Monday, September 20, 2010

Testing Inks

I think I'm perpetually trying to figure out what tools are like and which ones are best.  If you recall from my past posts, I'm currently interested in inking. You want to go with what you like best and best meets your needs. In my case, I have two general needs: a good ink for general sequential inking and a good ink for marker pieces. For the later, you want one that is pigment based and waterproof to resist the alcohol of the marker, which is hard to find. There are inks out there that work well with markers, especially in pigma microns, but not so much dip or loose inks unless you know where to look. The first inks I learned that would work well with markers are Deleter Black, but only a few of the six or so Black inks they make are good for markers. This is where reviews are a lifesaver, and help point out ahead of time which ones work.

Of course, sometimes you just have to test them, especially if some inks are glossy while others are matte. Right now, I want a good matte ink that blends well in a nice even black. You can see I tried seven inks on Bristol smooth paper to see which stood up well to pen inking with a G-pen nib, a quick brush applied solid black, and marker tests. I'm not the first to test inks to see how they hold up; go to this LiveJournal post for a more thorough series of test. I tested seven inks: Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Black India Ink, Yasutomo black sumi ink, Dr. Ph. Martin's Black Star Waterproof India Ink matte, Winsor and Newton black India ink (watercolor drawing ink), Deleter Blacks 2, 3, and 5. The scan doesn't show it, but the sumi ink, W&N and Deleter Black 3 have a sheen; not noticeable in a scan but there. The one I liked the least was W&N's watercolor ink; it wasn't a very even black and had a the worst feathering when used with the pen. For now, I'm planning to use Black Star matte for sequential inking because it was so dark and matte, and Deleter Black 5 for marker work. This is not set in stone, and there's always the possibility I could change my mind in the future.

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