I is for…

Good morning. I’m horribly late with my I entry for the ABC-along. But here it is. Ink.
This is a bottle of sumi ink. It’s fun to use for calligraphy and pen-and-ink drawing, among other things; even though it’s really wet and gloopy to use, the color is beautiful. Depending on how thick it’s applied, it varies from a light gray to a deep black. Most of the time when you see sumi ink – and the only type of ink I remember from my childhood – it looks like this:
This is a student-grade (translation: el cheapo) inkstone and a black ink stick. To use it, you need a small cup of water, a little time and a writing utensil. I usually use a Western-style calligraphy pen, but traditionally one would use a brush. Put a little water onto the stone; just enough to partially fill the indentation on the end of the stone. Using the short end of the inkstick, grind enough ink to color the water. Test the color with your writing utensil of choice and a piece of paper. Pretty easy, but to get the color and effects that you want takes practice.

When I was a kid, my father was an avid student of Japanese brush painting, and he used both watercolors and sumi ink in his paintings. It sparked my interest in calligraphy and book arts, which I dabble in once in a while. He’s recently revived his interest in painting, which is wonderful as well as being good for his health. I think I might get him a good stone and an inkstick or two for his birthday. Shhh…don’t tell him.

Maybe next


3 thoughts on “I is for…

  1. I am very impressed I don’t think I would have the patience to sit down and do caligraphy or the talent to do pen and ink drawing.


  2. ive gone ahead and linkined you to my site not sure if I wrote this to you already im in finals mode! godspeed!

  3. So that is an inkstone… The art store by my house is called “the inkstone.” i think i might go in and see if they actually have an inkstone because it would make the perfect gift for my friend who likes to use a pen & ink (you know, the old fashioned way)

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