About Tom Norton Walnut Ink


Tom's ink is not made from walnuts. The ink is walnut coloured made from premium light fast pigments that will not fade over time. The ink is also acid free. Genuine walnut ink is highly acidic and actually eats the paper over time. The drawings of the Great Masters were made with genuine walnut ink which was black when it was freshly made over time it faded to the beautiful sepia tones that they are now. Tom's Walnut coloured ink replicates these sepia tones. Our ink is water-based allowing you to achieve darker tones with layering techniques or lifting to lighten.

The History

The 60's
Watercolour Bridging the Gap Between Drawing and Painting

In the sixties, Tom had studied art at RISD where he used a fabulous water-soluble sepia coloured ink in his drawing class.  He loved drawing with that ink because it worked like a watercolour bridging the gap between drawing and painting by allowing layering techniques for darker tones and lifting of colour for lighter tones.  

Decades Later
Unable To Find That Beautiful Ink He Used During His Collegiate Years

Decades later after pursuing careers in theatre, jewellery and print he wanted to start drawing and painting again. He visited several art stores but was unable to find that beautiful ink he used during his collegiate years.

Walnut Ink
Walnut Ink is Developed

After extensive research and numerous formulations he developed his Walnut Drawing Ink. He never used real walnuts but coined the name because the beautiful sepia tones it created was very reminiscent to the walnut ink drawings created by the Great Masters.

Inks Characteristics
Tom's Ink Simulates These Sepia Colours

Although genuine walnut ink used by these artists started out as a dense black ink they faded over time to the beautiful sepia tones that we have come to know. Tom's ink simulates these sepia colours we appreciate but unlike genuine walnut ink it will not fade because his formula is made with light fast, permanent pigment.

Business Growth
His Ink Business Grew Exponentially Simply by Word of Mouth

Tom's ink unlike genuine walnut ink is acid free and will not harm the paper that it is painted on. Tom never advertised or actively promoted his ink, his ink business grew exponentially simply by word of mouth and one artist seeing another artist using it. Soon ink production quickly consumed all of his time and energy. 

We Are Striving to Continue Tom’s Tradition of Excellence

When Tom reached the age of 70 he was ready to retire and pursue new adventures but he wanted his legacy to continue. Today Tom's Walnut Drawing Ink is being made in Upstate, New York by our team of artists. We are striving to continue Tom’s tradition of excellence and have dedicated ourselves to making his beautiful ink available to more and more artists.

The Ranges