Painting Techniques With India Ink

Written by errin reaume
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Painting Techniques With India Ink
India Ink now comes in light black and brown (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

India Ink is a simple black ink once widely used in India and China for writing and printing. Today India Ink is used in drawing, painting, and printing. India Ink has been used at least as far back as the 4th century BC. Then it was made from burning tar and bones, it would harden and dry before being crushed into a powder. A wet brush was used to liquefy the powder so it could be used as ink.

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Watercolour paper with India Ink

Mixing water and India Ink will give you a wider variety of hues from very light grey to carbon black. Watercolour paper is best to use when mixing water and other mediums. Before painting, tape the watercolour paper tightly across a table or canvas so it lies flat. This will ensure it dries flat rather than wrinkling with the water. Mix water and ink in paint bowls or styrofoam egg cartons to achieve different hues. Wet paper lightly with water so ink mixture will glide smoothly. Any variety of brushes may be used for water and India Ink mixtures.

Chinese Ink painting

India Ink was and is still widely used today for writing and drawing Chinese characters. Achieve this through use of India Ink and a Water brush pen. Fill the pen with India Ink and water, the mixture will flow through the bristles and onto the paper. The amount of ink is effected by a button on the top of the pen. Traditional Chinese ink art may include, fish, bamboo, Chinese characters, landscapes, birds and any number of designs. Find instructional Chinese art books at craft stores or the library. Experiment with stroke width and angles to find the best look.

Pastels and India Ink

Many mixed media paintings include India Ink. Pastel and India Ink can achieve beautiful results. Start with a blank paper, textured drawing paper works best with pastels as it will hold more colour and blend better. Start your work with the pastels only used the India Ink once you have finished the basic structure and want to add shadow and definition. If you are painting a woman's face use small thin strokes close together and evenly spaced to create shadow. Contour the curve of lips and neck with India Ink. Make individual strands of hair stand out by using thin wispy strokes.

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