Dr. Ph Martin’s Bombay India Inks

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This article is written by Anjuli Johnson

Being an art supply junkie is something I think all of us reading this can relate to.  The act of creation can be fairly difficult without anything to create with.  We can’t make something from nothing.  So the quest to find different and creative ways or organizing different materials into art is a constant, never ending adventure, and if you’re anything like me, becoming proficient in using a few materials over and over again isn’t satisfying enough- new materials need to be found and experimented with until we become proficient in using them, and we continue to find new things to work with.

This past week my new material was Dr. PH Martin’s Bombay India ink set.

Sets of India Ink

I used to think that India ink was only available in one color- black.  Nope, these different sets of inks come with as many as 12 colors, all vibrant and versatile.  I decided to try a few different techniques to see just how versatile they are.  Here are a few of the ones I tried.

India and Alcohol ink on clear acetate


India Ink and Alcohol ink on clear acetate

I made these cards for Mother’s Day.  Black and white cardstock with clear acetate attached to top with brads.  I colored the acetate using alcohol inks and india ink.  I tried it two different ways- india ink first, followed by alcohol ink, and vice versa.  It worked both ways.  Even thick drips of alcohol ink had no effect on the india ink once it was dry.  As long as I didn’t rub it really hard, the ink stayed fast.  I’m going to be using this technique a lot. 

Clay pendant

This is a really simple polymer clay pendant I made.  I baked the clay before I painted it, but once the ink dries, it’s permanent.  Anyone who makes polymer clay jewelry, charms, or even art journals- this adds another dimension to the possibilities open to you.

Sketch with white and colored inks on black paper

Sketch with white and colored inks on black paper

These are from a sketch I made in my black journal.  I was curious to see how these inks worked on black paper.  Though the colored inks soaked in and didn’t show that well, the white is amazing on the black.  You can even dilute it a little bit.  These inks are pretty intense, and adding a little water can make them last longer and go further without taking much away from their brilliancy.  Once I was finished with the white, I used some of the other colors on top so they would stand out.  A little more work, but it’s a way to be able to have all the colors stand out against a black background.  So fun!

Tree drawn directly onto encaustic wax

This is an example of a sketch directly onto encaustic wax.  You can sketch onto tissue or rice paper and add it on top of the wax, but I didn’t want to see the edges of the paper.  I used my calligraphy tips to sketch and color in the tree, then I added a couple layers of wax before I spritzed some diluted red ink onto the branches, as a way to add leaves without drawing them individually.  Once again, when the ink dries, it becomes permanent and you can leave it as a top layer, or use more wax layers on top.

So, these are some of the things I’ve tried this week with my new india inks.  I’ve found a few tutorials in addition to these techniques that sound amazingly fun. Here’s a quick list with links so you can try them yourself-

Gouache painting with India Ink- www.craftsy.com

Masking fluid resist- www.alenahennessy.com

Shellac sprayed with India Ink- www.littleblackjournal.com

India Ink with bleach- arteascuola-miriampaternoster.blogspot.ca

Watercolor and India ink- www.youtube.com

So, now you have another supply set to add to your growing list of must-try art supplies.  Go have some fun!


Anjuli Johnson is a Mixed Media Artist from Raleigh, NC.  She began her art career as a scrapbooker, and it’s been an evolutionary process ever since.  She loves all things mixed media- paper, paint, pens, wire, gears, clay… the list goes on and on.  She is constantly trying to push through her fears to discover and develop her talents, meet new people, and learn from those around her.  To see more of Anjuli’s art and techniques, check out her website at www.thefarpavilion.com, her blog at www.thefarpavilion.blogspot.com, and like her Facebook page TheFarPavilion




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