ArtLex Art Dictionary



iink - Liquid or paste media containing pigment(s) and used for writing, pen and brush drawing, and printing. Writing inks, even blacks, are rarely sufficiently permanent to be used for art purposes. Black drawing ink, known as India ink in the United States, is especially made for use in permanent works. When it dries it is water resistant, enabling it to be gone over with a wash or watercolor. Also available is a water-soluble drawing ink; though otherwise permanent, it is capable of being washed away with water, and may be preferred to water-resistant ink for certain work. Chinese ink is similar to India ink, although various minor ingredients are added to enhance its brilliancy, range of tone, and working qualities. Most colored drawing inks are not permanent; those made with permanent pigments are usually labeled with names of pigment ingredients rather than the names of hues. Printing ink is actually more closely related to paints than to the pen and brush inks.


Examples of works drawn in ink:


Ercole de' Roberti (Italian, Ferrara, c.1456-1496), Group Portrait: Members of the Este Family, pen, brown ink, 20.5 x 21 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.



Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), Landscape with a Horseman, 1656, pen, India ink, 16.8 x 23.4 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See landscape.



see thumbnail to leftNagasawa Rosetsu (Japanese, 1754-99), Bamboo, 1790s, six-panel folding screen; ink on paper; no signature; seals: (upper) Nagasawa, (lower) Gyo, Worcester Art Museum, MA. See Edo period and landscape.


see thumbnail to rightVincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Portrait of Joseph Roulin, 1888, reed quill pens and brown ink and black chalk, 12 5/8 x 9 5/8 inches (32 x 24.4 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See Post-Impressionism.


see thumbnail to leftAubrey Beardsley, The Dream, 1896, pen and black ink, J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See aestheticism, fin de siècle, illustration.




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Also see acrylic paints, autographic ink, bistre, blot, body color, fluorescent colors, frisket, gouache, heighten, India ink, iron-gall ink, metal nib pen, pen, oil paint, quill pen, reed pen, sepia ink, stain, stain removal, toluene, wash, watercolor, xylene, and zinc white.



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