Bottled Ink & Freebies
The supply that I'm discussing today has been an obsession of mine for about a year, starting from when I discovered it though an online impulse buy. I had been looking into new ways of getting color onto paper, other than the convention routine of paint or pen. That's when I came across Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India ink. Since that purchase, I've added Daler-Rowney neon inks, the Liquitex INK! muted color edition, and others to my growing collection. I can honestly say that I have developed a love for using bottled ink! Ink, like so many other art supplies, can be used beyond it's initial purpose when combined with the practice of mixed media—which is exactly why my collection is growing. Ink is incredibly versatile as an incarnation of liquid pigment that can be used with a paintbrush, added to acrylics, or dripped and splattered with ease. Most inks are transparent and will stain a surface when applied as a thin layer. Adding a wash of ink will add color without covering the details or imagery. For my use, inks are like permanent watercolors, adding a splash of the unpredictable as it flows across my art!
While I do like to use my inks in conjunction with other mediums, using them alone is also very effective. Inks are highly viscous and transparent, so they make for beautiful watercolor substitutes—especially because the professional and artist's inks are made with pigments rather than dye. Most name brand inks will not only advertise their pigmentation, but also list the types of pigments used on the bottles or their websites; this is true for both the Daler-Rowney FW and Liquitex INK! colors seen in these photographs. The colored illustration below is a perfect example of how inks can be used as watercolor substitutes, where the inks have been layered and worked with in a wet-on-dry technique.
Unlike watercolors, however, inks have the capability of drying as a waterproof colorant. They work well layered in mixed media, as they have the ability to stay unaffected by gel mediums, pens and markers, and acrylic paints. This is true for both acrylic inks and most professional India inks. As you can see in the image below, the India ink has remained unmoved—even under layers liquid varnish, of gel pen ink, and acrylic paints applied via markers.
Of course, you can always use ink they way that they were intended: with a dip nib pen or calligraphy brush! I tend to use my ink for things other than writing, but it doesn't mean that I don't use these inks with their traditional tools! I have a small collection of nibs and pen handles, but I frequently reach for the smallest nib to add details and drawings onto the pages of my art journal. I recommend picking up an inexpensive set of nibs and a dip pen handle if you have interest in using inks in your mixed media; you can usually pick up a small set for cheap, like the one by Speedball, which I have, as seen in the image below. It's a fun way to gain practice with these tools in order to see if calligraphy might also be a good fit for you! (Because, let's be honest, one artistic hobby is never enough for a creative spirit!)
Since it's freebie Wednesday, I have some ink-related goodies to share with you! The files available to you this week are hand-painted images of boarders, feathers, and flowers. The downloads are in PNG format with transparent (white on paper) backgrounds! That means that this week's freebie images are capable of being used as both printable freebies and as hassle-free digital art collage elements! The images were originally painted using the magenta, brown, and violet colors of Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay India ink. They have been digitally altered to offer you these freebies in a variety of hues!
These are HD images available as full page PNG files. I advocate using them as collage material for your own arty goodness!! Just click the links below to print and/or download the PNGs! You can print them out, collage them in your art, or use them as digital goodies! Just get creative and have fun. The only thing that I ask is that you not redistribute these freebies or claim an unaltered version as your own. You do not need to credit me if you use these freebies in your art, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a shout out!
Disclaimer: I have recently become an Amazon and Get Messy affiliate. Amazon links and Get Messy links are affiliate links. I will receive a small portion of the sale (at no extra cost to you) if you use these links to purchase the art supplies or subscribe to the Get Messy community for an annual membership. You support this blog and my ability to continue making art through the use of these links! (And also gain my unending gratitude!!!) The Art Snacks website and all other links included in this post are not affiliate links; they are included for educational purposes and for your convenience.