11 March 2017

INK for DRAWING



I use Winsor & Newton Calligraphers’ ink for most purposes. This ink is pigment-based; it is thus more lightfast than dye-based ink. I also have some black Japanese sumi ink that I use occasionally.

Years ago, I would mix colors from different bottled inks in spoons for each drawing, using Pasteur pipettes to move drops of particluar colors into the mix. This was a terribly inefficient way to work; I needed to finish applying a particular color to the drawing before the ink dried, or store it somehow. If I ran out, I would need to remember how I mixed it the first time.

Later I realized that I tend to favor the same colors in most drawing, so I switched to mixing a set of standard colors, and keeping on hand a botle of each. This takes up much less time, and I also like having a signature palette in my work. I like my usual red to be a bit darker than what comes new in the bottle; I like my usual blue to be a bit closer to green than to purple. I have a fondness for a light cool green, the color of oxidized copper.

If I need something elsee, I usually mix a small amount of it and store it in a contact lens case. Occasionally I promote one of these to a standard color if I find myself using it often, or retire a standard color. These are my current standard colors. I will write more about the reasons I selected these particular ones, and about the symbolism of color, later.

DARK COLORS

Black
Dark Blue
Purple
Murrey (Dark Purple-Red)
Sanguine (Dark Red)
Dark Cool Green
Sepia (Dark Brown)

MEDIUM COLORS

Red
Blue
Cool Green
Warm Green
Brown
Chartreuse (Green-Yellow)
Tawny (Brown-Yellow)

WASHES (INK MIXED with WATER)

Carnation (Flesh)
Warm Gray
Cool Gray
Sky Blue
Cool Green Wash
Warm Green Wash
Rose
Glass Purple

I am likely to promote to my standard set a golden color that is more yellow than tawny, and a very light eggshell wash that I use for subtle modeling of white fabric.

***

www.danielmitsui.com