Since 2017, I’ve painted more with ink, finding ink-painting
challenging and full of happy mistakes.
I’ve acquired many bottles of ink…  I began dropping a lot of ink
in one corner then drawing it down with water after it dried.
I’m fascinated by how they move and had a life of their own —
even more than watercolors, which you can have some “control” over.

Under construction!
for those who have been waiting life got very much in the way
but I am now going to add inks and such as I go.
And a page of ink painting tips is coming.
I had to put this one page up early in order to link
the other pages to it…. so it is very unfinished!!

This lead me to find another way to test my inks… specifically for artists…
that is what I am going to be doing over the next few months, sharing my experiments with each ink I own, exploring how it will work for ink painting.
I didn’t do these for you all — I’ve done these kinds of tests for watercolors too —
I just love the inks and want to get to know what I own.
But I thought to do them, and share them with you.


W20 7 ROBERT OSTER MOTOR OIL INK-1346For my large ink test I lay
down roughly a half-square of ink, above. I let it dry, then load
the bottom half of the imaginary square with water, and just
touch the edge of the dry ink…
except for the far right corner,
where I scrub the ink
after it dries a bit with
my brush to see how it moves.

Occasionally you will see
two images for the same color.
This is because it is a color that changes by lighting so very much!

Love me some Robert Oster Motor Oil!


Ink for painting has different requirements than writing.
One is not better than another, but like any medium, is is good to know what you are playing with!  Is it waterPROOF, water RESISTANT, or Water SOLUBLE?

For info and tips on Ink Painting go here.


These pages are showing the inks I’ve reviewed in depth, and the samples.
I will link you and allow you to compare inks by color, but also lets you see the inks of a certain company so you can see their review.

Well behaved, meaning neither dry nor wet,
and has enough body and dries quickly enough to not feather on a Post-it!
Doesn’t stay wet for a long long time… dries fairly quickly!
You don’t want your ink to smear!
Doesn’t stain a pen nor will it harm a pen if left for days unused.
Because of the last reason, I’d say most waterproof inks and most glitter inks
(not sheening but glittery) are not well behaved.
I make it a point to use my waterproof inked pens every couple of days,
because if the waterproof ink dries in the nib/feed, it is hell getting them clean.
Glitter inks can clog, but they are so lovely!

Mostly I think ghosting has more to do with paper, but sometimes the ink is at fault. 
Some highly pigmented inks move right through paper and spot on the other side.

I may sometimes compare ink colors to water color I own,
and refer to the Munsell System.
To understand more about this system and others,
go to these two amazing wonderful references pages:

INKS BY MAKER under construction…

Robert Oster, Birmingham, Diamine, Papier Plume, Pilot, Krishna, Monteverde, Akkerman…

Note: Blackstone is no longer making inks, whether this is a temporary stop due to Covid or a permanent one we are not sure.  Nemosine is discontinued,
but Josh is now making inks with his brother Nick at Birmingham,
and I am placing Nemosine on Birmingham’s Maker’s page!
Regarding Birmingham inks, you will note that I have some marked as “OLD”;
these are from the old line, and will be next to the new formula.

INKS BY COLOR under construction…

Blue;   Green;   Yellow/Gold;   Orange/Rust;   Red;
Brown (See gold and Rust above);   Pink;   Purple;   Grey/Black.

INKS that Shimmer and Sheening under construction…

NOTE: The journals I am using to swab are
several fairly awful Fabriano watercolor journals that
pill, fall apart, and are unsuitable for watercolors,
and I decided to use these for my
watercolor and ink swatch books.
Unfortunately, they have even bled through
in my ink swatches a couple of times.