Alice in walnut inkPosted: September 17, 2018
It’s been a while since I added a page to my single colour Pentalic Aqua Journal sketchbook, the one where I try out colours that I use infrequently like Carmine and Hooker’s Green. Today I picked up the book but deviated slightly from the path by sketching with Tom Norton Walnut Drawing Ink instead of paint. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a water-soluble ink that creates gorgeous rich browns. To add to the novelty of the experience, I also used the Walnut Drawing stick — a double-ended drawing stick with a bamboo nib on one side and a felt-tip brush on the other — an unusual enough combination in my hand to make the whole experience both fun and challenging.
So what made this ink such a pleasure to draw with? Well, to begin with, it has a really unique property for ink in that it lifts really easily if you want to lighten areas or soften edges. And while you can certainly achieve deep darks by using it at full strength, you can also lift washes or even remove them entirely. If you read the promotional info on the website you’ll see that what Tom Norton had in mind when he created it was something in between ink and watercolour. It’s also a really beautiful brown, and even though it’s not in fact made from real walnuts, it’s a warmer colour than Sepia watercolour, which is much greyer. I can see that this is going to be a real favourite of mine for doing value studies.