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MoonglowMinis

Using Inks - Advice Wanted

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Looking for some advice on using inks in painting.

 

So I've seen people using inks and spouting praise about their uses with mini painting.  Especially for glazing purposes.  I got a set of cheaper inks last christmas, but they really didn't play nice.  They were constantly rehydrating.  Even with a protective layer of spray varnish.  As soon as I painted over top of it, the color would bleed back up.

Anyone know what I was doing wrong?  Or if I was using a kind of ink that wasn't compatible?  I bought a set of 10 colors from amazon - ZZKOKO caligraphy pen ink.

 

I got an airbrush recently and have heard that white ink results in smoother zenithal than traditional white paint.  Any words of warning?

Edited by MoonglowMinis
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I use Scale 75 Inktense Set, when using Inks I paint with them, not using them as glaze/wash and I rarely paint over those.

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I had issues with S75 ink at one point. I used the Inktensity Wood in a mix of other paints. I airbrushed it on, and let it sit for days after. Then I went and did some basic painting over, and drybrushing. No issues. Then I used Reaper Brush-on Sealer (and was brushed on), and the yellowy wood color reactivated and came right to the surface through all the other layers. It was really weird.

 

I did use a daler rowney (whatever artist brand that is) white ink for a zenithal highlight recently, and remembering the reactivation issue, I airbrushed a varnish on top of the ink. I did not have issues like that. So I'd say airbrush varnish over inks, then go as normal. Don't slather varnish.

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Calligraphy inks aren't designed to be water-safe, which makes it easier to clean your nibs and brushes and things after a calligraphy session.

 

I've generally found acrylic inks to be safe from reactivation. Maybe try adding a few drops of a liquid acrylic medium to your inks before applying them? Golden do some decent liquid mediums. Gel mediums will also work of course, but they will tend to thicken the ink (which can be a good thing in certain circumstances).

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I use Liquitex acrylic inks, never had a problem with bleeding through unless I didn’t let them dry long enough.

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46 minutes ago, MojoBob said:

Calligraphy inks aren't designed to be water-safe, which makes it easier to clean your nibs and brushes and things after a calligraphy session.

This makes a lot of sense.  Honestly, while looking back to find the set I received last year, I thought it was strange that i didn't see "acrylic" anywhere.  I'm also more inclined to just replace them at this point than risk ruining another paintjob.  I'm thankful I managed to salvage the ones I did use it on.  Two of them were commission pieces!

22 minutes ago, Heisler said:

I use Liquitex acrylic inks, never had a problem with bleeding through unless I didn’t let them dry long enough.

This is definitely the name brand I have heard most often.  It's also what I was just looking into before I decided to ask the forum for advice.

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Really the ink people use for things like zenithal highlights shouldn't be called ink. It's high flow acrylic paint that was rebranded ink by marketing departments. There are a few brands calling it ink at this point though so no going back. Like others mentioned just make sure if you're wanting to get artist ink for minis that it's acrylic ink. 

 

The ZZKOKO ink you bought is for fountain pens and there is no way to get it to behave the way you want it to. It's dye based instead of pigment based and doesn't have any strong binders in it. You could let it dry for years and it would still react to water. If you want something to do with it you could use it a with a paint brush similarly to how water color paint works. Getting a cheap fountain pen for it could also be fun. Keep in mind the ink would still bleed or even wash out if the paper got wet, so it's no good for things like writing checks.

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My experience with artists' acrylic inks is

1) that they go on smoothly with an airbrush...as long as the needle is straight and not bent at the tip, which will cause splatter.

2) They are not hard wearing, so drybrushing on top is not a good idea, as this has a good chance of pulling the ink off in places.

3) for the same reason, they are not good for the first undercoat on any model. Use a regular primer first, then the ink to add colour or  zenithal effect.

4) they are for the most part very intense and saturated colours.

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This is a relatively recent topic for me too.  Here is my understanding of it (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

 

There are two types of inks.  There are dye inks and pigment inks.  Dye inks get their color from dyes that are dissolved into a liquid.  The other type is pigment based which uses pigments suspended in a medium like regular paints.  The dye ones will reactivate, the acrylic ones shouldn't.  

 

Think of Acrylic Inks like super highly pigmented very thin acrylic paint.  I'm not sure if that's actually what they are but it works in my mind.  Liquitex Acrylics Ink and Daler Rowley FW inks do not reactivate in my brief experiments.  I regularly use white FW ink through my airbrush to zenithal highlight and I've never once had a reactivation issue. 

 

To be safe, I let it sit overnight after application to allow it to fully cure before proceeding.

Edited by Rignes
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5 hours ago, Rignes said:

This is a relatively recent topic for me too.  Here is my understanding of it (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

 

There are two types of inks.  There are dye inks and pigment inks.  Dye inks get their color from dyes that are dissolved into a liquid.  The other type is pigment based which uses pigments suspended in a medium like regular paints.  The dye ones will reactivate, the acrylic ones shouldn't.  

 

Think of Acrylic Inks like super highly pigmented very thin acrylic paint.  I'm not sure if that's actually what they are but it works in my mind.  Liquitex Acrylics Ink and Daler Rowley FW inks do not reactivate in my brief experiments.  I regularly use white FW ink through my airbrush to zenithal highlight and I've never once had a reactivation issue. 

 

To be safe, I let it sit overnight after application to allow it to fully cure before proceeding.

 

Pigment based inks are a pretty broad category. Aside from the acrylic type people here are interested in here they might use shellac, gelatin, or a variety of other binders. In some cases they use no binder at all or the pigment itself is the binder. There are also iron gall inks that works through a chemical reaction.

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I've largely used FW Inks for my uses...mainly as washes for some things along with an interesting variation of the leopard technique for rocks (The Apple Barrel white paint over the rock, then use the inks for the technique because it works pretty close to as it would over plaster. It's a great thing over plastics such as some of the cheap toy stuff from soft plastic animal sets). They're also rather good from an airbrush.

 

Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby isn't stocking FW brand anymore (I'd shown up every week or so for some new inks using their weekly coupon), and I'm not as experienced with the Royal brand that they're stocking now.

 

For something else that's extremely easy to do is detailed wooden objects with inks. The metal druid that was in this months freebie options has a staff that's perfect for it, I primed in grey, then used a straight burnt umber ink once the primer was dry over the staff, only adding a light highlight of a parchment in a few selective spots after the ink dried. Makes a great effect.

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I just took Aaron's airbrush classes.  He uses Liquitex and DR inks through the airbrush quite a lot.  Everyone in the class as well with absolutely no problems.  In fact we went right back almost immediately to paint in some highlights right after we applied the inks to deepen some shadows with no problems.

Edited by Harrek
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