Drawing Techniques: a Guide
Liquid Media: Black Inks: India and Chinese Ink  
Black carbon inks, which retain their original color, first reached wide use in Europe in the seventeenth century, although crude recipes for them were already known in the sixteenth. Sticks of black ink that could be liquefied in water began to be imported from the Orient in the seventeenth century and were known as "Chinese ink" or "Indian ink" Local production followed. It was found that this ink could produce beautiful grey washes as well. The contrast of warm brown bistre pen lines and cool grey carbon washes was found to be particularly pleasing and is a notable feature in the work of eighteenth century draftsmen like Canaletto. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries India ink with its strong black tone when used in concentration became an ideal medium for the hard, precise lines of the metal pen.
Brush and wash