Author Topic: When to use what ink  (Read 1322 times)

Offline SunnyMoni

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When to use what ink
« on: November 15, 2015, 08:45:30 PM »
There are a variety of inks and I'm curious if there is a proper time to use each type? I've tried a couple different kinds mainly because that's what I've found locally but I started wondering if certain inks are to be used on certain papers or anything like that?
Monica

Offline Ergative

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Re: When to use what ink
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2015, 10:00:38 PM »
Trial and error. Some inks work better on certain papers or with certain nibs than others. (Gouache works on any paper, I've found, while Higgins is much more particular.) Some inks look exactly like what you want for a given project (Sumi has a lovely sheen to it, while Higgins and walnut ink are more flat, and Fine Tec is pricy). Some inks are already conveniently mixed up in the right sized container on your desk, and you only have half an hour, and don't want to waste any of that time mixing up gouache.

It's like tasting wine: no matter what the oenophiles tell you or what price they stick on bottles, you should buy and drink the wine that you like. Similarly, use the ink that you like for whatever you're doing at the time, and the best way to figure out what you like best is to do what you're doing: try it out and play around.
Clara

Offline schin

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Re: When to use what ink
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2015, 01:30:01 PM »
So true! I always find that a part of writing is to find the perfect combo of ink, nib and paper!
My go-to for regular shaded writing for envelopes or whatever is sumi ink thinned with a bit of water. This ink is cheap, black and can be thinned or thickened as needed. I use it for flexible nibs. This combo can provide punchy letters and nice black lettering which can be reproduced easily.
My go-to for ornamental penmanship is iron gall, walnut or bleedproof white (if I want white ink). This ink can handle fine lines when used with stiffer nibs and can reproduce every little twist and turn faithfully.

What Ergative said is super true! It's really like a trial and error game!
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Offline AndyT

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Re: When to use what ink
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2015, 03:34:53 PM »
Another one in agreement with Clara here.  For example, my go to black is strong iron gall ink (whether Walker's or Blots'), but not on Elco paper because it takes forever to darken.  You only find out about quirks like that by trying it. 

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: When to use what ink
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2015, 04:25:22 PM »
Just to contribute a mite to the already good advice, also think about the usage of the ink.

You don't want to use walnut ink on an envelope unless you're going to treat it somehow to keep it waterproof. Most sumi and all iron gall inks are nice and permanent and won't be completely ruined by getting wet. I'm using iron gall inks more and more in my writing.

I mainly write letters and I find myself using mainly iron gall (Diamine Registrar's or the Chesterfield equivalent, or R&K Salix, though I have a trial vial of KWZI IG Green and now I want a whole bottle!), and walnut for the letters, and iron gall or sumi for the envelopes. I also use paper that works well with these inks (IG inks tend, in my limited experience, to work with the widest selection of papers) and the nibs I want to use.

Finding the nib, paper and ink combinations that work for you, how you write and what you're trying to do is part of the fun.
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Offline Ergative

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Re: When to use what ink
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 01:14:22 PM »

Finding the nib, paper and ink combinations that work for you, how you write and what you're trying to do is part of the fun.

And our experimentation keeps John Neal and PIA in business, too. Everyone wins!
Clara