5 Expert Tips for Creating Stunning Indian Ink Artwork
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Choose the right materials
  2. Practice basic strokes
  3. Learn how to control the ink
  4. Experiment with textures and effects
  5. Maintain your tools properly

If you've ever marveled at the deep, striking beauty of Indian ink art and thought, "I'd love to do that," then you're in the right spot. Creating stunning art with Indian ink isn't as daunting as it might seem. Sure, there's a bit of a learning curve, but with the right guidance, you'll be on your way to producing eye-catching pieces in no time. In this blog post, we'll explore five key steps to creating Indian ink artwork that is sure to impress.

Choose the right materials

Let's start by talking about materials. Just like building a house, creating Indian ink art requires a solid foundation — the right tools and materials. Picking the right ones can make a big difference in the ease and quality of your artwork.


Believe it or not, all paper isn't created equal when it comes to Indian ink art. You'll want to choose a heavier, thicker paper, like watercolor or Bristol paper. Why? Because these types of papers can handle the weight of the ink without tearing or bleeding. So, next time you're at the art supplies store, be sure to grab a pack of these!


It goes without saying that Indian ink is a must-have. But did you know there are different types? Some inks are more liquid, while some are more gel-like. There's no right or wrong here — it's more about what you feel comfortable with. If you're new to Indian ink art, you might want to try out a few different types to see what works best for you. Brands like Dr. Ph. Martin's or Speedball offer a variety of Indian inks to choose from.

Brushes and Pens

The tools you use to apply the ink are just as important. For Indian ink art, you'll want to have a good set of brushes and pens. Brushes are great for covering larger areas and creating certain types of strokes, while pens are perfect for finer details. Look for brushes with a good point and firm bristles, and for pens, those with a smooth flow of ink. Brands like Winsor & Newton, and Sakura Pigma are known for their high-quality art tools.

Choosing the right materials is the first step to creating stunning Indian ink art. Once you have these in hand, you're ready to dive into the beautiful world of Indian ink artistry.

Practice basic strokes

Now that you have your tools, it's time to get down to the real work — practicing the basic strokes. This is the backbone of Indian ink art. Think of it like learning the alphabet before writing sentences. Without these fundamentals, your artwork might lack structure and consistency.

Thin and Thick Lines

Mastering the art of creating thin and thick lines is a must. For thin lines, you need to apply less pressure on the brush or pen. For thicker lines, apply more pressure. It's like skating on thin ice vs carving into a wooden plank. At first, it might feel a bit tricky, but with practice, you'll soon be creating lines with ease and precision.

Curved Strokes

Next up, are curved strokes. Imagine drawing the arc of a rainbow or the curve of a smile. These strokes add fluidity and motion to your Indian ink art. And just like the thin and thick lines, the pressure you apply changes the thickness of the curves. So go ahead, play around with the pressure and watch as your artwork starts to come to life!

Dots and Dashes

Last but not least, let's talk about dots and dashes. They may seem simple, but they can add a whole new level of detail to your art. Dots are perfect for adding texture, while dashes can be used for shading or creating patterns. Remember, it's not just about making dots and dashes, but about where you place them.

Practicing these basic strokes might feel like going back to kindergarten, but it's a vital step in your Indian ink art journey. So, grab your brush or pen, roll up your sleeves, and start practicing. Before you know it, you'll be creating artwork that's as beautiful as a starry night!

Learn how to control the ink

Now that you've strengthened your stroke game, it's time for the next challenge — controlling the ink. Just like a chef mastering the heat, getting a grip on the ink is a key ingredient in the recipe of Indian ink art.

Understanding Ink Consistency

First off, you need to become familiar with the consistency of your ink. Some inks are more watery, while others are more viscous. It's like comparing orange juice to honey. Knowing your ink's consistency will help you gauge how much you need on your brush and how quickly it will spread on your paper.

Mastering the Art of Dipping

Next, let's talk about dipping. This is where you immerse your brush or pen into the ink. It's not a simple plunge and pull out. You need to dip your tool just right — not too deep, not too shallow. Too much ink can lead to smudges and blotches, while too little won't give you the depth of color you need. Think of it like pouring syrup on pancakes. You want just the right amount to make it delicious, not a soggy mess or a dry disappointment.

Working with Drying Times

Lastly, remember that different inks have different drying times. Some dry faster, while others take their sweet time. This will impact how quickly you need to work and how long you need to wait before adding another layer or detail. It's a bit like baking — you wouldn't want to frost your cake before it's fully cooled, would you?

Controlling the ink in Indian ink art is a skill that requires patience and practice. But once you've mastered it, you'll be well on your way to creating stunning, detailed artwork that leaves viewers in awe.

Experiment with textures and effects

Alright, you've got a handle on your tools and ink control. Now let's shake things up a bit! It's time to experiment with textures and effects in your Indian ink art. This is where the magic really starts to happen. Ready?

Creating Textures with Different Brush Strokes

First up, let's play around with your brush strokes. By changing the direction, pressure, and speed of your strokes, you can create a variety of textures. For instance, quick, light strokes can give the impression of fur or feathers, while slow, heavy strokes can create the look of bark or stone. It's a bit like becoming a painter and a sculptor at the same time — using your brush to carve out a three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional plane.

Adding Effects with Varying Ink Concentrations

Next, we’ll experiment with the concentration of your ink. By diluting your ink with different amounts of water, you can create a range of shades and tones. This can add depth and dimension to your artwork. Imagine it as if you're a DJ, mixing different tracks to create the perfect piece of music. Only, your tracks are ink and water, and your music is Indian ink art.

Implementing Unique Techniques for Special Effects

Lastly, don't be afraid to think outside the box and try out unique techniques. Ever thought about blowing on wet ink to create a splattered effect? Or using a piece of sponge to create a stippled texture? Go for it! It's your stage, and you're the star. Make the Indian ink dance to your tune.

Remember, experimenting is the secret sauce to making your artwork stand out. It's all about trial and error. So, go ahead, let loose, and let your imagination run wild. Who knows, you might just stumble upon a texture or effect that becomes your signature style in Indian ink art!

Maintain your tools properly

Now, here's something we often overlook: tool maintenance. Just like a chef keeps their knives sharp, an Indian ink artist needs to keep their tools in top shape. It's not the most glamorous part of creating Indian ink art, but it's just as important as the rest. After all, a well-kept brush can be the difference between a good piece of art and a great one. So, let's dive in.

Caring for Your Brushes

First things first, always clean your brushes after each use. Leaving ink to dry on your brushes can damage the bristles and affect your future artwork. Rinse them under lukewarm water until the water runs clear, then gently squeeze out any excess water. Lay them flat to dry — standing them up can cause water to seep into the handle and loosen the glue. And remember, a happy brush equals a happy artist!

Preserving Your Ink

Next, let's talk about ink. Keep your ink bottles tightly sealed when not in use to prevent them from drying out. If you're using an ink stone and stick, clean them with water after each use. No soap needed — it can interfere with the ink's quality. Just think of it like a good cup of coffee: you wouldn't want soap in your coffee, right? Same goes for your ink.

Storing Your Art Materials

Finally, store your art materials in a cool, dry place. Humidity can damage your brushes and paper, and heat can dry out your ink. It's like having a pet: you want to give it a comfortable home. Treat your art materials with the same care, and they'll serve you well in your Indian ink art journey.

So, there you have it — the ins and outs of proper tool maintenance. It might seem tedious at first, but trust me, it's worth it. After all, creating stunning Indian ink art is not just about the journey or the destination, but also about taking good care of your traveling companions.

If you enjoyed learning these expert tips for creating stunning Indian Ink artwork and want to further develop your skills, check out the workshop 'Connecting To Drawing: Pen & Ink' by Molley May. This workshop will provide you with valuable techniques and insights into the world of pen and ink drawing, helping you master this beautiful art form.