How to Make Calligraphy Ink? Easy Guideline For Beginners

As a beginner, it seems to be intimidating for anyone to make and mix calligraphy ink. It is always satisfying preparing the materials by thyself. As making calligraphy ink isn't something called rocket science, you can do it too.

In this article, we will try to cover the whole thing of making and mixing calligraphy ink. You will be glad to know that you don’t need to be an expert calligrapher to make calligraphy ink. Experiment with the process and ratios to understand the best for you.

Materials You Will Need

  • Gouache paint of your chosen color
  • An ink pot
  • Paint brush with a paint stirrer
  • Distilled water with a water dropper
  • Gum Arabic (Powder or Liquid)
  • Calligraphy pen or nib with some scratch papers

In case of powdered mixture:

  • The powdered pigment of your chosen color
  • Bottled ink (Dye-based or Pigment-based)
  • Measuring spoons

Primary Tips

First and foremost, take a covered surface to make calligraphy ink, and always have a towel or paper towels nearby. Because this process can create a lot of colored mess in the place of your project. Use an air-tight seal container to contain calligraphy. It will allow you to use your calligraphy ink in the future.

Step-By-Step Process of Making Calligraphy Ink

Making Calligraphy Ink

Step 1:

Take the pot and add a small amount of gouache into it. A few drops will be enough for a small project. You can add more drops for an extensive project or future use.

Step 2:

Now use a water dropper to add distilled water into the pot. Add slowly and carefully so that the ink doesn’t become very thin.

Step 3:

After adding a small amount of distilled water, use a paint stirrer to mix the water and paint. You can also use a paint brush for blending. Add additional paints to get your desired color.

Step 4:

Add more water until you blend all things properly. When your ink is close to the consistency of whole milk, stop adding water and complete the mixing process.

Step 5:

Seal the container with the cap on. Shake the pot with your hands to make sure the color is blended perfectly.

Step 6:

Finally, add a drop of Gum Arabic to the mixture with proper consistency. It will help your ink to get attached to the paper satisfactorily. Gum Arabic increases the drying time of the paint. So, don’t touch the ink too soon!

Step 7:

Repeat the entire process until it satisfies you with the color and consistency.

After getting your desired color and consistency, test the ink. Paint using the pen on your paper to check if it’s too thin. Add more paint if the ink runs straight off the nib of your calligraphy pen. In another case, the ink will not flow through the nib if the ink is too thick. Add a little more distilled water in that case.

How to Make Powdered Calligraphy Ink

Here are some tips before you make powdered calligraphy ink:

  • Mix small an amount to test primarily. If you make the ink inside the pot in the first place, it can be risky. The whole ink will be unusable if any trouble happens.
  • Add more Gum Arabic when the ink cracks.
  • It would be best if you can store the ink in a dry and cool place to get a longer lifetime.
  • In the making process, you will need to clean the nib frequently. An ink cleaning solution will help you in this situation.

DIY Ink with Powdered Ink

To use your preferred powder as ink, increase fluidity by adding water. Add Gum Arabic to bind it to paper. Use a 4:1 powdered ink and Gum Arabic ratio. Either liquid or powdered gum Arabic will work fine here.

  • Mix one teaspoon of powdered ink with one-fourth teaspoon of Gum Arabic in the ink pot.
  • Add one teaspoon of distilled water.
  • Mix using paint stirrer until no chunks remain there.

Bottled Ink with Powdered Ink

Here, you need to add powdered ink to a spot of bottled ink. Directly add powdered ink and Gum Arabic to a bottled ink for making a glimmering ink. Use your desired amount of powdered ink. You can use a 2:1 bottled ink to powdered pigment ratio.

  • Mix half a teaspoon of powdered ink with a small amount of Gum Arabic. Use Gum Arabic, not over one-fourth of used powdered ink.
  • After stirring with the paint stirrer, add one teaspoon of bottled ink into the mixed powder.
  • Mix them until there are no more chunks.

Mixing Colors of Calligraphy Ink

Customizing the color of the calligraphy ink is fun! You can use some techniques to make the color lighter or darker. Sinking two different colors can bring you a totally different color.

  • Pour a small amount of lighter color into an ink pot.
  • Now add a darker color slowly (drop by drop) using a water dropper.
  • Mix the colors using the paint stirrer and add more drops of your darker color if necessary. In this way, you will get your desired color.


Final Words

We hope this article answers all your questions related to making calligraphy ink. With a great determination and the necessary tools & materials, you can create many a type calligraphy ink by yourself.

In such a way, you may build a colorful calligraphy ink collection for yourself. Don’t forget to let us know about your favorite calligraphy ink-making formula!

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