23 May 2023Mont Marte

We asked an artist 12 drawing ink questions: here’s what we found


Drawing inks can be a lot of fun but they can also be tricky to get the hang of. From how to store them to how to draw using ink, we asked our in-house artist 12 drawing ink questions to get you back to creating!

Mont Marte Drawing Ink 24pc Set with various inks and a brush on coloured paper.

1. What is drawing ink?

Drawing inks typically come in two varieties: water-based or alcohol-based inks. Our Mont Marte drawing inks are water-based, with a subtle shimmer effect in each colour. Colours can be mixed by pouring them into an ink well and mixing them with a pen or brush. To draw with the inks, grab a dipper pen and pop it into an ink, then draw onto watercolour paper. Or, use a brush if you’re looking to blend the colours.

2. How do I open the Mont Marte drawing inks? 

Drawing inks can be a little messy, so best to pop on a pair of gloves first. Give the inks a good shake before you use them too, this will circulate the mica inside the inks. Next, unscrew the lid, squeeze the rubber stopper in the neck of the bottle at the same time, then pull up slowly. You can now remove the stopper (you won’t need to put it back in, it’s mainly to protect the inks in transit), now you’re ready to get drawing!


Mont Marte Drawing Ink Colours 24pc Set with ink wells sitting in individual black compartments


3. How do I store drawing inks? 

Pop the inks back inside the box or in a neat compartment and store them standing upright. Keep your inks in a cool dry place and out of direct sunlight.

4. I’m new, can you tell me how to draw with dip pen? 

Drawing with a dip pen can be a bit confusing at the start, that’s for sure. Try pouring your ink into an ink well -- if you don’t have one, you can use a small glass. Then, dip the pen into the ink. Using a piece of scrap paper, draw a line first before starting your project. Keeping scrap paper nearby is helpful not just for beginners, but it will help you get the hang of things, before committing to your work.

Hold the pen like you would a regular pen and draw freely. Unlike pen and ink, you won’t need to refill your pen as much, so you’re free to get creative for longer (win, win, really).

Hand holding a glass dipper pen and writing create on white paper

5. Can you tell me how to draw using ink? 

Again, treat the drawing inks like you would a pen. Try outlining, drawing, illustrating, journalling, pen and ink-style drawing or mixed-media work. You might find it helpful to draw in pencil first, add your colours with the brush then use the pen over the brushwork, this will strengthen your linework.

6. Can I mix drawing inks?

You can mix drawing inks as long as they’re both water-based. Because alcohol-based inks resist water, you won’t be able to mix these, but play around with mixing water-based inks.

Hand holding a yellow brush and painting orange splats with drawing inks on white paper.

7. How do I remove drawing inks?

Drawing inks can be messy, that’s for sure. For non-porous surfaces, immediately use warm soapy water. Drawing inks can stain fabric and some surfaces, so wear an apron or some old clothes, and always take measures to protect your work surfaces first (like using a drop sheet or layering newspaper on a table).

8. Can I use drawing inks with other mediums?

Because drawing inks are water-based, it’s best to stick to other water-based mediums like watercolour, acrylic or gouache. You can use other tools like calligraphy pens or traditional dipper pens to control the line weight of your inks. Plus, you can also use an air brush with the drawing inks too.
 Hand holding a hair dryer to dry red, orange and yellow drawing inks on white paper


9. How long do drawing inks take to dry?

Our Mont Marte Drawing Inks dry in approximately 30 minutes, or alternatively you can speed dry the inks using a hair dryer.

10. Can I thicken or thin my drawing inks?

Our Mont Marte drawing inks have been designed with consistency in mind, so they’re best used as is. Diluting drawing inks with water is possible for ‘runny’ effects, but keep in mind that the colours will be weaker.

Mont Marte Drawing Inks on a green background with an artwork on top, next to a yellow brush

11. Can you tell me what paper to use for ink drawing?

Watercolour paper is best for drawing inks. This is because the paper is a higher GSM and absorbs water-based inks well, meaning you’re less likely to see the paper buckle like you would if you used standard copy paper.

12. How do I keep my colours bright?

You can get the most out of your drawing inks and their bright colours by storing them correctly. Keep the inks and your work away from direct sunlight, this will keep your colours brighter for longer.


Hand holding a glass dipper pen about to submerge the pen into an ink well of red ink


Looking for more? Browse our Drawing Inks or try before you buy and check out our Drawing Ink 16pc Set demo.

Do you have a question for us? Reach out to us with your question on Instagram or Facebook, we’re always happy help.

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