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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    28

    Default Ink for underdrawings

    Hi. A quick question.

    When using ink for underdrawing I am assuming it must be a shellac based ink and not acrylic since the acrylics would probably cause adhesion issues.

    How do I know if an ink is shellac based. The inks I use normally (Dr Martin's Bombay India Ink - both black and colored) do not list their ingredients, either on the bottle or on the web.

    Does anyone know if they are OK for tempera underdrawings?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Ink for underdrawings

    Quote Originally Posted by elizaveta View Post
    Hi. A quick question.

    When using ink for underdrawing I am assuming it must be a shellac based ink and not acrylic since the acrylics would probably cause adhesion issues.

    How do I know if an ink is shellac based. The inks I use normally (Dr Martin's Bombay India Ink - both black and colored) do not list their ingredients, either on the bottle or on the web.

    Does anyone know if they are OK for tempera underdrawings?

    Thanks
    elizaveta,

    The only remaining manufacturer of an India ink containing shellac (it's water-based, with shellac as a "water-proofing") is by Winsor and Newton.

    Curious, we went to the Dr. Ph. Martin website. Notably little information, as you say. So we telephoned and spoke with someone who called himself "Doc Martin" (but we think it was one of the Salises, the family that owns the company). "Why don't you list your ingredients, at least on the website?" "Because we don't have to." "OK, what is the waterproofing resin used in your inks if it's not shellac?" "Not telling." "OK, thanks for your help -- see you at the NAMTA Show. Bye."

    We do know this: They are fine for tempera underdrawings. If you want the real deal, use the Winsor and Newton India ink.
    The AMIEN Staff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default Sudden India ink concerns

    Oh my. I never gave a thought to this. I thought India ink was a thing like milk- variations in brand, but all basically the same "stuff." I've seen inks labeled as acrylic or acrylic based, but not India ink. All my underpaintings are done with India ink, a popular and well known brand, but not the one(s) discussed in your response. Can I assume that "They are fine for tempera underdrawings." applies across brands?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Sudden India ink concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyheb View Post
    Oh my. I never gave a thought to this. I thought India ink was a thing like milk- variations in brand, but all basically the same "stuff." I've seen inks labeled as acrylic or acrylic based, but not India ink. All my underpaintings are done with India ink, a popular and well known brand, but not the one(s) discussed in your response. Can I assume that "They are fine for tempera underdrawings." applies across brands?
    kellyheb,

    We wouldn't worry very much about this. The ink you're using is almost assuredly fine -- of course, if we knew the brand we'd be a little more confident after doing some research.
    The AMIEN Staff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    11

    Default India ink brands and tempera underpainting

    Your simple assurance reduced my worry instantly.

    The brand I've been using is Higgins Black India Waterproof Drawing Ink No. 4415. I have also used Higgins Eternal Permanent Black Ink, which now that I look says nothing at all about India anywhere.

    May I also say that you are up late Amien Staff! I'm in the Alaska time zone and most people here had already gone to bed when you made your reply. Makes me feel special.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default More on India ink brands and tempera underpainting

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyheb View Post
    Your simple assurance reduced my worry instantly.

    The brand I've been using is Higgins Black India Waterproof Drawing Ink No. 4415. I have also used Higgins Eternal Permanent Black Ink, which now that I look says nothing at all about India anywhere.

    May I also say that you are up late Amien Staff! I'm in the Alaska time zone and most people here had already gone to bed when you made your reply. Makes me feel special.
    kellyheb,

    It's AMIEN, not "Amien," thanks. And we are on the east coast, so we're up early as is our habit.

    India ink was originally made in China, from lampblack (soot) imported from India -- hence the name. Today, black inks are probably most often made of simple carbon ground finely and dispersed in water with a water-resistant resin or shellac added.

    Your inks are fine to use.
    The AMIEN Staff

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