. But it is the very best I have found for illustration work. Never too thin, even after storage for a while (indian ink can settle out and become weak), it keeps its density.

Next article – what pen?


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