Tools: Inks, Part II, Soluble Inks!

In preparation for Inktober, I am reviewing inks.
As always, these posts are about my relationship with inks, and is not definitive.
You might want to read yesterday’s post on waterproof inks!

*again, a bit of advice, especially if you are not made of money
and have to budget:  look at an artist’s work and find out the artist’s
parameters for their choices before buying their favorite products!*

To recap, I use inks in the following ways, in the order of importance:
1) Artwork, waterproof inks for both line work (see above)
and underpainting in greys (grisaille), browns (brunaille),
and occasionally, green (verdaille) and purple.
BTW, I love to use colored inks under watercolors sketches sometimes<
shown top.  Change it up!
2) Painting… yup, I do like to paint with  them,
but as they are not all lightfast those go in my sketchbook…
many of the inks below I paint with!
I can always use up samples painting!
3) Writing…  all these inks are great writing inks… 


I have favorite brands: not in order, Robert Oster, Diamine, and Akkerman.
The brand favorites are chosen because they perform well in the pens, have a gorgeous palette, and are well-priced.  I see no reason to pay twice a much for a Japanese ink
when there are beautiful inks from Europe and Australia.
I am offering others I would consider, but these are the brands I look at first!
*the concept of “everyday carry” are inks that you have
permanently dedicated to pens that you carry every day.*

I strongly suggest buying ink samples.
Samples show you the inks vibrancy and pigment.
You can pop it into a pen and see how they perform.
One of the reasons I rarely recommend as a resource for inks is
they do not offer samples, though I buy from them; Goulet and Van Ness offer samples.
Samples range in price due to the variance of the ink costs.

I love to paint with inks, whether it is by filling a water-brush,
dipping brushes directly into ink, or by wetting line-work and moving the ink lines.
I use my samples as painting colors as well.
*i do not dip my watercolor brushes directly into full bottles,
but decant inks into sample vials… don’t want to mess up a full bottle!*
*i also dedicate a couple of brushes for ink painting, because unlike watercolors,
inks are impossible to thoroughly remove from a brush!
even with soap and water… vestiges remain!*

My favorites, below, of which I own bottles (or will in a short time).
Some I wrote commentary on, some I didn’t.

Robert Oster Inks

Oh my, I have 30 samples and several bottles
and have to hold myself back from buying all of them!
Each blue is more gorgeous than the next –RO seduced me into buying blue inks!
Maybe it is because he lives surrounded by some of the most gorgeous blue seas
in the world, as colorful changing as California’s!
Motor Oil and Fire & Ice are both everyday carries.
I am patiently waiting for funds for Thunderstorm, Orange Zest, and Deep Sea.
His inks are lovely, shade well, affordable, amazing colors that perform well.
I buy them from Goulet or Van Ness — each carries a few but not all.

Diamine Inks

These are the best priced inks with the widest palette.
All I’ve tried are wet and perform well in even extra fine pens.
Three are part of my everyday carry: Ancient Copper,
Blue velvet (one of the most amazing blues ever) and Regency (purple-blue.
Make sure you buy samples, and some colors are very close to others.
I buy them from Goulet though JetPens carries some that Goulet does not.

De Atramentis Tobacco Ink

The only scented ink I adore.  Everyday carry ink.
Shades beautifully, and smells like my grandpa’s tobacco.
I wish I could say I like other De Atramentis inks,
because I LOVE the waterproof Document inks,
but have tried many samples of their non-waterproof inks and
the pigment intensity just does not compare to other inks mentioned here.

F. W. Akkerman Inks

I just discovered this
company two months ago. I have an order for more samples so I can buy more bottles.  Chinatown Red
is an everyday carry.  Amazing colors and ink.  Some are slow drying and in a wet broad pen you might have to let them set to dry, difficult for note-taking in meetings.  Their colors are painterly, especially the Dutch Master line, as they are unpredictable surprises!
I both paint and write with these amazing inks.  In the USA, they are from Van Ness.

KWZ Inks

Another favorite ink is KWZ Foggy Green.  Adore it for the odd shading!
Shades from greens into a pinky brown that is moody and gorgeous (angel above).
*btw i am finding a few more inks that may do this and will write about it later as it is a slow process… retailers do not understand what is important about this!*
Funny smell, but not perfumy and I am used to it.
Some of their other samples have had a soft perfumy smell, but they are not sold
as scented inks.  If you are sensitive to smells (I am not fond of scented inks)
buy samples!  Now that I am buying more inks,
I am branching out and trying other KWZ colors, from Van Ness.

Rohrer & Klingner Ink

I am relatively new to their inks, and many that I am attracted to are iron galls;
the last two are on my to-buy list from samples.
I will probably put them in inexpensive pens like the Platinum Preppie.
I adore the Alt Grun-Gold, love how it sloshes around in my TWSBI Eco!
I purchased the yellow early because it is named after my favorite flower, a sunflower.
I paint with it — who uses yellow ink to write with?

I will buy more as they perform beautifully!

Pelikan Ink, Krishna, and Encre Classique, New to Me:

We went to the Pelikan Hub and scored some lovely samples, above.  I can’t tell you how I’ll love them in the long run, but they are beautiful.  The names seem off to me, as Topaz, while is in blue also, most think of as a smokey quartz color, and jade is NOTHING like jade!

Krishna Orange and Encre Classique Vert Moyen are lovely inks we are trying.  We liked the samples enough to buy bottles.


Monteverde Ink: I like these two, but they are not a go-to ink for me.
Both of these came with a pen.  I wish I could tell you why they don’t attract me.
Anyone else have a feel for Monteverde?  I tend to go to Diamine instead…
maybe the color palette, maybe the prices.

J.Herbin Inks: I have them, and would trade them in a minute if
someone else wants them. Early purchases, before I bought samples, but the ink is fine.

Nemosine Ink: These came with a pen purchase, and are lovely inks,
but haven’t a large color variety so I rarely look at the inks to purchase,
though both of these inks are beautiful and perform well.

Glittery Inks: Oh gads, I don’t like them… there are those that do, but I don’t.
They clog up the pens and I don’t get enough out of them to warrant the work!

October 1 begins Inktober!

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, challenge, creativity, drawing, ink painting, journal, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, virtual sketching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tools: Inks, Part II, Soluble Inks!

  1. Pingback: Tools: Inks, Part I, Waterproof | D.Katie Powell Art

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