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Metulj
12-25-2018, 05:44 AM
Hi. I'm looking for ink that has largest particles. When I do washes with a brush I enjoy seeing large, gritty ink texture of diluted ink. So far I found out that W&N non-waterproof ink (liquid indian ink with a dragon drawing on a bottle) has the largest particles, but I dislike the fact that it's not water resistant.

Can you tell me some other manufacturers that make "coarse" ink?

(maybe I should make my own ink with a stick and stone, but I don't know anything about that and how to make it waterproof)

Payne's Grey
12-25-2018, 10:36 AM
Here are a few articles about making India ink which may help you. I believe you'll find it's naturally water resistant when dry.

https://www.hunker.com/12136512/how-to-make-indian-ink

https://www.ehow.com/how_6590230_make-homemade-india-ink.html

blackandwhite
12-25-2018, 12:38 PM
Here are a few articles about making India ink which may help you. I believe you'll find it's naturally water resistant when dry.

https://www.hunker.com/12136512/how-to-make-indian-ink

https://www.ehow.com/how_6590230_make-homemade-india-ink.html

Those are quite improvised versions of the Indian ink and most probably will not provide waterproof results. The real shellac Indian ink can be made approximately using the recipe:

10 parts (by weight) carbon black pigment powder
20 parts shellac flakes
8 parts soda ash crystals
100 parts water

First mix soda ash and shellac to the water and let those dissolve overnight. If all shellac is not dissolved, add bit more soda ash. Then add the carbon black pigment and mix it like crazy. A professional quality ink takes hundred times more mixing that anyone is willing to do (e.g. one full day of mixing in kitchen blender...), so a DIY Indian ink is feasible only when looking for grainy results. Carbon black is the smoothest pigment that there is, so other pigments are better for grainy results. For example, iron oxide black gives very grainy look. Ivory black or vine black is another somewhat grainy pigment. 20 parts of shellac in that recipe gives glossy ink. For satin/matte finish use maximum something like 10 parts of shellac with 4 parts of soda ash.

In the above recipe the soda ash is necessary to increase the pH level, which enables the shellac to dissolve to the water. Shellac will not dissolve to normal tap water. This ink is waterproof once it dries. Use the ink within couple of weeks, since bacteria will start to grow in the liquid. For long term storage it would be necessary to use some preservative chemical, but it is not easy to find such stuff that works in the alkaline ink (pH level is approx. 8). Most food preservatives are functional in acidic liquids (pH way less than 7).

An easier recipe is to dilute clear acrylic painting medium with water and mix some amount of pigment to it. Any reasonable mixing time will give grainy results.


Another way to make grainy ink is to get whatever water-based ink (acrylic, indian or anything that contains pigment), put the ink to plastic container and freeze the ink. If it doesn't look grainy enough, freeze and melt it couple of times more. Freezing any pigment-based ink will break the pigment-in-water suspension and the pigment powder forms large clots. It has accidentally happened to me when I had inks in cold storage (outdoors). It can produce really nice grainy special effects.

pedlars pen
12-25-2018, 01:38 PM
ANY indian ink which contains shellac should not (usually) be diluted with tap water as the additives in many places will cause the finely ground pigment to become gritty & coarse.
To most users this is highly undesirable but it may be the easiest way to get the ink that you want !
Mike

laika
12-25-2018, 03:30 PM
blackandwhite, IIRC, shellac also dissolves in ethanol. Other than perhaps making the ink dry faster (through the evaporation of ethanol), might not ethanol instead of soda ash change the ph situation?

Just curious.

blackandwhite
12-27-2018, 12:27 PM
blackandwhite, IIRC, shellac also dissolves in ethanol. Other than perhaps making the ink dry faster (through the evaporation of ethanol), might not ethanol instead of soda ash change the ph situation?

Just curious.

Yes, it dissolves in ethanol. I'm not sure if ethanol + water + shellac would work, as my intuition says that water will make things complicated... In inks the ethanol is usually problematic, since it causes severe feathering. Something like 10% ethanol in water is usually the maximum that works fine. Higher ethanol content would require some other chemicals to thicken the liquid, which makes things complicated... And 10% ethanol is usually not enough to stop germ growth. Ethanol is very neutral pH stuff, so the potential solution pH is still bit too high for the common preservatives (many of those work at below 5 pH).

To dissolve shellac in water the water pH needs to be alkaline (above 7). It seems that almost anything alkaline works, so borax is another common chemical used to make shellac soluble in water (the amount will differ from the recipe I posted earlier). In Europe borax is banned from consumer markets due to some safety issues, so I made my recipe for soda ash that is about as safe chemical as possible. Borax works as preservative, so it might be that ink made using borax would not need another kind of preservative.

There are some alkaline solution preservatives available e.g. on eBay and DIY cosmetics ingredient shops, but it will take some research to find the stuff that works in the ink.

pedlars pen
12-27-2018, 06:56 PM
Yep, I've used borax for years in my ink & it works fine.
Whether shellac based or not the main thing you are trying to prevent with preservatives is mould growth , yes a portion of alcohol also does this but you do risk bleeding & starting to have to mess around with viscosity - Why bother with it ? I buy my borax on UK. ebay.
Mike

laika
12-27-2018, 07:23 PM
Yes, it dissolves in ethanol. I'm not sure if ethanol + water + shellac would work, as my intuition says that water will make things complicated... In inks the ethanol is usually problematic, since it causes severe feathering. Something like 10% ethanol in water is usually the maximum that works fine. Higher ethanol content would require some other chemicals to thicken the liquid, which makes things complicated... And 10% ethanol is usually not enough to stop germ growth. Ethanol is very neutral pH stuff, so the potential solution pH is still bit too high for the common preservatives (many of those work at below 5 pH).

Well, so much for my two cents worth :o Thank you so much for that thorough and knowledgeable answer, blackandwhite!

I have recently used 80 proof vodka mixed with casein as a fixative for some pencil drawings. The main effect of the ethanol there was quicker drying and less buckling of the paper. I think 80 proof would be 40 per cent ethanol and 60 percent water. But I had no idea that ethanol would cause drastic feathering in ink!

I read the paper comparison and the UV light box entries on your blog; very interesting information! I look forward to exploring further.

Metulj
12-29-2018, 05:24 AM
Thank you all for answers. I'll try the options you provided me with, they seems quite complex tho.

Another observation: I wrote that "W&N non-waterproof ink has the largest particles", but maybe it is just the chemical that makes the ink non-waterproof that also makes it flow differently on paper (waterproof version of that ink behaves differently)? So it made me think about Winsor & Newton Granulation Medium, what if I mix that with my waterproof W&N ink? I'll try it and see, what I want to know is whether combining the ink with granulation medium would have any bad long-term consequences?