Splash Ink: New Product

This isn’t a review, because I haven’t had these inks long enough to do anything except make a few basic mixes. But with a weekend coming up, there is the possibility you may want to try them, too.

colorbottlesI went out to buy ink today, because most of my work is done with ink, watercolor paints and pencils. I had gotten a flyer from Arizona Art Supply mentioning that there would be a demo of the new Splash Inks, and it had piqued my interest.

Here’s the premise: Splash Inks come in only four colors–the same four colors that printers use to make hundreds of colors by mixing them in different amounts or different size dots. You may know the colors as CMYK–Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. The K is used to prevent confusion with B for blue, which is called cyan. (Did you take notes? No matter. Read on!)

colorgreenThe inks are acrylics, and only slightly thicker than ink. They mix incredibly well, and can be used in waterbrushes and in calligraphy pens. (I haven’t tried that yet).  I played around with the yellow and blue to make various shades of green, turquoise, and jades. The more water you add, the more transparent the colors become.

Splash ink was developed by Karen Elaine Thomas  for Niji and is distributed by Yasutomo.

colorhowtoThe packaging comes with a mixing chart for landscapes, portraits and more. The colors are measured in drops (the bottle tops are designed for this) and water is added to lighten colors and make them transparent. It’s hard not to like the idea.

I’ve tried the most basic mixing with good results. While you are supposed to used these inks on watercolor paper, I think coated stock or Yupo will give a clearer color and less fast absorption, which made it a bit harder for me to mix. This is not a disappointment, it’s simply a new technique and needs some practice.  I have fallen in love with the colors you can make, though.


Karen Elaine was at the Mesa (AZ) stamp show, and demo’d an interesting technique using rubber stamps. There is something appealing about resists, and she used it in that way.

I’m eager to try working with these inks. They seem to be versatile and I want to explore them.

Disclosure: I paid for the inks and am not receiving any compensation from anyone to post this blog.

—Quinn McDonald uses ink to work on journal pages.

16 thoughts on “Splash Ink: New Product

  1. I wonder if these inks are okay to use on a t-shirt, which would need to be machine or hand washed. Is the ink permanent enough to do that- do you think?

    • I’m not a fabric artist, so I don’t know. I do know that I marbled a piece of cotton sheeting, rinsed it and it didn’t lose the color. But I haven’t done it on a T-shirt.

      • This will be a t-shirt for a 4 year old grandson, who I will be teaching a little about painting. I have taught all his siblings and cousins, and now it is his turn.

  2. I have ordered some in for my store (www.bluetwigstudio.com) because I thought they looked like a lot of fun too. Can’t wait to get them and start playing.

    • Once you play, tell us what you think–and leave a link to your experiments. I have a lot of work to do with them. I left the palette out last night to see if they could be reconstituted. You can’t do that with acrylics, so I’ll be interested in finding out.

  3. Quinn, tempting me this way is not helping in my “Behavior Modification for this Creative Soul” to stop buying more art supplies! :>) Sigh!

    • I know, and I even thought about that before I posted. In my case, inks are always on my OK list because it’s my go-to art supply and I create courses. And while, yes, you can do this with watercolors, it is actually much easier to get the colors you want with these inks–you don’t get mud if you are even a little careful. And for me, that means I can travel with them. Which makes it worthwhile right there.

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