Medium Moment: Winsor and Newton Drawing Ink

When it comes to writing, or the comic book world, or even body art - the word 'ink' sounds so permanent! 

Often the final stage of a sketch, inks have a seriousness about them that can be intimidating to approach. You can't erase ink. Using ink whatsoever these days - especially instead of digital inking - almost seems masochistic.  

Yet, these drawing inks from Winsor and Newton feel so refreshing and fun.

Airy like silk, rich with pigment, these colorful drawing inks make a good alternative to watercolor.  The inks can be applied with a pen nib or a brush. 

Since this ink set is anywhere from $23.00 - $35.00 at most art stores, it is a fair purchase for artists at any level. I've made dozens of pieces before running out of just one color in the set. The high pigmentation means you can mix drops of the ink with water and not suffer for any lack of color. 

becky jewell abstract ink art.JPG

These inks are my favorite medium for a rainy, low-key day. For anyone who enjoys doodling or the occasional coloring book, colorful inks will be much loved. When loaded into a nib, they do well on basic drawing paper. They also look gorgeous on thicker watercolor paper. 

Artists can either brush the inks directly onto paper, or draw a shape with pure water first, and then dab the pigment into the damp areas of the paper for a cosmic effect. 

Abstract ink drop art is really... relaxing. If you dislike the shape that you drew with the water, you can just dry off the paper with a towel and try again. 

 Winsor and Newton drawing ink on watercolor paper. Far out mannnn

Winsor and Newton drawing ink on watercolor paper. Far out mannnn

 

Ink art is also about acceptance - once you've drawn with ink, you must accept what you have drawn. If you make a 'mistake' you must accept and work around the mistake in order to make the artwork eventually successful. Even if you end up abandoning the mistake, or tossing the drawing in the trash, you will learn from it. The permanence of ink rapidly improves decision-making skills in art. (Sure, sure, some comicbook artists use white out, but...) This is one reason why I think it is just fine to stick to a semi-abstract realm while using these inks, though I've seen other artists use them beautifully for realistic work. 

 I made a lot of mistakes with this drawing but I am cool with the mistakes now

I made a lot of mistakes with this drawing but I am cool with the mistakes now

 

This medium will also engage your patience as an artist - often the shapes and colors that resolve when the ink is laid down will appear much differently once the ink dries.

 

It's a bit like watching a flower bloom over several days. Usually a happy surprise. :)