Using Oil Based Ink

By: Sarah Wiltshire

When you first get started with printing, acrylic inks are the way to go. They are simple to use, affordable, and they allow you to work back in to your prints quickly and effectively.
However, when you start getting the urge to do bigger and bigger prints, oil based ink is something you will have to consider. The biggest challenge that this will create is the cleanup. Since oil based ink is not water-soluble, you will need mineral spirits to clean your block, as well as any other surface touched by the ink.
This stuff can be tricky to use since it smells awful and is not environmentally friendly. Try not to get the stuff on your skin and make sure you deposited it in the right disposal bin, not just any trash can.
Now, even though it can be annoying, oil based ink can offer many advantages. It will allow you to print much larger blocks which can lead to more interesting images. Its long drying time can also make printing a little more relaxed, since there is not race against the drying ink.
If you find the cleanup really daunting, there are some water-soluble inks with longer drying times. Those inks usually come with a higher price tag, but they are worth a look.

Water Based Ink
Oil Based Ink

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