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Special Sumi Ink, Cool Black


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About This Product

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.