Black & White Ink Adventure

Black & White Ink Adventure - student project

“Inking is meditation in liquid form...”

― J.H. Everett, Izzy and the Candy Palace

Black & White Ink Adventure - image 1 - student project


Each class we take is a unique adventure, but some of them make us explore beyond our boundaries. They make us take a step into a whole new universe of possibilities and embrace new technics with open arms.

Think in Ink is a huge class to take slowly —a fantastic masterclass full of knowledge, passion and, above all, Ink.

I spent a whole month watching only until part number six: doing exercises to improve my strokes and exploring all the way.

I can't believe how much I've learned with black and white ink. It seems unreal! I'm so happy with the results that I feel like exploding and sharing some tears at the same time! There is such rightness inside of me, such emotion of gratitude and freedom, and it's so fascinating.

This project covers the first part of wet-on-wet (Wednesday) and the training exercises. With it, I share with you a mini-challenge that I made on my own to improve with the technic: 7 days of Ink.

7 Days of Ink is an extraordinary journey for me as when I sit down for day one and start with the first "exercise"; a story was born. Now that I've finished the seven artworks, it wants to keep on growing non-stop.


Even though it appears a Sumi ink stick on the video, I've only started using it for the last artwork (day extra). 

I always want to go a little bit further so now I keep on going with the class using this peculiar ink and the suzuri, going into deep-rooted traditional artwork.

(I've also bought a Japanese brush, yeeees).


Black & White Ink Adventure - image 2 - student project

(Sumi inksticks look so beautiful. There is a lovely landscape painting on the backside).

Black & White Ink Adventure - image 3 - student project


Second adventure: BLACK PAPER & WHITE INK


Black & White Ink Adventure - image 4 - student project

(Work for Animal Inktober)


The best thing about art is that you can challenge yourself constantly, taking tiny steps outside of your comfort zone. It's terrifying, but a fascinating process too.

Long-time ago I bought a Noir Canson Sketchbook on one of my travels. I was inquisitive back then about painting with white pencils and ink (I wanted to try all the techniques!), but I quickly forgot the sketchbook on a shelve for years. I didn't feel capable of doing something beautiful on it, and as I was super new with ink, all my experiments were a pure nightmare, in my opinion. Insecurity and self-criticism were in full gear on my mind, and that limited me always.

Now, everything has changed. My mind is more open, and I don't fear failure so much (there are bad and good days, we all know that), so I jumped to the opportunity of doing Inktober this year in a peculiar style. Hence, the black paper, and as my mind gets bored very quickly when I start mastering a technique, I needed a break from black ink and switched to white ink.

My first experiments with white ink were frustrating.

White ink behaves way different from black ink, and the paper changes a lot too. There are also differences between inks. I started using Liquitex White Acrylic ink as it was the one that worked very well on my black ink paintings, but for black paper works quite bad! When it dries, it gets very transparent, like a ghosty effect. That was a very unexpected effect that I didn't understand. I didn't know how to solve it. I thought the paper was the problem, so I searched on local stores other options, and I only found black kraft paper. It was thicker and looked way better, but, oh, the problem persisted.

Then I switched to my not-so-beloved Windsor & Newton White Calligraphy ink (I had many problems with it on the previous project) and, voilà, I discovered a whole new paradise.

Calligraphy ink doesn't get transparent, so it gave me the contrast that I needed for my paintings!

Trying again, I started using both inks. Now I do the first layers (the background) with the acrylic ink, expecting the fading effect, and then I finish with layers of calligraphy ink for details and main focus. I'm having so much fun with it! And some terrible accidents too!


 Btw, how cool is doing textures with ink? 

Black & White Ink Adventure - image 5 - student project

(Work for Inkredible Inktober)


This project will be updated once I finish each part! There is a long road ahead!


Published: 23th July 2019

Updated: 23rd October 2019

Isa Cienfuegos
Inking all the way!