There will be days you’ll feel like you’re tired of the usual ink you use for practice and yearn for a little bit more color variation. When I started out, I had 3 staple inks on hand: black sumi ink, vermillion sumi ink and walnut ink.
If calligraphy ink came in all colors, I would probably buy them, but that wouldn’t be practical and e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. And unfortunately, calligraphy ink does not come in hundreds of colors unless you know how to mix them.
As I browsed through other people’s feed in Instagram, I realized that to create those wonderful colors, you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to “calligraphy ink”.
In all honesty, anything liquid and with color you could use to write. Among the usual mediums people use for ink include fountain pen ink, watercolor, acrylics and gouache. If you wanna spice up your letters and introduce a bit more color, you could try any of these:
FOUNTAIN PEN INK
Most fountain pen ink that I’ve tried with my nib (Noodler’s, Diamine, Pilot Iroshizuku) have been viscous enough for my nib. All you need to do is dip the nib in the ink and write like you do with your usual calligraphy ink. I would suggest transferring a portion of ink into a small container so you don’t risk spoiling an entire bottle of ink.
If, by any chance, you feel the consistency is too watery for your liking, try adding a couple of drops/portions of gum arabic. Make sure you only add gum arabic to a small quantity of ink in a separate container. It doesn’t matter if it’s the liquid or powder form of gum arabic. It is important, however, that you only put small portions at a time to the ink. Mix them thoroughly and test the ink. Rinse your nib in between ink tests. If you added a little too much, you could add few drops of water to help correct the consistency.
You could use tubes, pans or half-pans. All you need to do is mix the right amount of pigment with water and use a paint brush to apply the paint onto your nib. For those who’ve been wanting to try out the Fintec palette, this is also for you. However, if you have liquid watercolor like Dr. Ph. Martin’s, then no need to go through this entire process. Just dip your nib in the paint and start writing! Just follow the tips from the previous section.
You’ll need: your choice of paint, paint palette, 2 cups for water, paintbrush (preferably a size 2, 4 or 6), paper, eyedropper/pipette.
Watch the video below to find out how you could use these as ink.
You could try similar forms of paint with this method, like acrylics or gouache.. Or you could get creative and use other mediums. I’ve heard some people have even tried using coffee!
MIX YOUR OWN INK
I personally haven’t tried, but I do have the materials needed with me. I’ll post a video when I do. 🙂
If you’re interested in trying to mix your own, you’ll need: water (preferably distilled as this will prevent molds from easily forming in your mix), pearl pigments, gum arabic (liquid or powder form).
To create your own ink, mix 4 parts of pigment and 1 part gum arabic. Then, slowly add distilled water and stir. Ideally, the proportion of your water should be around the same as your pigment. However, you could decide to play around with your ink consistency depending on the effect you would like to achieve. A thinner consistency will tend to lie flat when it dries while a thicker consistency will give you a raised effect when the ink dries. Remember to only add a few drops of water each time you adjust your ink consistency and stir well afterwards.
So in more specific terms, you could try these proportions and slowly adjust as needed:
- 1 teaspoon pearl pigments
- 1/4 teaspoon gum arabic
- 1 teaspoon distilled water
If you’re living in the Philippines, you could obtain pearl pigments and gum arabic from The Craft Cental. I believe Deovir also carries pearl pigments. Other websites you may want to try ordering from: Amazon, Paper and Ink Arts, John Neal Bookseller, Dick Blick
I hope these additional tips would help you enjoy writing more.:)