Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bakery Baby

We had to warm up from the bone-chilling November air, so we stopped in the Upper Crust Bakery for some chicken soup and coffee.

At the table near us was a gathering of moms with their 1-year-old babies. Like all infants, they were spellbound by the sight of each other. One little guy looked so well bundled and contented that I guessed he would hold still for a while.

I brought out the ink-filled Kuretake water brushes, which are nice in places like this where you don’t want to set up a whole watercolor kit. The darker one is filled with pure Waterman brown ink. It’s a little too red for my liking. Does anyone have a recommendation for some bottled ink that runs closer to sepia or raw umber? Also, has anyone found a web source for these? I got them in the Pearl Paint store in New Jersey.


Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Gurney,
I have been reading your Blog now for a couple of months after admiring you past artwork on a couple of paperback books I have and find your site very interesting and informative. I note your comments about the brown inks and I wonder if you have tried Windsor & Newton inks, or Daler-Rowney's? Their websites are

and another site I found seems interesting for inks is

However, if you cannot get the shade you want,and if you fancy making your own inks this page is very interesting!

Keep up the good work and postings!
Kindest regards
Michelle (from the UK)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gurney, I, too, have recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it so much.

There is a very nice warm sepia ink called "Bister" which is made in Germany. You can order it from Kremer Pigments in New York.

Thank you for posting!
Becky (USA)

Anonymous said...

I've had success mixing red and brown inks.

For a quick, very portable ink and wash kit, I use a Sakura Pigma Micron (sepia or brown) and a Tombow brush marker (#942 - only the lightest shades work, the rest are too saturated).

I can draw with the Micron and wash over with the Tombow without bleeding. The Micron tip doesn't give much variation in line weight, but you can carry several sizes.

Horray for the lost art of ink and wash drawing!

Michael Dooney said...

lots of companies seem to be making the water brushes these days. Here's a link to some similar to yours
I've got some that came as a set with small, medium and flat brushes and they are remarkably cheap.
Haven't tried filling them with colored ink though, thats a good idea.
As far as brown ink goes," Higgins Sepia Calligraphy" is a nice brown but it isn't waterproof, I use it in my fountain pen.

J Gilpin said...

Hi JG,

If you are looking for the brushpens online - (

I guess the Waterman inks are not waterproof, so you can dilute with water? Why not use watercolor paint (in solution) - is it a matter of drying time? When I use Sumi ink washs you can't go back and feather the hard I thnk I will switch to WC washes (which can be reworked).

How do you load the brushpens? By submerging the open end in the ink after squeeazing the air out?

Have you thought about a new edition of the sketching on location book? Seems your methods have changed since the eighties.

Thanks for sharing your road stories!

jeff said...

Hello Mr. Gurney,
Have you tried Walnut Drawing Ink?
It's made in Cambridge MA.
You can get it at Cheap Joes

It is a very good brown ink that is light fast and very nice Burnt Umbra tone.

jeff said...

You can also get online at Utrecht.

10oz for $17.49 which is a lot of ink.

This is the best ink I have ever used. It was developed by a art instructor from the Boston Museum School about 12 years ago.

jeff said...


Rob Fullmer said...

It took me forever to find water brush pens. I finally got mine while on a trip to England, but last week I saw some in Michael's craft store for those of us here in the states.

I've been using it for my Cotman box, but I love the idea of filling it with ink.

Loving the blog, Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Pelikan makes a nice brown ink (I believe simply called "brown") that is very close to sepia, if not with slightly more gray. I have a bottle that I absolutely love. The only problem is that the bottle is over twenty years old, and Pelikan may have well changed their formula since its manufacture. Alas.