A guide to Dr. Ph. Martin's Bleed Proof White
One of my most asked questions on Instagram has to be ‘What’s that little pot of white you used at the end on your painting?’ The answer, my friends, is Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleed Proof white, and if you haven’t heard of it before, it’s going to change your creative world.
For a long time, I added detail to my watercolour work by just finishing it off with white paint. It always bothered me that no matter how long I left the work to dry before adding it, the white paint would bleed, take on surrounding colours, and generally look a little murky when dry. I actually took the plunge with Dr. Ph Martin’s Bleed Proof White for my calligraphy work, and when it arrived I naturally mucked about with it on a recent watercolour piece. I’ve never looked back, and here’s why!
This is my absolute favourite thing about Dr Ph Martin’s white ink. It is the most opaque white I’ve ever used, and is just perfect for adding highlights and detail to work. Where a white watercolour will take on some of the colour beneath as it dries, bleed proof white keeps it colour, and as stated on the tin, does-not-bleed into work. Ever.
A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
This ink is SO pigmented, it lasts and lasts and lasts. It’s more like a cream fresh out of the tin, so it’s best to dilute with water and keep your pre mixed batch in a little jar. The crazy thing is ‘diluting’ just thins the consistency, it still has the same magical opacity and no-bleed qualities!
IDEAL FOR CALLIGRAPHY TOO
The calligraphy world loves it too! Using Bleed Proof White with a calligraphy nib almost reminds me of using Finetec metallics.. You need to keep an eye on the consistency as it can thicken and become gloopy without regular reapplications, but keep your nib wet with ink and it’s your new best friend on dark surfaces!
WHY ADD WHITE?
Finishing off illustrations with a touch of white can add a new level of depth to your work. Bright crisp highlights when used sparingly add a touch of realism, and really lift your work off the page. I start by getting my ink to the right consistency, then use a very fine brush to add detail and highlights. Look for where the light is bouncing off the subject, or where a shadow may need definition by counteracting it with a highlight.
I get all my Calligraphy supplies from Scribblers Calligraphy, a brilliant supplier for us UK calligraphers and artists that can struggle to get hold of some international supplies. Bleed Proof White available here.
I hope this helps answer some queries, If you have any tips and tricks or burning questions you’d like to see answered, just let me know in the comments!