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Special Sumi Ink, Cool Black


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Kuretake makes an enormous range of sumi ink sticks, from simple, machine-made ones for students to luxurious ones for gifts and special occasions. The sumi ink sticks found in U.S. shops are typically student grade, but you'd be amazed at the endless number of grades and subtle color differences that exist on the Japanese market.

This particular sumi ink stick is designed specifically for use in tonal drawing and painting. It has a broader and more accessible range of tones than other sumi ink sticks we've tested. In concentrated form, it's quite dark and dense, suitable for drawing with a dip pen. When diluted with water or extended with Kuretake Ink Medium, the ink takes on a distinctive cool grey tone that's lovely for washes, especially for painting shadow areas.

Handmade in Japan. Each ink stick is hand-shaped and will vary slightly from our photos.

How to Grind Sumi Ink:

Never used solid sumi ink sticks before? You'll need a textured ink stone and a bit of patience. First, drip a small amount of water in a compact circle on your ink stone. If you have a slanted stone, like the one in our product photos, the water goes on the elevated side of the stone.

Rub the ink stick in small, overlapping circles within the pool of water. The texture of the stone will grab the solid ink, and your steady stirring will dissolve it into the water. Continue until you have produced highly concentrated, opaque ink. You'll notice that the consistency changes and the solution becomes obviously thicker than water.

Finally, add your desired amount of water or ink medium and let the mixed ink flow down into the reservoir area. Stir and dip, then apply like any liquid ink, using a dip pen or brush.



We ship all orders from our store in St. Louis, Missouri. 95% of orders are processed in 1-2 business days. Shipping to the United States is always free for orders over $59. For orders under $59, domestic shipping rates start at $4.50. You can calculate your shipping cost in the cart or at checkout. For St. Louis residents, we also offer free curbside pickup. Just select "Pick Up" on the first page of checkout.


If there's a problem with your order, please contact our customer service team at If your order is damaged or defective, we will send you a prepaid return label and replace the item immediately. If you change your mind about an order, you can ship it back to us in new condition for a refund or exchange. However, if there is no error on our part, we cannot refund shipping charges or pay for return shipping. The deadline for all returns is 30 days from the delivery date. All clearance items, dated calendars and planners, and grab bags are non-refundable.

You can read more about our policies and procedures here.


We are an independent retailer trusted by artists since 2015, and our expert staff are happy to help you with any questions you might have about our products and services. We love helping our customers choose colors, build gift packages for friends, and get started with new tools and materials. We can also take special orders for items not listed on this site.


(314) 884-8345
10 AM to 5 PM Central Time,
Monday through Friday

Special Sumi Ink, Cool Black

Special Sumi Ink, Cool Black