Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Ink: An overview: Home

a general overview of ink from history to modern iterations

Ink: An overview

Ink has been around for longer than paper, and without ink, we would not have documents, scrolls, or books. Early inks were simple and made from lamp black, or soot, and water. Modern inks are complicated chemical concoctions that are created for very specific purposes. While ink is not something most people think about, it has had huge implications in history. 

Ink is used for writing, and paint is for art, right? Well, the differences between ink and paint are more of a spectrum. Ink is generally more of a liquid that is absorbed into paper, and paint is thicker and sits on top of that which it is applied. Although printing ink is thick and does not absorb much into the paper, and watercolor paints are very much like the ancient Chinese inks. 

Free ink image courtesy of

Books on Ink

Fountain Pen Ink


My presentation from You Tube