by Ben Platt February 17, 2022
Ink is an incredible medium which encompasses the practices of calligraphy, printing and illustration. This liquid medium is among one of the oldest and has been used since the earliest times, from simple soot based inks right up to the latest acrylic based ones today and beyond.
In this article we will explain the brands of inks we have available and the particular qualities that differentiate them from each other, so you may find the one most suited to your project.
Drawing inks are highly transparent and vibrant due to the strength of their dye-based colours.
Unlike watercolour paints, drawing inks do not tend to fade as noticeably when they dry which as a key advantage to working with the medium. Despite the colour strength dye-based inks are not lightfast and permanence will differ from brand to brand. Colour may eventually fade with prolonged exposure to bright and UV light and as such should be stored appropriately.
These inks are a highly fluid form of acrylic paint, pigment suspended in an acrylic emulsion, which share the same qualities as standard paint in terms of their permanence and coverage. Acrylic inks can be intermixed with acrylic paint and are a great way to tint colours subtly. Due to their consistency they are ideal for using with refillable paint marker pens, mixing with mediums for pouring techniques and flow well through airbrushes.
As the name suggests these inks are formulated to flow smoothly for calligraphy and lettering purposes. Inks intended for use with fountain pens are non-clogging and dye-based. Since pigmented ink is thicker it is prone to clogging fountain pens, even when diluted. Pigment rich inks work best for dip pen calligraphy as the removable nibs of such pens are easily cleaned.
These inks are formulated with the adhesion and slower drying times required for printing, as such they are richly pigmented for a consistent colour. Screen printing inks have a viscous consistency and can be mixed with textile mediums for printing onto fabrics such as cotton and silk.
Block printing inks are thicker and more paste like, applied to a woodcut or linocut block with a roller and then printed with. This process produces a print when paper is applied to the block with pressure from something heavy, usually a printing press.
Colours can either be used straight from the pot or they can be mixed to make extra colours. Some printing inks might be oil based and as such it is important to know, and clean up using the correct products.
These alcohol-based, dyestuff inks are generally more vibrant than pigment-based inks due to the higher colour density of dye over pigment. The rapid drying time of the alcohol helps to prevent the ink from bleeding excessively when used on more porous papers. Alcohol inks are also highly blendable when wet and are water resistant once dry.
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by Ellie Jakeman December 05, 2023
This last instalment for 2023 brings us an exciting and varied programme of exhibitions and events; theatre, photography, Fashion, an Open exhibition that is 170 years old and a Renaissance Master, Francesco Pesellino!
by Ben Platt November 29, 2023
by Ellie Jakeman November 29, 2023
Encourage a child who has the gift of creativity by giving the perfect present this Christmas.
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