Author Topic: Watercolor ratio  (Read 100 times)

Offline Eusorph

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Watercolor ratio
« on: January 03, 2021, 11:43:55 AM »
Hello,

I am very intrigued to try using watercolor as ink. I saw some examples using Ph Martinís Hydrus Watercolor, but where I live it is difficult to find, on top of expensive. Is there a way to make my own Hydrus with either dry or tube watercolor and water? Does anyone know the right watercolor to water ratio? Iíd much rather fill some containers and dip. I donít want to waste time trying to find the right consistency.

Thank you

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Watercolor ratio
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 05:14:12 PM »
I have used all kinds of different watercolors to do calligraphy. But I usually just mix it up a bit with some water and then use a brush to apply it to my pen. Gouache which is used a lot for calligraphy is water mixed with a lot more Gum Arabic to make it a bit smoother.

If you were to mix it into a container, you would need something to prevent it from spoiling if you were going to use it over time.

Good luck!
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Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Watercolor ratio
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2021, 08:14:42 AM »
<<I donít want to waste time trying to find the right consistency.>>

Any time you are working with water based medium, the proportion will change during the time the container is open due to evaporation.
You have to keep adding water.
A bottle of ink with a small opening will evaporate more slowly than one with an opening that is wide enough to dip - but they will both need to have water added periodically.
As you spend time getting to know a medium - you'll get used to adding water and it won't seem like a waste of time.

Another thing to note - with some pigments, especially gouache, you have to do a lot of stirring.
For me, some of the green pigments settle so fast that I end up stirring every time I load the brush, so brush loading is just part of the process.
While brush loading takes more time than dipping, it is balanced by the time you save from not having to wipe the nib as often.

Another option, to avoid a lot of mixing and fussing is to learn to like the *watery* look.
I recall, at the end of a workshop with Peter Thornton, he suggested we do some writing using whatever color was left in our containers of rinse water. We all had subtle tones of gray -- but pale tones can be quite effective.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 07:30:23 AM by jeanwilson »

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Watercolor ratio
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2021, 03:12:19 PM »
You can use watercolor paints with a either a little (but enough so that it flows from your pen) or a lot of water added.  There really is no "right" formula.  The Hydrus colors are really high intensity/saturation, and those, too, can be watered down.  I understand that you don't want to have to spend a lot of time getting the consistency right, but it will require some experimentation.  I also understand wanting to avoid brush loading, but if you're using tube watercolor, you will want to at least start off experimenting with brush loading - otherwise, you will waste a lot of paint while you're figuring out how to use it to your liking. When you have an idea of the water to paint ratio that you prefer, then you can more confidently load up a little jar for dipping.

Enjoy the process! :) 

Offline Eusorph

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Re: Watercolor ratio
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2021, 02:41:00 AM »
I understand what you are all saying, but isn't there really a ratio to start with like with gouache (fifty-fifty)?
Also, I am planning on using a very small squeeze bottle like the ones that contain eye drops and that let out only one drop at a time. I already did use those with fountain pen ink with zero fuss at all. So, evaporation will be very limited and I might use up all the watercolor in one session, since I am planning on writing several pages at once and will calculate the amount of watercolor I make based on that.
Give me something to start working, please. Let's say fifty-fifty for dry watercolor and sixty-forty with tube?

Thanks

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Watercolor ratio
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2021, 06:13:25 PM »
I have not encountered any suggested ratios in any class I have taken or video I have seen. I think the distinction is that watercolor is a paint, not an ink. And there are so many different forms of pigment and also the value you are looking to achieve will dictate the water ratio. Like Bianca said, experiment. And if you figure out a general ratio - please share!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Trazo

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Re: Watercolor ratio
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 04:01:25 PM »
I don't know if this will be of any help, as probably every brand of liquid watercolor has a different concentration, but I use Talens Ecoline just right from the bottle and it works great for both pointed and broad edge. That gives you a vibrant opaque color. If you are looking for a more watercolory translucent effect, I guess you have to dilute it, but it may be too watery to wok with.