Ink Drawing: An Introduction

Ink Drawing - A Brief History

Ink drawing has been around for a long time - its earliest origins were in China about 5,000 years ago - and was originally developed for darkening the raised surfaces of stones for pictures and writings. But other cultures also used inks they made that were colored from berries, plants, and minerals that were available in the local areas. The ink used in earlier artistic works has very little in common with what we use today, and scholars have not been able to identify all of them. The seven main classes of ink that have been classified are as follows: Black writing ink, Chemical writing fluid, Colored writing ink, Copying ink, Indian ink, Secret ink, and Indelible ink

Medieval Europe in about 800-1500 AD used these early inks for their scribes to create ink drawings on sheepskin parchments. Later, inks were created from natural dyes that were made from nuts, seeds, or sea creatures. The famous India ink is black and originally was made in Asia, while the early masters used India ink made from Walnut ink or iron-gall nut ink for their golden brown ink we see today in their historical art and literature works. The only problem with it was the fact it was not suitable for fountain pens, as it clogged them, other than the Pelikan Fount India that did not contain shellac.

Using Ink in Drawings

Ink is used in some forms of artwork in addition to calligraphy. It is a liquid that contains dyes that is used to color an image or text without a thick film of binder - inks are mostly used in printing, but with some using in drawing or writing with a pen or a brush. Pigments are used in colored paints and are a dry insoluble powder form from a dry colorant: natural and synthetic, and organic or inorganic. Some artists, such as caricature artists, use ink in their work in addition to lettering and calligraphy professionals.

Different Types of Inks

India Inks

The India inks were once referred to as black carbon ink prepared by the Chinese and Egyptians, with their basis an aqueous adhesive (binding medium). Where wood was heated and cooked made charcoal sticks, its soot from burning resin and wood made the India ink. Different types of wood made different colors of ink.

Some ink is totally waterproof when dry, and are light fast and permanent. They can be diluted with water and used with brushes, dip pens, technical drawing pens, and airbrushes - coming in sets of 12 bottles. Ink flows well, and usually does not clog when used in pens. It can be thinned with distilled water: do not thin with tap water, as the ink will separate.

Drawing Inks

There are many types of inks, and not all of them are made to draw with, especially for fine art. I personally choose an ink of pigmented light fast ink or a basic India ink, not an illustrator ink itself as it will eventually fade.

The colored inks can all be used for drawing, with many brands available like "Winsor and Newton Liquid Acrylic Color" or "Daler-Rowney Acrylic Artist's Ink."

Chinese Ink Sticks

Over the years, Chinese paintings and calligraphy have shown that Chinese ink has the ability to last for years and stand the tests of time. Western ink has been known to fade when exposed to light and air over time, while the Chinese ink drawings don't.

When you use the Chinese ink sticks, the grinding stick becomes an extension of your hand after you add water to the surface of the stick. The grinding sound and motion is meditative, rhythmic, and circulatory - allowing the artist to push away any distractive thoughts before creating his work.

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