Proper ways to handle Inks

As said in my June Favourite's post, I mentioned my Windsor and Newton Drawing Inks. I love to use them to create hard shadows in my illustrations as well as to fill empty gaps in my drawings with vivid colours of these opaque mediums.

Despite being watery and similar to watercolour, I sometimes still struggle using them because of how pigmented they are. So after experimenting with them for a while and testing a few techniques, I've came up with ways to use these inks much more easier and effective so you can splash your canvases with inks the right way. 😉

Work with it like watercolour paints

I always thought working with inks would be much more different but it is, in fact, very similar to watercolours in terms of fluidity, texture and finish. So work with it like your watercolour painting, using watercolour techniques like wet-to-dry, dry-to-wet or wet-on-wet.

Dilute with water

Because they are so pigmented, a tiny spill of ink will stain your canvas and ruin your artwork and they can also stain the bristles of your brush. To solve this artist burden, all you have to do is dip your brush in water, similar to how you dilute the pigmentation in watercolour. Before spreading it on your paper, ensure you test it on another so it's in the right opaqueness!

Work in small amounts

Sometimes when I work with inks, I find that they are just ever so slightly thicker than watercolour. So to prevent any mistakes, I like to work in small amounts first, starting with drops of inks. Since they are a tiny bit thicker and little more absorbent than watercolours, that makes it a little bit harder to blend. So I suggest to work in small areas and gradually move along your canvas.

Work with light colours first

They are very vivid colours, so it's best if you started with lighter colours first. Working with lighter colours to begin with will reduce the risks of making a mistake. If you prefer to start off with dark colours, then go right ahead but it will be better if you stay safe rather than be sorry.


Inks. Do. Stain. A lot. So make sure that after every use you clean them properly! I forgot to clean one of mine and when I used it again, it presented hints of the black I used before and when it dried the bristles became stiff.

So these are just a few tips and tricks I learned whilst I played around with these inks! I wouldn't say they're my new favourite mediums because they are not easy to handle and they don't give me the results I want but they are a nice thing to have in your collection of art supplies! I think they are more preferred for typography or calligraphy using fountain pens because of how opaque they are, but I believe you can use them for when you're drawing manga or filling in something with a solid colour.

If you have any other tips on how to use inks, I would love to hear them and learn some more!

nicole ᵔᴥᵔ


  1. Wow I didn't know you're an artist :D I used to paint and draw a lot when I was a kid and even enroll in art classes. ~good ol' days.
    Nice tips! Would love to see your artworks in the future Nicole ;)

    Homed: Life in Sugar & Spice

    1. thanks so much fiona! And you can actually check out my work in the art + photography section :)

      - nicole ᵔᴥᵔ

  2. Great tips - I'm still a watercolor novice. When it comes to art, I never seem to follow the rules and pretty much just do and paint however I want lol.


    1. Haha I try not to think about the rules too much but as a perfectionist, I have to get it right lol

      and thank you :D

      - nicole ᵔᴥᵔ


Thank you all for your lovely comments :) I will get back to most of you as soon as possible, so make sure you are checking back x


nicole isabel. Theme by STS.