Last updated: August 16, 2021

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The art comprises many forms, materials and tools that are used to make it. The number of methods of making it is infinite, and depends on the creativity you have for it. From a beautiful drawing to artistic lettering, anything is possible!

There are materials that represent an artistic culture, and that allow you to make details, or writing. This must be of the best quality, so that the final finish is impeccable, and attracts the most astonished looks. You can achieve this with black ink.

It is normal that you do not have a clear idea of how to choose, and even more so when it is a product as particular and delicate as this, so we will help you so that, through this article, you know everything you need to know about black ink.




The most important things

  • Black ink is an artistic working tool, which allows for unique finishes in both drawing and calligraphy. It is an excellent technique for black and white art, or drawing letters in a unique style. Among its benefits is the durability of the drawing, as it does not run the risk of fading or being diluted with water.
  • The two main uses of black ink are drawing and calligraphy, and depending on which one you decide to use, you should take into consideration certain things, such as the amount of ink, which should be higher for illustrators, or the density of the pigment, which does not have to be as strong for writing.
  • When buying, you should take into account certain factors, which allow you to compare one model with another, helping you to make your decision. Features such as capacity, colour, speed of drying and use are essential when deciding.

The Best Black Ink: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about black ink

After you have seen the best models the picture may become clearer, you may even have an idea of what you want to buy, but before you do you need to know certain terms and aspects of the product so that you can be sure you are making a good purchase.

Black ink can be the tool that brings your stories, experiences and experiences to life. Bring your creativity to life through ink. (Photo: gajus / 123rf.com)

What are black inks and what are their advantages?

A black ink is, in short, a drawing or writing tool. It is a black liquid that is used for calligraphy (common or decorative writing) and black and white drawing. It has developed into a tool of art that, to this day, lends a unique and incomparable appearance to graphic works.

Among the benefits you can acquire from this product are clean finishes and unique styles of writing and drawing. If you know how to use it, you can control the thickness of the stroke, creating particular lines, which allows for greater personalisation. It also facilitates the creation of typefaces, especially in the "lettering" section.

Although no one likes to hear the negative things about a product, it is important to know both the good and the bad, so that you know what you are really buying. Disadvantages in a product don't necessarily mean it's a bad buy, but it's best to understand what they are so you can consider all scenarios.

Advantages
  • Allows for a unique finish to artwork
  • Makes it easier to draw letters in different styles
  • Maintains a piece of work over time
Disadvantages
  • Can stain
  • Usually packaged in glass, can break
  • Takes time to dry.

Black calligraphy and drawing ink - what should you pay attention to?

Although the base is the same, black ink has different uses, and each requires certain characteristics for best results. These characteristics will help you to differentiate between models, so that you can choose the ideal one. In other words, depending on the use you intend to apply, you should choose the ink.

Black ink was born to be used as a writing tool, i.e. calligraphy. However, with the passing of time, a new facet of use for this incredible resource began: drawing. It is used for the illustration of comics, or as it is known over there: Manga.

Black ink for calligraphy: This ink, as we have already said, is the original use, the classic one. For writing you don't need an ink that is too dense or too dark, unless you are drawing letters (lettering). The drying time should be fairly fast, so that you can write without problems, avoiding smudging.

As it is only used for this function, the amount should not be too much, unless the writing is constant. For this reason, "calligraphic" inks have a capacity of 50 ml or 60 ml, since, with one drop, you generate several strokes, and if you use the right nib, you save the ink.

Black drawing ink: In this case, if you want to illustrate with black ink, you should focus on a dense, strong and dark ink, which allows you to create contrasts and shadows. The quantity is more important here, so you should look for 70 ml inks or more.

These inks are very practical, and depending on the technique you wish to use, you will probably need one that allows combination with water (watered down) to obtain grey tones. This is not completely necessary if you buy multi-colour inks.

Black calligraphy ink Black drawing ink
Density Medium High.
Capacity 50 ml to 60 ml 70 ml and up
Drying speed Medium - high High
Mix with water No Yes

What are black ink sticks?

There are models of black ink that retain an older and different appearance to the current one, which can be confusing. There are presentations of black ink that are not liquid (as strange as it sounds).

In ancient times, when black ink was used for writing on parchment or drawings of the time, a stick was used, which was made of black soot, which is the main component of the original ink.

This black ink was worked with water and a special stone. When the water was poured in, it went directly into a small depression in the bar to accumulate the manufactured ink. The stone was rubbed over the bar, and it gradually released the soot to obtain the desired texture.

This artisanal method is precious, and people who really admire the art of black ink as a resource prefer to use this way. It is important to know that the prepared ink dries very quickly, which is convenient for writings and drawings, but unfavourable if it dries on the stone, as it could be damaged.

The preparation of the ink can take a few minutes, during which time you would be rubbing the stone against the bar, so that it mixes with the water. It is a process that could be called "archaic" but it can lead to the best results, as it is no secret that this type of ink is the best quality.

How much does black ink cost?

The price of black ink may vary according to presentation, quality or durability; however, it is not very expensive. In fact, it is quite affordable, as it is widely used at the professional and educational level, especially in art and graphics schools.

If you are looking for a practical, functional and fast-drying resistant black ink, the price can range from 150 MXN to 200 MXN, with some models costing 300 MXN, but with a higher capacity.

In case you are looking for cheaper and simpler inks, you can find them between 90 MXN and 120 MXN, some are usually cheaper, costing up to 20 MXN and 30 MXN, but their capacity is reduced.

The stick presentations are usually more expensive, due to the aesthetic, artistic and neat finishes that you can get from them, prices can be between 200 MXN and 700 MXN, some sets that include nibs reach 4,000 MXN and 7,000 MXN.

Where to buy black ink?

Stationery shops are always an excellent option when buying black ink, as are art and school shops. A good option is Tony: superpapelería, where there is an excellent variety and very low prices, making it affordable for everyone.

If you prefer online shopping, you can buy the black ink of your choice at Lumen, where they have a section entirely dedicated to inks and airbrushes, so you will be able to see a wide variety of prices and presentations.

An excellent way to buy on the web is through trusted portals, such as Mercado Libre Mexico or Amazon Mexico. You will be able to see the opinion of buyers, the reputation of the product and the seller and even the availability, as well as receiving it directly at your doorstep.

Buying criteria

Lastly, you should be aware of certain criteria that will help you compare different models. You should bear in mind the need you plan to satisfy, so the product you buy should meet this need. Pay attention to these factors so that you can take them into account when buying.

Quantity

Depending on how you plan to use the black ink, you will need to consider the quantity. There are different quantities, and although they are not too large, they do have an influence. There are techniques that use more ink than others, so you should pay attention to this detail.

Between 10 ml and 30 ml: These are the smallest and most economical presentations, for occasional and not very elaborate uses. They can be excellent for special calligraphies, such as Christmas or anniversary cards.

Between 40 ml and 60 ml: A medium presentation, works for recurring calligraphy, and can last longer if you use a nib that saves the amount of ink used, you can also make drawings with it.

70 ml and up: Excellent choice for cartoonists or illustrators. A high quantity of ink, which will allow its use in more complex and dense works, where shadows, contrasts and details are handled. You can paint areas that go completely in ink without fear of it running out.

Calligraphy with black ink does not require too much quantity, but dedication. You can buy a small bottle of ink to get better at this art. (Photo: Andrea Izzotti / 123rf.com)

Gloss

An important quality in black inks is their gloss, as this is what you will see in the final result of your writing or drawing. It is important that you detail this aspect at the time of purchase, and if possible, evaluate it on a substrate.

If you are looking for black ink for calligraphic purposes, it is likely that the gloss is not essential, as if you are writing a letter, you will not need this resource, which is usually considered an excellent decorative touch.

Although calligraphy is not an area where glitter is important, if you are looking specifically for lettering then a good glitter ink may be just what you need. Remember that glitter brings the ink to life, even when its colour is black.

If you are thinking of buying black ink for illustration, glitter can be a good or bad resource, depending on your intention. If it's an artwork, a gift or similar, glitter is probably a nice touch. But if it's manga or comics, opacity might be more suitable, as it could look overloaded.

In any case, gloss will always be an extra point that black ink handles. You can even combine opaque and glossy black inks to highlight particular aspects of your artwork or writing.

Resistance

Believe it or not, black ink has a level of resistance. It usually handles perfectly against humidity and the passing of time, which makes your writings and drawings highly durable. Even knowing this, it is good to really evaluate how resistant it can be.

A good way to recognise this characteristic is right after drying, if the paint does not fade with constant rubbing with the finger or hand, it is already a point in favour of its consistency and strength. Another way to check this is with water.

There is a perfect method to determine the quality of the ink, and that is to scrape it after drying. While the ink is not immune to damage, and by doing this it can fall off or be damaged, a high quality ink will not do so at the first scratch. If the ink chosen withstands such an action, then it is an efficient and durable model.

Fast drying time

An efficient black ink does not take too long to dry, as it is meant for continuous use, especially when illustrating. Because of this, it is important that you assess how quickly the ink dries on the substrate, so that while you are working, you can be sure that you will not damage your work.

Slow drying. There are inks that, due to how diluted they are, can take up to 5 minutes to dry, so it is prudent that, when working with them, you take care not to pass the back of your hand or any object near them until they are completely dry, so you avoid damage.

Medium dry. There are other models of black ink that take between 1 minute and 3 minutes, depending on the amount of ink used, the thickness of the lines and the substrate itself. Keep in mind that, when working with ink, not all papers can withstand it, and can be damaged.

Fast drying. Instant dry black inks are undoubtedly the best, both for calligraphers and illustrators, as it dries instantly and retains its qualities, making it look shiny and fresh.

(Featured image source: Daria Minaeva/ 123rf.com)

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