As good fans of the graphic arts, we could not miss the technique of drawing with ink. The use of ink began with Egypt and China more than 4000 years ago, and even today we use it to do urban sketches. The secret? The simplicity and depth of the result. Today we discuss the types of ink and main instruments to draw with ink. And what better to inspire us than to see illustrated examples.

drawing with ink paris

Types of ink

The best known ink is Chinese ink – also called indelible ink. This is characterized by a deep black colour on the paper, leaving a glossy finish. You can also mix it with water to get different tones and greys, without blurring the drawing. It has a great resistance, so it is an ideal permanent ink to expose our works, with a quick drying. It is not recommended to use it with fountain pen, because the system of loading of the pen could be obstructed.

We also have water-soluble inks. On the one hand, there are colouring inks, which as the name implies, there is a wide range of colours. On the contrary, they are not resistant to light and too much exposure could spoil the ink. Pigmented inks are indeed light-resistant and are more suitable when exposing a work. The advantage of water-soluble inks is that once dried, it can be reactivated with moisture. The perfect complement is the fountain pen, the pen and the brush.

drawing with ink illustration

Sugar Mountain. Loui Jover – Technique: brush and ink

Tools for drawing with ink

As we saw in the best watercolour brushes, there are also several options for drawing with ink: pens, pens, pens and even branches (yes, from a tree). The main difference between them is the ink. In the case of pens, they come loaded with ink and in some cases are rechargeable. In these, there are fine points ranging from 0.1 mm to 14 mm. The most recommended are pens with permanent ink, called Archival ink (ink based pigment). This will ensure that the ink remains in your works. There are also some that carry indelible ink, as we mentioned earlier.

ink illustrationRue de Montfort, Rennes. Caroline Didou – Technique: blue, black and gray permanent markers

In the case of pen pens or fountain pens, they will always last, as they are not disposable. There are several thicknesses, and as an advantage, fountain pens with right-angled pens, produce several types of line in the same stroke. Also, it depends on the pressure with the hand, we get different thickness.

Finally, you can also use bamboo pens and branches. In the case of the last two, we need a jar of dye to start drawing. You can get very artistic and expressive strokes, highly recommended simulating that wonderful Japanese aesthetic.

We cannot forget the possibilities of the brushes to draw with ink. Simply dipping the brush in ink and playing with water. We can get atmospheres, diluted colours and watery, which can complement our drawings.

chinese ink watercoloursMercado Matutino de Chowrasta, Ch’ng Kiah Kiean – Technique: dried branches, Chinese ink and watercolor

Our recommendation is to try out how many more instruments to see their application. And as always, depends on the work we want to perform, we can use one or an other.