Dating back centuries, calligraphy is one of the oldest forms of art in relation to writing. It takes a skilled artist to perfect the script and strokes, but just as important is the ink itself.
Calligraphy ink comes in a variety of colors and styles. From deep blacks to light greens and waterproof to permanent, the variations are endless.
Whatever ink an artist uses for calligraphy is a personal choice. What works well for one person might spell disaster for another. An experienced calligraphy artist loves variety, but beginners should stick to two or three types of ink.
If you’re stuck on what type to buy, here’s a guide to a few of the best calligraphy ink selections in 2020.
Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink
This non-waterproof and lightfast ink pairs best with high-quality paper (a Rhoda pad or 70-pound drawing paper). If you’re wondering why, the simple answer is to lessen ink bleed.
Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink is on the watery side and has a tendency to soak if you’re using lesser quality paper. Because of its thin viscosity, the ink is a good alternative for artists that have been using India ink.
Winsor & Newton Calligraphy Ink is available in a variety of colors that you can mix. It even has its own “sheen” at the right angle resembling a shiny plastic.
Japanese Sumi-e Ink
Japanese Sumi-e Ink is a nice alternative from ink sticks and bottle inks. Individuals with allergy sensitivities to the soot in these products will also experience relief due to the Sumi-e ink’s light scent.
With less glue in the black calligraphy ink bottle, the Sumi-e ink for calligraphy offers darker ink strokes. Artists should be quick with their strokes to ensure the correct moisture settling.
On the other side of the spectrum, the Fine Line Sumi-e Ink has more glue present in the ink. This prevents bleeding with the first application and no additional bleed when dry and washes overlap. This is best used as a handwriting ink in need of precision.
Dr. Ph. Martin India Ink
Finding out you enjoy using India Inks happens to almost every calligraphy artist.
The smoothness and waterproof aspects of the ink make finished products pop. Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink is one you’ll want in your arsenal.
Proving to be impervious to water, Dr. Ph. Martin has perfected the India Ink. A plus side of this ink is Bombay ink’s ability to scan well. This can make copying and repurposing your calligraphy much easier than other inks.
Lower-quality papers might lead to ink bleed, but a remedy of liquid or powdered gum Arabic should do the trick and thicken up your ink.
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