Seasonal natural painting medium
Making natural ink is so easy and walnut hulls are just the right ingredient! This amazing seasonal nut contains a strong pigment which is perfect for ink painting as well as ink calligraphy. You can start making art with the simplest tools – the walnut ink, aquarelle or watercolor paper, a soft brush and a dip pen. Walnut ink is also great for natural fabric dye!
Just the perfect shade
There are a few color shades you can achieve with the walnut ink. The pigment depends on the hulls you use and also the number of layers you apply. Green hulls tend to produce more of a yellow color palette. Dark brown to black hulls will produce a deep dark brown. I hoped to achieve an ochre yellow to brown so I decided to use a combination of both. Here is how I made my ink!
More great creative projects for you to enjoy:
- walnut hulls – the covering of the actual walnut, from green to the very dark brown/black
- stainless steel pot
- 400 mls of water
- a wooden spoon
- an old sheet of cotton fabric
- glass container
- paper label
- a pair of gloves (optional)
Firstly, enjoy a beautiful autumn day in the garden picking walnuts. And while you do, collect a few hulls as well. About two cups will do for 150mls of the walnut ink. The darker and more mature the hulls, the darker the walnut ink.
Put all hulls in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boiling point, turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. The longer you boil the mixture, the darker and thicker the ink. Take off the heat and leave to cool down.
Write a label and stick it onto the glass container. Take an old piece of cotton and place over another pot. Make sure to use one that you don’t mind throwing away, I used the back of an old shirt. Secure with twine around the sides and pour the mixture over to drain. Gently remove the twine and squeeze the hulls by hand to drain the leftover ink.
Pour the dark liquid into the glass container and close. You’ve got your walnut ink! I am not sure how long the ink will last but I keep mine in a cool place.