Drawing with water-soluble ink

I stumbled upon this technique on YouTube. You draw with water-soluble ink and then go over it with a water brush. This is what the drawing looked before I applied water:

I unearthed a cheap fountain pen and bog standard fountain pen ink from my old school supplies for this. I was surprised how much I like drawing with that pen, so much so that it might replace my mechanical pens when they run out of ink.

You have to get used to the way the ink reacts to the water (which will vary among different ink brands) — for example I didn’t expect the ink to turn that dark — but I’m happy how my first attempt turned out. It’s a fun process in any case. :smiley:


Karl Kopinski works like this and it’s really cool how quickly he’s able to sketch with it:


That’s a nice effect that you’ve done it well. You could try putting more ink down by going over a dried line with a new pen stroke and varying the water brush wetness and pressure. I use fountain pens a lot for writing but not for artwork.

The next stage is to explore different ink colours:

Be careful not to become obsessed with mixing inks to get custom colours because that is a messy and frustrating journey :slight_smile:

Wow, that’s amazing! And he draws with both hands!

Yeah, I’m definitely going to experiment more and mix the steps up a bit. This time, I had more darkness than I expected so I didn’t need to add more ink, though I did go over a couple of dried lines since some of them had almost completely dissolved.

I can definitely see the appeal of a sepia colour, which should look nice on its own or in combination with black. And I still have a standard blue around and a green, which I’ll try out, too.