Think about Ink!
Dip Pens Sepia Drawing Ink and a range of Dip Pens
For over 2000 years, Ink has been used as a drawing media and has been made in a similar way over time, cultures and continents. The Roman ‘atramentum’, the Chinese Ink Sticks and the Japanese Sumi Ink all start with the burning of organic matter to achieve a very dark carbon or ‘lamp’ black which is then mixed with a natural gum and resin to bind it together. Traditionally, this type of ink was dried and moulded into sticks but, nowadays, can be often found in a liquid form as Sumi or Liquid Indian Ink.
Kuretake Sumi Ink shown applied with Menso Brush
The name 'Indian Ink' is given to black ink that shares similarities with these traditional inks and has shellac as a binder. Shellac – a resin secreted by the female Lac Bug on trees in India and Thailand – makes the ink waterproof when dry so that washes of coloured ink or watercolour can be applied over it.
The name, therefore, may come from the area where the Shellac is collected or because the Chinese ink that it derives from was given this misnomer by the Europeans when they began to import it via the Indies.
Coloured Drawing Ink applied with brush or Dip Pen
Coloured Drawing Inks are made in a slightly different way using dyes in a binder so, although offering a brilliance and translucency to Artwork, they will usually fade over time. There are waterproof coloured inks that, usually having a shellac base, will dry with a slightly glossy look and non-waterproof ones that have the appearance of diluted watercolour and dry to a matt finish.
Liquitex Ink can be used with Acrylic Paint on canvas
Acrylic Inks are made using acrylic resins and pigments making them waterproof when dry, fade resistant and compatible with Acrylic Paints.
Magic Color is another brand of vibrant, fade resistant Acrylic Inks As well as the many traditional drawing and painting techniques that they can be used with, they can also be used in air-brushes and technical pens as they do not clog.
Calligraphy Ink is opaque and comes in a more limited range of colours traditionally used for writing. However, any drawing ink can also be used for Calligraphy and lovely effects can be achieved using the translucency of the drawing ink.