Short Ink Tutorial and a Sketchbook

So, I have this rather plain sketchbook that I want to decorate in some way. The cover is made of some sort of fibrous material which means it’s perfect for paint. I thought about painting it, but then I was like, “No, gold ink will look awesome against this great blue color.” So I got out my ancient jar of gold ink and decided to do some designs on this.


If you have never used ink straight out of a bottle, it takes some getting used to. You’re not going to make your project look the way you want to right away. You have to learn how to use the pen and the ink, and even when you’re good at that you are still going to have mistakes, but if you already know how to use ink, then you can do a project like this.

These are the materials you will need: the ink, a pen, the medium in question(my sketchbook), and some paper towels.

You can use a calligraphy pen to do the ink-work. I am actually using the very smallest tip or nib that I have because that is what I want to use. A few years ago you could find calligraphy pens at Wal-mart, but I am not so sure now, since it’s been over a year since I’ve actually been inside a Wal-mart and they aren’t friendly for overseas shipping, so I haven’t ordered anything from them. If you can’t find calligraphy pens at your friendly Wal-mart head over to your nearest Michael’s/Hobby Lobby/Dick Blick/Art Store/ Craft Store and you should be able to secure some calligraphy pens. If you don’t have any of those nearby, the internet always works.

You could also use a paint brush for this, but realize that paintbrushes hold a lot more ink than a calligraphy pens will. That means you will be using more of your ink and it isn’t exactly cheap. You should be able to find at least black ink at your local Wal-mart if you want more colors go to the art store, where you can get every color of ink you can imagine.

The paper towels are to blot your pen and to catch any mishaps so you don’t ruin your kitchen table.

To use the calligraphy pen dip the nib in the ink. My ink is actually old and gunky so it’s not exactly ideal, but your brand new ink should work just fine. Once you have some ink in your pen, get to decorating. You should hold your pen at sort of an angle. Gravity is what makes this type of pen work. You might get some drips and blobs, you can’t get rid of those, so turn them into something you can work with. They aren’t mistakes they are “always meant to be there(s).”

Here is my finished product. I admit the photo doesn’t do it justice, because it just doesn’t look very shiny in this picture. It is shiny and that is what makes it look so awesome against that deep blue. Deep blue and gold always remind me of the ornately illustrated bibles that monks used to produce.

I chose to do a relatively free-form design, but if you aren’t a free-form sort of person you could actually transfer an image you like onto your surface and just trace it. Yes, I did have drips, but I turned them into parts of my image that I could use. That is one of my rules, and in fact, probably my main rule for working with ink. My ink was also excessively drippy because it was so old. My ink had to be at least five years old. I actually don’t even remember where I got it from, and I remember where I get most things from.

So if you want to work with ink, take your time, practice, and turn those drips and blobs into “always meant to be there(s).”





About Ashe

I always said my dream job would be to get paid for sitting in a corner and drawing all day long. Now, I have to ammend that idea of my dream job. I think I would like to sit in a corner and be able to get paid for drawing and writing.
This entry was posted in Paper crafts, The Basics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s