I haven’t written a blog about art for a long time. It is about time since I know several of my readers are artists.
Earlier this past winter I was at our local duck pond when I found myself talking to a stranger and soon realized we were both artists. Joan does a lot of her work with walnut ink. She gave me a notecard painted with walnut ink and I knew immediately I wanted to try some. The sweet lady immediately gave me a little container.
I’ve tried several shades of brown ink in the past and none quite hit the mark. Some were too red, too cool, too ……,. I love the color of walnut ink. It has a lovely rich brown. It reminds me of antique drawings. Upon reading about walnut I find many of the old drawings were originally drawn with a black ink and have now faded to the lovely dark brown I so admire.
This ink is different from any ink I’ve tried. It bleeds beautifully and also lifts more easily than any color I can remember trying. By ‘lifting’ I mean you wet a little area and then blot, thus lifting some of the color off. The three crossed hatched lines in the dark area of the sample were lifted off.
In fact it lifts almost too easily. The sea lions were one of my first experiments. I used a pen first and then mostly smeared the ink with a wet brush. I almost lost my lines!
By the time I painted the fox I knew I wanted the detail, but I didn’t want to lose my lines, so I inked just a few lines, added washes with a brush and then went back and added more a pen.
The ink is available from DickBlick.com and from Utrechtart.com. Just search for ‘Walnut Ink.’ It says it is intended for pen (dip pen) or brush, but doesn’t say anything about using it in a fountain pen, so I haven’t dared to fill my fountain pen with walnut ink. It is a ‘pigmented ink’ and so probably doesn’t flow well in the fine mechanism of a fountain pen. If anyone knows the answer to this I would be interested.
One last comment on the ink. I always wonder how an ink or pigment will handle prolonged exposure to light. Many of the cheap ball point pens and jell pens we buy fade terribly. The bottle assures me it does not fade and my own light test did well too. About three months ago I put a sample on my south facing windowsill and covered up half the sample. I can’t say there has been a lot of sunshine during the past three months, but I see no sign of fading.