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Old 07-13-2002, 04:04 PM
defeated defeated is offline
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watercolor wash over ink

Hi, all, this may be a basic question, but I checked the archives and couldn't find an answer. I'm using black India Ink (Higgins) with a dip pen and brush, and having a devil of a time with it running when a watercolor wash is applied over it. I let it dry completely, and the wash is applied gently (no scrubbing here, just dragging a soft brush loaded with water and pigment). I thought that permenant India Ink was, well, permenant once it dried and lent itself to water color washes. Could it be the brand of ink I'm using? Or the paper, perhaps? Is this just a fact o' life? Am I doomed to lay my washes down first, then ink over them?


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Old 07-13-2002, 04:18 PM
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Rose Queen Rose Queen is offline
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Welcome to WetCanvas! I hope you won't be defeated much longer; someone who knows the answer to your question is sure to come along sooner rather than later!
Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it. ~Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), attributed
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Old 07-13-2002, 06:55 PM
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kitaye kitaye is offline
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Greetings and Welcome to WC. Higgins Ink is not waterproof which means it will, unfortunately run when ou wash ovr it. Speedball makes a waterproof ink but it gets really thick and sticky after it's been left open for any length of time. I'm sure there are other brands but that is the only one I know of.

Again...Welcome and I'm looking forward to seeing some of your work.
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Old 07-13-2002, 08:46 PM
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artdude artdude is offline
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Permantent ink does not mean it's water proof. Even some water proof inks may still run after a wash. It's good practice to do a test strip on an area of your paper before you start your wash. There quite a few inks out there that will let you do a watercolor wash over your ink. The "Koh I Noor" brand, "Universal Black India" ink is one that holds up well for watercolor washes. It is free flowing, fast drying, and withstands vigorous brushing. Hope this has helped. Try this ink and let us know how it goes for you. Looking forward to seeing some of your art works in this forum
*I am "drawn" to Art!!* ~artdude~
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Old 07-14-2002, 02:54 AM
defeated defeated is offline
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Thanks, everyone! I'll give a couple of other brands a try and see if they hold up better. I actually do have a scrap of paper that I was using as a test ground for color and pen strokes when I was working on this particular piece, so I pulled it out and tried to do a post mortem on it. Interestingly enough, it looks like the test ink lines smeared more with particular colors - one line has a stripe of blue and a stripe of yellow swiped over it, and the ink smeared terribly into the where the yellow stroke goes over the line, but the line under the blue stroke is perfectly sharp and clear. Velly interesting...I should probably pay more attention to what's going on with my test paper when I'm the throes of creation Anyway, I'll scoop up some of the recommended brands and give 'em a try, thanks again!
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Old 07-14-2002, 03:34 AM
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baquitania baquitania is offline
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Higgins makes a brand called Black Magic, which is permanent and won't run when you apply watercolor over it, here's what it looks like...
Attached Images
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:14 AM
*cyanide* *cyanide* is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

i recently ran into the same problem...i used a pilot precise v5 pen...nothing special...and did two tests...sprayed some cheapo white rain hairspray over it...3 very light coats and then watercolored...no runs! i also pulled some pigment over the ink with no watercolor and it did bleed a little...i was pretty rough putting the pigment on both of the ink spots...the white rain also doesnt seem to compromise the way the watercolor turns out either...hooray! anyway, just thought id share
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:38 PM
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Tattau Tattau is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

I actually like doing the wash first. I make a comprehensive drawing first in pencil, then apply the watercolors, and finishing with the ink lines. Gives a completely different character to the drawing!

Artwork does not become "Art" until someone buys it... until then, it's just an obsession... and a storage problem.
I welcome constructive critiques and comments from anyone and anywhere.

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Old 03-24-2012, 02:26 PM
katwalk katwalk is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

Hmm, I will add a couple of comments when I am doing line work for something I will be adding watercolor to I usually use my Technical pens they use Rapdograph Ultradraw ink, which is made for the pens. This ink doesn't run if I allow it to dry approx 24 hours. I have also used Micron Pens for this purpose with no running, with the microns I usually let it dry for at least 12 hours.

The other ink I use for my dip pens is DR Ph Martin's Bombay Black India Ink. But I am trying remember if I have used this under watercolor and right now I can't recall, guess I should do a test and let folks know how well it works. It is a waterproof India ink so I expect it will be good as long as I let it dry long enough prior to wetting.

As for using cheap hairspray, it may work short term, but I wouldn't use it on my artwork - I have no clue what its archival qualities are, certainly the mfg has never tested the product for the use you are putting it to. I would expect it to turn yellowish over time. Not a problem of course if you aren't concerned about how long your art will last, but something to think about.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:18 AM
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hazegry hazegry is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

I use copic multiliners and they do not bleed when water is used over them and you can refill the pens
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:22 AM
ChristianRR ChristianRR is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

I've tested many waterproof inks, and the best are for dip pens are:
1) Rohrer & Klingner Drawing Ink (not the Antique, and not the Acrylic)
2) Pelikan Drawing Ink A
3) Dr. Ph. Martins Black Star Matte

These three are jet black, totally waterproof, beautiful. Be ready to clean your nibs quite often though, and you'll need alcohol or ammonia!

For fountain pens, the best (not the blackest) ink that's waterproof ALSO on watercolor paper is Platinum Carbon Ink.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:27 AM
jmb57 jmb57 is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

what do others think of noodler's black bulletproof?
Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:11 AM
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Studio-1-F Studio-1-F is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

An interesting thread on waterproof inks for fountain pens is A Complete List of Waterproof Inks.

Before committing to a whole bottle, however, you can do your own tests. Buy sample vials of fountain pen here for next to nothing. You can test each ink and see if the waterproof properties work for you.

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Old 07-10-2017, 12:43 PM
Shadygrove Shadygrove is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

I've used the Ph Martin's bombay black (which I think is a really good general purpose brush ink) under watercolor, and it doesn't bleed at all and gave the desired effect. I've tested both black stars (the matte and glossy), and those don't bleed when rewet. I find the higgins black magic to be kind of watery and overpriced compared to competing inks, although I know some comic artists really prefer it for their linework. It is quite waterproof though.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:15 PM
pedlars pen pedlars pen is offline
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Re: watercolor wash over ink

How confused things get over time & when ink manufacturers misname their products ! It is quite staggering that this is no longer commonly known any more , not even HERE in the pen & ink forum !

India ink is lamp black suspended in shellac & it is totally water proof . when dry - which takes leaving it overnight to be certain but it depends on climate & temperature.

It can be diluted with water to make washes of any strength , when dry they too are waterproof - an artist can use this to their advantage as many subtle washes may be laid down on top of each other creating effects of overlapping them & glazing where a very thin wash can "pull together" a few others underneath etc. etc. - experiment !
Often after a while you might notice that the ink gets too thick & sticky in the bottle & needs to thinned - you must use distilled water as the chemicals that a lot of water suppliers add can ruin the ink immediately !
(If you don't live in too polluted an area put a couple of dishes out to catch rain & fill an old bottle. That works fine too.)

NEVER put Indian ink into a fountain pen - it will dry inside & kill it.
Only ever use a dip pen or brush but keep rinsing out in a glass of water after every few dips as it can ruin a nib or brush if it starts to dry.

It all sounds a bit of a hassle really doesn't it?
Well you'll see why many people persist with this traditional medium if you closely examine a drawing done with it - a slightly raised line sits on top of the page , you can feel it with a finger nail !
It is as BLACK as could be & totally waterproof.
It will outlast anything labeled as "permanent"
Used with Bristol board there is no better looking ink nor one that can achieve such sharp & fine lines.

There are different manufacturers & Indian inks do vary in quality.
The best is widely acknowledged to be "Winsor & Newton" Indian ink.
I personally like "Senellier" Encre de Chine " (Encre de Chine is the European term for Indian ink).
There are many very good ones & a few awful ones ! , worse of all there are manufacturers who include " india or indian ink in the title & they are not at all -basically it must have shellac in it for it to be Indian ink .
Cheers Mike
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