When using Akua inks for the first time, we recommend trying them right from the bottle or jar without modification. If necessary, the inks can be made thicker, thinner or more transparent with the addition of our various modifiers.
Transparent Base - Is Akua Intaglio Ink without the pigment. It can be used with both Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio inks. Adding Akua Liquid Pigment to Transparent Base will thicken Akua Liquid Pigment and create new intaglio or relief colors. Adding Akua Intaglio ink to this base will increase ink transparency. Transparent Base is light amber in color with a thick consistency.
Blending Medium - Is used with both Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio ink. It is used to thin the ink for brushwork, wash effects or use it as a resist for viscosity monotypes. It is a clear, colorless liquid. It cleans up with water.
Retarder - Has two purposes. A few drops mixed into Akua Liquid Pigment helps transfer ink onto dry paper. Ideal for hot, dry or very cold studio conditions. It also retards Akua Liquid Pigment from drying on the monotype plate and therefore extends the working time. It is a clear liquid. Use with Akua Liquid Pigment only. It is not suitable for use with Akua Intaglio Inks. Retarder cleans up easily with water.
Tack Thickener - Thickens Akua Liquid Pigment for heavier roll-up applications. It can be used for creating denser Akua Liquid Pigment roll-ups onto monotype plates or woodblocks. It is not as thick as Transparent Base or Akua Intaglio ink. It is medium amber in color with a thick consistency. Tack Thickener cleans up with soapy water.
Extender - Is used to thin Akua Liquid Pigment if it has become too thick, for instance, it will re-constitute “air thickened” ink. It is to be used with Akua Liquid Pigment only and not with Akua Intaglio. It is thick liquid in consistency, and transparent in color.
Release Agent has three purposes:
1) It is required to release Akua Liquid Pigment brushwork from plate to paper when hand-printing monotypes with the Pin Press.
2) It is used for making ghost prints. A ghost print is the second print from a monotype plate that has been inked only one time. It is a lighter version of the same image. By rolling Release Agent over the plate, it helps to transfer the remaining ink off the plate and onto another sheet of paper.
3) Release Agent helps soften the metallic ink so it can easily transfer off the plate and onto the paper. Roll Akua Release Agent over the metallic ink that was applied to the plate.
Release Agent looks white in the jar but rolls up clear and colorless. It has a soft, buttery consistency and cleans up with liquid dish detergent.