Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay Set 1 Review & Colour Swatching

Colours Included

If you read my last post then you'll know that I recently treated myself by expanding my ink collection to further explore this most amazing media. While this didn't go quite as planned, let's dive in!

Today, we will colour swatch and trial Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Set 1. These India Inks are pigment based (not dye based) so have outstanding vibrance, are lightfast and permanent. Colours included in Set 1 are;

  • Yellow, Red, Magenta, Green, Blue, Brown, Black, White, Violet, Bright Red, Teal and Grass Green

A Well Designed Product

Dr. Ph. Martin's India Inks come in two different sizes - I purchased the larger set which comprises of 12 x 30ml (1 oz) glass bottles. The bottles are equip with a very handy dropper, that some other brands lack. I love this feature as it makes it super easy to drop ink directly onto your work surface or a palette. It also helps to keep your colours nice and clean!

I'm working on a sheet of Art Spectrum 210gsm Draw & Wash Paper which you might remember from my Ironlak Watercolour Pencil Review a few posts back.

The inks have a wonderful luminance and transparency (besides the black and white which are more opaque). They dilute easily with water for soft washes, or can be built up to increase saturation producing a whole range of gorgeous tints.

These non-toxic inks can also be used with a dip pen, air brush and technical pen (though I only had the paintbrush and dip pen to trial). The inks do tend to seperate if they have been sitting a while, but a quick shake of the bottle quickly sorts that out.

Application Techniques

The quality of India Ink that I absolutely LOVE is - they are water soluble when wet - but WATERPROOF once dry.  This means simple and safe clean up/dilution while in liquid form, with the ability to easily mix colours together. While also having the option of LAYERING transparencies without bleeding, if you simply allow them to dry between applications.

This is visually similar to layering sheets of coloured glass, and the effect is simply gorgeous. In both techniques the colours remained vivid, not muddied.

Colour Swatching

Here are all 12 hues from Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Set 1 colour swatched and glorious! Well, the white is a bit hard to see - but it is on there. They create a cool, fresh palette, all working well together. There's something about these colours that take me back to my childhood - perhaps a little bit 80's? In the best possible way of course! The 80's rocked. The addition of black and white in the set will also allow you to create more opaque shades, tones and tints.

Creating an Artwork

I wanted to give the inks a thorough test before posting my findings, so I created the original abstract artwork below using black and two shades of red. The ink applied well with no bleeding on the paper and the colours were beautiful - though applied thinly the reds did become more pink in appearance due to their transparent properties.

I love the variations of tone and transparency that draw me to this medium. I think I do prefer my Atelier Drawing Ink for black work (it seems blacker and more opaque) but the Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Set 1 has offered up an exciting range of colours to be explored and I look forward to doing so.

While unfortunately I can't recommend Amazon due to their careless packaging of my order, you can get some inks of your own directly from Dr. Ph. Martin's or Jacksons Drawing Supplies

Subscribe and join me for my next post when we unbox and colour swatch Dr. Ph. Martin's Bombay Set 2

Rachel Weaver

Rachel Weaver

View posts by Rachel Weaver
Rachel began her upbringing in the tiny mining towns of Cue and Leinster where isolation provided ample room for a rapidly growing imagination. A passion for learning and the experimentation of media has led her to become a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on illustration, design, art and photography. She resides in her hometown of Geraldton, Western Australia with her partner, two dogs, two cats and billion plants.
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