Ink is a fluid or paste containing pigments or dyes that is used for writing, drawing, printing or duplicating and comes in a number of different types including Indian, Drawing, Calligraphy, Sumi, Acrylic and Printing. Inks can be anything from a thin, translucent liquid mainly used for drawing and adding colour to a line drawing or print to a very thick, viscous, slow-drying paste used for print-making.
Where would I find Indian and Sumi Inks in this section? We have included the Sumi and Black Indian Inks under the ‘Drawing Inks’ department as they are most commonly used with dip pen or brush for drawing, inking in or oriental calligraphy and painting.
Can any ink be used for printing? No. You will need to use inks that are slow-drying for producing prints from lino, wood or metal plates. Printing inks tend to be in paste form and are rolled onto the prepared design with a brayer or ink roller. By being slow-drying, they remain active so that the inked design can be transferred to a number of surfaces before drying or being ‘used up’.
Can any ink be used in pens? Only inks that come already in pens, cartridges, refills or specifically say they can be used in pens are suitable. Even a number of Calligraphy inks are not suitable for fountain, technical and other pens as they contain substances that could dry inside the pen and clog it. Most acrylic inks can be used in pens and airbrushes but still care must be taken to clean the pens thoroughly to avoid blocking the barrel, nozzle or nib.
Can ink be used on canvas? Yes. All liquid inks, particularly acrylic ones, will go on canvas. Drying times may be lengthier but interesting effects can be achieved as the ink runs and pools.