Painting with Ink

By: Courtney McCreary

Ink is a versatile medium that can be applied with many different tools, and manipulated to get some really interesting effects. With a pen and nibs, ink can be used for calligraphic writing and drawing. With a brush, it can actually be used as a type of painting. Ink painting has been used for hundreds of years and is still used today by painters.

Painting with ink is similar to watercolor in that they are both aqueous in nature, but the results are very different than traditional watercolors. Ink is very vibrant and bold, where watercolors tend to produce a very light, translusent quality. Water based inks can be applied directly or diluted with water depending on the desired color intensity. The best brushes to use with in are ones with longer bristles that can hold a decent amount of liquid. Traditional bamboo brushes are also excellent, just be careful as the bristles can start to fall out if you soak them in water for too long.


Inks also come in a variety of diffrent types. Drawing and calligraphy inks will often come in colored sets, but some brands will sell colors separately. Black India inks are especially useful for painting, just make sure that it’s labeled as permanent, so it doesn’t bleed into other colors once its dry. Some great brands to look into are Higgins, Liquitex, DR. Ph. Martin’s, and Pelikan.

Ink is a wonderful medium to experiment with. Try it for yourself!




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