The ink and wash technique is not one being used much by rock painting artists, and dip pens are not now in common use or even known about. A dip pen and ink well, was however in common use during my childhood and exclusively used in primary school. I also used dip pens as a draftsman, for lettering on survey plans.
A dip pen using black acrylic ink or India ink, has an advantage in the durability of the lines produced when compared to, the slightly easier to use, pigmented ink fine-liners. This is important when working in a layered fashion, over the lines on a gesso primed rock so that the black ink lines will not be abraided or otherwise compromised.
The other product that makes ink and wash a viable technique, is coloured acrylic ink. Each layered wash remains in place on the non absorbant gessoed rock surface as it dries. It dries as a waterproof layer and this enables values and colour intensity to be built gradually. Acrylic paint can be thinned and used this way, but the flow characteristics of the coloured ink are much better.
The ink and wash technique used to paint on rocks can be briefly described as follows:
1 – Black India ink linework with a pointed nib dip pen is used to 'ink in' over an initial pencil sketch drawn on a gesso primed rock.
2 – Then tonal values and shading with some thinned black ink to produce a monotone grey underpainting done with a medium sized, pointed round brush.
3 – A limited palett of waterproof coloured acrylic ink, completes the painting ready for a final, somewhat, protective coat of acrylic spray varnish.
I have found this technique to be particularly suitable for rock painting and have included some step-by-step instructional material on the rock painting pages.
More comprehensively described and illustrated instructional material, about these rock painting techniques, with step-by-step descriptions and additional advanced techniques will be available as downloadable pdf files for sale, at a later date.
The Ink and Wash Technique for Rock Painting