Author Topic: Colored ink suggestions?  (Read 2096 times)

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Colored ink suggestions?
« on: November 11, 2016, 01:57:50 PM »
Does anyone have a favorite, dependable colored ink series they can suggest to me?
Was looking at Dr Martin's Bombay India Ink but not sure if there was something better?
Let me know what you guys think on your favorite colored inks for pointed pen.

Thanks!
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 02:53:47 PM »
Which ink(s) turns out to be your favorite is a deeply personal matter.
My favorite inks for pointed nibs are McCaffrey's.
While many of us love them, some people do not like the watery look.

Of the acrylic inks, Ziller is my favorite.

For broad edge, the dreamiest ink is ground on an ink stone and gouache is pretty wonderful.
I can't think of any bottled ink I have tried that compares to those two.

And - once again - it depends on the paper.
Often times you find one of the bottled inks that works beautifully on a particular paper.
But, I would not expect anyone to find one line of inks that becomes the favorite on all papers.

Offline Rednaxela

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 03:21:27 PM »
Personally I wouldn't go for India inks as the shellac component cakes the nib very fast IME.

I hear good things about Rohrer & Klingner Schreibtinte. Might be worth checking out.
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Offline AndyT

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2016, 04:53:15 PM »
Gouache for me - used to be Winsor and Newton but now it's Schminke.  Following on from that, were I looking for transparency nowadays I'd be more inclined to go down the quality watercolour route.

However, I've had such uniformly good experiences with R&K products that it's hard to imagine that the Schreibtinte series wouldn't be worth investigating if you don't want to get into all that dilution business.  Whilst acrylics are anathema as far as I'm concerned (bad experience ... please don't ask) - yeah, enough of the right people say good things about Ziller to suggest that it's Good Stuff.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 03:02:57 PM by AndyT »

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 01:10:54 PM »
@AndyT

What is it about the acrylic that so many dislike?
When I first started calligraphy about a year ago I was advised by a
local scribe not to get into acrylic without explanation.  Now I'm just curious. 
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Offline Elizabeth O.

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 01:57:15 PM »
I almost exclusively use Holbein Acryla gouache and mix my colors - I've got the primary cyan, primary yellow, primary magenta, primary black, and white, and that meets the vast majority of my needs.  I especially appreciate that the acryla gouche is waterproof when dry.

If you did not want to go the acrylic route, I think that gouache would still be a good answer if you want a nice opaque color.  You could get your basic primaries and some gum arabic and mix almost any color that you would want or need.  If you didn't want to mix colors, you could always buy the color that you wanted.  I like Holbein and Winsor & Newton...but I've never tried Schminke (one day I will have to!).  It's worth it to spend a little more and get the nice stuff!  I've been burned by store-brand gouache before.

I'm a Ziller fan as well, but I've only tried the black.

As far as what it is about the acrylic that scribes don't like...I have shied away from acrylics in the past because some acrylics don't flow well off the nib - if the consistency is off, then you could end up with a draggy ink that makes the letters look bottom heavy.  It can be temperamental.  Also, when it is dry...it's stuck!  Cleaning dried acrylic is a bear.

Let us know what you go with!  ;D
All the best -- E.O.

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Offline AndyT

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 02:01:30 PM »
What is it about the acrylic that so many dislike?
Crude hairlines and lousy flow were the deal breakers for me - as in appalling.  Also a general feeling that it was the most horrible liquid I've ever attempted to write with ... yeuch.   >:(

Offline Daniel Mastrofski

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 03:04:55 PM »
What is it about the acrylic that so many dislike?
Crude hairlines and lousy flow were the deal breakers for me - as in appalling.  Also a general feeling that it was the most horrible liquid I've ever attempted to write with ... yeuch.   >:(

Fair Enough.  I'm going to take your word for it.  I've been hearing good things about watercolor and gouache though...
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2016, 06:33:15 PM »
It is hard to explain what makes acrylic inks so unpleasant. Some people like them. If you want or need waterproof, then it is worthwhile to try the Ziller inks. They are not unpleasant at all - IMHO - you just don't get the finest hairlines - and on certain papers they are just fine.

I like Holbein Acryla Gouache when I need something waterproof - but it is not as dreamy as regular gouache.
I have never found an inexpensive gouache that works for me, but I know there are people who have no problems with it.
It is fine to ask for opinions, but you need to try things out yourself.

Many people agree that within a certain brand of gouache - even the expensive ones - there is a difference between certain pigments.
WN Indigo is dreamy. A lot of the greens require frequent stirring. They settle faster than other colors. Cerulean blue is another favorite.
Using just the primary colors is a good option.

There is a big difference between the blacks.
One of them is really slimy - but I do not recall which one. Lamp black, Jet black, Ivory black, Mars black, and Perylene Black
In the whites, one is better for mixing and the other is much better for highlights - but again, I can't remember which is which.
There is zinc white and permanent white.
My foggy memory thinks that zinc white was recommended for mixing.

I just googled the question and here is just one of many answers:

Permanent White is the whitest most opaque white but is not recommended for colour mixing. Zinc White produces the cleanest, most lightfast tints. Bleedproof White prevents underlayers from bleeding through, particularly those colours marked ‘BI’ on the colour chart. And finally, Process White is for photographic retouching, where it will reproduce its true value.

This leaves out "Titanium" white. That's among the whites available from Graham and others. What this is for, I dunno.

***you can google the question about blacks and find many responses.

Maybe others will add their 2-cents.

And, Daniel, if you have not heard about mixing up your gouache and then letting it sit for a few hours before you use it, that is important to know. For some reason it isn't quite as dreamy when you first mix it up. Use distilled water to mix the gouache. When you are through for the day, you just let the pans dry. Next time you want to write, you reconstitute the gouache. The tubes are pricy, but there is very little waste.

I'll be home tomorrow, Daniel, if you want to stop over and pick up that big box of Letter Arts Reviews that I keep trying to get Hunter to deliver to you. Or PM me your address and I'll drop it off.



Offline AndyT

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2016, 04:17:41 AM »
There is just the one white in the Schminke range, apparently because Patricia Lovett took the view that "life's too short to have a mixing white and an opaque white".  So you get the latter, which is what you want for writing with on its own, anyway.  When I was using W&N the Permanent White worked okay for mixing, but they have a Zinc version too.

On a tube by tube basis, gouache is economical (even the best), but if you choose to set yourself up with a comprehensive mixing range the cost can soon mount up - so if you can get away with just one white it makes sense to do so.  In theory two reds, two blues, two yellows, black and white should cover every eventuality; in practice it paid me to take advantage of a long-standing 40% discount offer and get the full boxed Schminke set of thirteen, which worked out marginally cheaper than buying the eight basic colours from any of the good quality manufacturers.  Still quite a hefty expense, but a one-off, I hope.  If anyone wants the details, drop me a line.

Offline Estefa

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2016, 05:04:39 PM »
Regarding whites, as far as my knowledge from painting with oil and acrylics goes, zink white is more transparent but lets colours stay more true if you just want to lighten a hue of red, for example. If you use titanium white, you get a pink hue, because the pigment is more opaque, less transparent and affects the character of the color more. That's very hard to explain even in my native tongue so I hope that makes sense!

And yes, like @AndyT said, I also think that it's enough for everyday calligraphy use to have one white. Most of us don't want to paint complex stuff like layered, realistic skin tones where the differences in the whites, also regarding being more blue or more red, become more important ;). Titanium white is a very cold white.
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Offline ericp

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 12:56:14 PM »
Acrylics:  no.  I dislike the texture, can't mix the colors as I would like to, too thick, no control, fussy with the nibs, etc.

Gouache:  yes.  Very decent hairlines, nice colors, good opacity (although in my experience: too matte).  I use ShinHan Poster Color gouache series.

Watercolor:  yes!   Not very popular among the FF community, but I am just a huge fan!  (In fact if you search for watercolor here, you're bound to see a rant of mine somewhere.   ::) )  I use pretty much any nib.  Awesome range of colors.  Doesn't matter the brand, but go for tube and not cake sets.  It's so much easier to fill a dinky and dip your nib than to brush-load the nib.

With watercolor I especially love the fact that I can mix line art, brush strokes and color calligraphy on the same sheet.  You can easily combine waterproof ink with watercolor.  Downside:  low opacity, must use watercolor paper.

OK Enough with the rant  :D   Let us know what you try and settle on!

Offline Elizabeth O.

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2016, 08:24:13 AM »
@ericp!  Have you ever tried adding gum Arabic to your gouache?  That adds a nice shine...although, it can extend the drying time (in my experience).
All the best -- E.O.

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Offline ericp

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2016, 10:03:06 AM »
@ericp!  Have you ever tried adding gum Arabic to your gouache?  That adds a nice shine...although, it can extend the drying time (in my experience).
Yes I am aware of the GA trick, thanks for mentioning that.  I agree that the shine does make a difference.

Offline JanisTX

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Re: Colored ink suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2016, 10:41:17 AM »
@Everyone:  I'm reading through this thread, pretty fascinated.  Then, I realize we sound like a bunch of calligraphy nerds.  I'm wearing that title loud and proud!  ;D

Janis