Using Gouache For Ink
|M. Giraude’s scroll showing
gouache ink interspace lines and filigree.
Here’s something intriguing I tried on M. Giraude’s scroll. And it worked well. Better than I expected. I used gouache as ink.
Since then I see several modern calligraphers online have done it. So my apologies if this is common knowledge. Even so, I am excited about it because it’s so easy and inexpensive.
But why would you want to use gouache for calligraphy?
Gouache, as you may know, is opaque, intensely pigmented and vibrantly colored. I tried it because I was too cheap to buy a colored ink for the little I would need for one scroll. But I liked it because I matched the filigree and interlinear lining with a blue elsewhere in the scroll. It also made those fine lines deeply colored because gouache has a lot of pigment in its binder compared to inks. The best part was how fine I could make the filigree lines by using gouache as ink.
Then I stirred it with a small stick I keep for that kind of thing. The amount I wanted to make was too small to shake and would make bubbles even if I did.
I tested the consistency by drawing lines on scrap Bristol board. First try for me worked fine, so I began interlining Giraude’s scroll. There were so many to do I took a break. When I returned my gouache ink had dried and become thicker than I wanted. I added a few more drops of water, which didn’t appear to thin the color intensity.
Not every experiment I try works as well or so easily as this. It’s a technique I’m sure I’ll use again and hope you try.
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