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  • Writer's pictureKOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH

Black and Colorful Inks

Many of us got acquainted with India ink drawing or painting in art lessons at primary or elementary school, because with the help of this technique, even children can create a picture with a high aesthetic value. However, this does not mean that India ink should be taken only as a medium for young artists.

It is mostly a suspension of black color, which is divided into different types of ink according to its composition. One thing remains, however - the higher the quality of the ink, the richer the color, which becomes completely insoluble and permanent after drying.

Before the production of chemically processed dyes was fully launched in the 19th century and the color range of inks grew, they were produced only from natural dyes. In historical documents, we can find shades of ink from brown, reddish brown to grey and black, which, however, were not so permanent and could lead to deterioration in their quality or even the destruction of the work.

This technique can be used in several areas. We can create drawings, paintings, calligraphy or use it in reproduction graphics. It can be applied with a pen or brush, depending on whether you want to achieve linear or tonal effects.

In addition to professional tools designed for working with India ink, you can use any wood or skewers. It was the case in the past, when no accessories existed, yet.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

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There are several artists who experiment with the help of cloth or human hair soaked in India ink. The art of calligraphy was taught in the Czech schools until 1932. People in some countries, especially in Japan, China and Korea still hold this tradition.


To create calligraphy at the highest level, it is advisable to use solid India inks, but if you are just starting, try one of the artistic inks which you can find on the Koh-i-noor e-shop.

Another technique that you will definitely like is line art or line drawing. A holder with nibs or a dip pen will be enough to learn the basic rules of line drawing. If you are a complete beginner, you better sketch the motif with a pencil first. Also try the first few strokes on the side of the paper to find out how to tilt the pen or how much to push on it when drawing.

Mikoláš Aleš

Remember that line drawing, similar to calligraphy, is a technique based on patience and diligence. By regular training, you may achieve results as genius Czech artist Mikoláš Aleš, who devoted himself to this technique at the highest level, as well as many other great artists.

We can find the line drawings in works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Rembrandt van Rijn, Honoré Daumier or Vincent van Gogh, William Blake and also Vincent Aubrey.

Franz Kline

The technique called Ink wash can be used as well. This is a very popular painting technique which is based on water diluting the pigment in ink and toning the image. It is of course possible to create a painting in the true sense of the word with the help of India ink, as Richard Diebenkorn or Franz Kline did, which will appeal especially to admirers of abstraction.

Even today we can find artists who prefer drawing or painting with India ink and their portfolio includes several works created by this art medium. One of them is Czech artist Josef Zlamal whose work is definitely worth seeing.

Josef Zlamal

You can find technical and artistic inks on the Koh-i-noor e-shop. Technical inks are suitable for beginners who are just starting to create with this medium. They are intended for hobby painting and are not suitable, for example, for technical pens. You can even buy them in a set of six or ten pieces, and in addition to the classic black, you can also try the colored ones.

Now all you have to do is to get to work!



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