Hey there, fountain pen friends! Madigan here. We’ve gotten a lot of questions over the last year about how to make an ink wash. It’s a great way to use up the last little bit of your ink and make beautiful quotes or cards. I’ve done a ton of these and one of the things that I love about them is how each time you do it, you get to see a new aspect in the ink. It’s also a very soothing process. There are a few things you’ll need to get started.

I’m going to walk you through four different methods of ink washes. I’ll start with the simplest method and move on to the most complex.

1. One Color Ink Wash

The first method (and the easiest)
is to do a one-color ink wash. You’ll need:

  • Your watercolor paper cut to postcard size
  • The ink of your choice
  • Two
  • A cup of water

Take the bigger paintbrush and spread a light
coating of water on the paper. You can make whatever shape you’d like (mine was
a rectangle-ish). Dip your second paint brush into the ink and then lightly tap
it to the already wet paper. Once you’ve gotten
it to the color you’d like, spread it around on the page using the ink
paintbrush. You can also tip it from side to side to let it run one way or another. Set it aside and repeat the process until you have your desired amount of color on the page.

2. Two Color Ink Wash

For the second method, you’ll need the following:

  • Watercolor paper cut to size
  • 2 fountain pen ink colors of your choice
  • 3 paint brusehs
  • A cup of water
  • A friend to help

Just like in the first ink wash method, you are going to use your bigger
paintbrush to lay out a light layer of water on top of the page. You
and your friend each take a paint brush and start at opposite ends of
the paper, gently dabbing in your ink color. Keep going until you have about a
centimeter of space in between the two shades. Gently pick up the card and
tilt it side to side to subtly combine the ink colors. Set it aside to
dry and repeat.


3. The Gradient Method

For this method, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Watercolor paper cut to size
  • 2 paintbrushes
  • Fountain pen ink of your choice
  • A cup of water

This time, start with the smaller paintbrush, dip it in your ink, and apply it directly to
the paper. Don’t go as far up the page as you’d think- you are going to
use the water to spread the ink out. Once you’ve gotten the ink down, take
the larger paintbrush dip it in water and spread it in one direction. Go
back and forth spreading the color up the page as far as you’d like.
Set aside to dry and repeat the process.


4. The Dual Color Gradient Method

For the final method, you’ll need the following:

  • Watercolor paper cut to size
  • 4 paintbrushes
  • 2 fountain pen ink colors of your choice
  • A cup of water

Start with a smaller paint brush and, on opposite sides of the paper, apply the ink directly in a thin line. Go
over the ink with separate paintbrushes in opposite directions. Set
aside and allow to dry while repeating the process.


A tip- if you are looking for a particular ink color, be sure to check out our Swab Shop. You can compare ink choices side by side and see which one works best for you.

Have you come up with a great way to use fountain pen ink to make cards? Let me know in the comments below!

Write on,