Q&A: Inks that Smudge
Question and Answers from the Keltic Knots Course
I think I could do better if I used an erasable pencil grid and colored it in with felt
pens, as they don't smudge like ink does. - C.
you are doing fine with the pen and ink. Smudging is to be understood and overcome, not
avoided. Better to be able to work cleanly in any medium, rather than be restricted to one
medium that doesn't smear.
The trick is to keep your hands off the work. First, place a scrap
of paper under your hand so as to protect the surface of the artwork from the oils in your
Second, keep a scrap of paper to the side, and scratch the nib on it
from time to time, to check ink flow. In warm atmosphere, a fountain pen will flood. Wipe
the nib occasionally, too. Keep a linen rag handy.
If you do not want your dots to show through in the final, try
drawing the dots with a finer pen than the one you use to draw the lines. Then the line
will swallow the dot. If the grid shows, this just means you are using the
right method. - Aidan