Inks are used by artists for more kinds of art than almost any other art material! Muse stocks the best selection in Portland of inks for calligraphy, writing, drawing, painting, surface decoration, and printmaking and can help you choose the right one for any style or technique!
(For etching, relief-printing, and screen-printing inks, see our Printmaking page.)
Muse carries many popular black inks for drawing, illustration, painting, and calligraphy, including inks from Higgins, Calli by Daler Rowney, Speedball Super Black, PH Martin Black Star Matte, Talens Drawing Ink, as well as Chinese and Japanese sumi inks. Each of these inks has different properties that make them suited to different uses. We’ve made swatch charts using many of them and can recommend specific ones for your needs.
Note: We cannot recommend or sell inks for use in tatooing. The varieties we carry have not been formulated, rated, or tested for use in the human body and cannot be guaranteed to be safe or effective.
Noodler’s famous inks are formulated for trouble-free use in fountain pens, but artists using dip pens and brushes love them too! Noodler’s make an astounding array of beautiful colors, many with special properties (water proof, fade proof, bleach proof, and even freeze proof). Muse carries a wide selection of colors including several varieties of black, bright reds and oranges, deep purples, subtle blues and grays, and unique colors such as Blue Ghost (glows in blacklight), Rome Burning (shifts from olive to purple when rewetted), and Whiteness of the Whale (mixes with other colors for lighter tints). We’re pleased to be one of the rare brick-and-mortar retail locations that carries these wonderful inks! Non-lightfast colors should be protected with a UV-resistant coating or varnish to protect against fading.
Sennelier Artists’ Inks (Encre Sennelier)
These brilliantly colored shellac-based inks dry with a lovely satin sheen and a slightly raised surface. Suitable for work with dip pen or brush (but not with fountain pens due to the hardening of the shellac). Metallic Gold and Silver produce an unusual “crinkled foil” surface that really sparkles. The “China Black” in this line is exceptionally dark and dense. Non-lightfast colors should be protected with a UV-resistant coating or varnish to protect against fading.
PH Martin Bombay India Inks
These waterproof colored inks are a favorite of illustrators for their clean, concentrated mixable colors and their versatility for use with a variety of surfaces and techniques.
FW Acrylic Inks
Although they use acrylic for a binder, these are flowing inks that can be used in cartridge-based pens and for air brushing. The colors come from pigments rather than dyes, so they are extremely fade resistant and provide a wide range of colors from transparent to opaque, plus a range of pearlescent colors. The acrylic binder makes these inks very versatile for use in calligraphy, drawing, or painting on a variety of surfaces and in combination with a variety of media, including watercolors and acrylic paints.
Golden High-Flow Acrylics
A newer line of acrylics that handle like an ink but dry and adhere like paint. Thin them with water for watercolor effects or use full-strength. Apply these versatile paints with a brush, put them in a pen or empty paint marker, or use in an airbrush.
Alcohol-based inks can be used on many surfaces, including glass, metal, leather, plastics, clays, and wax as well as papers. The colors are extremely vivid and can be used to produce fascinating marbling and decorative effects. Non-lightfast colors should be protected with a UV-resistant coating or varnish to protect against fading.
Daniel Smith Walnut Ink
A rich warm-brown water-based, non-fading ink that layers and lifts well from dark lines to pale washes.