Ink Feathering Tip

Higgins Eternal Ink after adding
gum Arabic. Done on Bristol board.

Recently I had trouble with my Higgins Eternal Black Ink feathering on paper. I thought it was past its use. When I realized I had been working on Bristol board and typing paper, not my usual Pergamenata, I blamed the support. 

So I did an experiment. I added a little gum Arabic to my 3/4 empty ink bottle. It helped, although I could have added a little more. Next time I’ll test it before I use it. The good news is the ink flowed well from my dip pen and didn’t turn it funky.

This trick will expand my Higgins Eternal Black use. I’ll be able to use it on Bristol board and practice papers. Besides controlling my ink’s feathering gum Arabic adds a little gloss to ink or paints. I’ve heard of scribes adding it to their clean paint water to increase gouache’s shine. Something I plan to try in the future.

While liquid gum Arabic is pricey–about $12–for 75ml you can often buy it on eBay for much less. It lasts a long time. I’ve had mine years and even diluted it with water when it thickened.

Here’s a YouTube video showing this trick by ElisaAnne Calligraphy published on Jun 26, 2016Mixing Gum Arabic With Ink – Calligraphy Tips & Tricks. So much good information can be found on YouTube, although it takes testing to be sure. Make sure you stay safe too.  

Categories: Tips

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