Schminke water-based inks

Used in:

Assignment 1: Willows

Project 2.2: Random Abstract Prints

Schminke water-based inks are the first inks I ever used. They are artist-quality linoprint inks, made with high-quality organic and inorganic pigments on a gum arabic base. They have good lightfastness (at least 4-5 stars). They dry within 15 minutes to be wipe-proof but not waterproof and can be overprinted if necessary. There are 15 colours and 3 effect colours.

They can be used for:

  • linocut: the fast-drying time means they can be quickly overprinted and give a sharp line
  • monoprint: being water-based, they are also diluted with water which can produce very beautiful water-colour effects on monoprint. They can also be laid onto softfoam and keep their texture well when used with a palette-knife.
2: Abstraction Media Random abstract


A key focus in my printmaking is experimentation with different inks:

  • the range of different effects that can be achieved through different mark-making (including dripping, dribbling) and mark-making implements (including fingers, masks and palette knives)
  • how inks react with different mediums like impasto, transparency medium and also water and solvents
  • interactions of different types of ink, both used together to produce blending and viscosity effects and also overlaid
  • the effects of different types of plate like soft-foam, foamboard, cardboard and collagraph textures
  • the effects of paper texture, thickness and dampness
  • effects of different hand printing and pressures of the press

For ink experimentation with mixed inks see:

Although I also use oil-based inks, I am particularly interested in pushing the potential of water-based and water-soluble inks because I am allergic to solvents so can only use these in very small amounts. This means I also experiment a lot with inks during the cleaning-up process – rolling onto scrap paper and printing from the inking plate – in order to minimise the ink that needs to be cleaned off rollers and plates. These papers are then used in colllage.

Water-based inks

Akua liquid pigment

used in:

Schminke water-soluble inks

used in:

Water-washable oil-based inks

Akua intaglio

used in:

Holbein Duo water-soluble oil paint

Caligo safewash

Oil-based inks

Hawthorne ink

used in:

References and Resources

Graver, M. (2011). Non-toxic printmaking. London, A&C Black.
Hoskins, S. (2004). Inks. London, A&C Black.

ink comparison chart