A few years ago, I started researching and making natural inks to use in my own work. I found I liked the colours so much; they were incredibly rich but gentle at the same time, and about the landscape. They really suited the kind of painting I make - they complement watercolour – and all sorts of media. So, I’ve been making them and using them ever since. I’m currently processing a limited amount of black walnut, oak gall (knopper, marble and oak apple) as well as alder buckthorn inks. Natural inks are ‘live’ and the colour can vary on different surfaces, though the size in decent paper will help to fix the ink. They're lovely to draw and paint with; you get a rich brown (walnut), a warm grey/black which gets blacker with age (oak gall) and a vibrant, earthy yellow (buckthorn). Oak marbles galls give a wonderful dark purple/black. Where possible, the inks are made with ingredients sourced locally to me in north Kent - and preserved with a clove and essential oils. They'll last at least a year - the oak gall will last a lot longer. Always shake the bottle before use and try layering single, or combinations of colour.