I am having so much fun using coloured inks. This is the first time I'm using them. I absolutely love the fluidity of the inks and the vibrancy of the colours. The inks flow beautifully and the effects are so unpredictable. I never quite know how the picture or the colours are going to look like until it has dried.
The inks I use are Seawhite Drawing Inks. For more information on these inks, and where to purchase them, please go to my Seawhite Drawing Inks post.
For me adding inks to water is just like magic. The colours flow unpredictably and the effects can be stunning. One of my favourite effects is soft feathering, particularly on the edges. This can be seen clearly in the heart picture above.
Creating an experimental picture with inks
I find 220 gm paper ideal to experiment on, as the paper doesn't warp too much. This is a great way to get a feel for the inks and see how they behave. Water colour paper is more expensive, but it is the best option for more finished pieces.
2) Add the inks to the wet paper using a brush
You only need a small amount of ink. You can randomly put the colours on or create shapes, whatever takes your fancy.
You will see the inks quickly disperse. You can aid the flow of the colours by tilting the paper, this can blend and merge colours together, and it can create some lovely dripping effects. The dripping effect can be seen in the picture on the right.
Sometimes sharp edges are created, which you can see clearly on some of the leaves. This is noticeable as the ink dries.
The only thing I find difficult is replicating effects I like, but in some ways this is also the wonderful thing about the inks because each piece will be unique.
Adding salt to the inks
When you add salt to the wet ink, the salt absorbs the inks and creates some beautiful flower-like patterns. This can be seen in both the pictures below. The white flowery shapes can be seen very clearly on the black in the bottom picture.
Using soft pastels to add colour and detail
Once the inks have completely dried, you can use soft pastels to add additional colours or details. I have used different shades of yellow pastels at the bottom in the picture below. I find you can create some lovely lighting effects with them.
When I start an experimental picture using inks, I tend not to have a picture in mind, I let the flow of the colours guide me. I find this way of working quite exciting because I never know how the picture is going to look.