Using inks with pens or brushes on your latest piece? We created this guide so you can decide what the best ink is for you for use on standard issue paper.
For our test we selected a collection of black and colour inks from the top brands we stock, including:
To get a clear vision of the quirks and practicalities of using each selection of inks, we tested them on plain copy paper, the kind you’d load into a printer or find in an office. We chose this because it’s the paper many amateurs are likely to use, and it provides a great playing field for finding out the different qualities of each brand.
Winsor and Newton are well known in art circles for producing excellent quality inks and we’ve always received rave reviews from our customers about the impeccable colour saturation, easy, water-like flow and the quaint little labels.
Winsor and Newton Black Indian Ink - This ink had medium colour saturation with a visible fade once dry. The flow was water-like, so it’s easy to use.
Winsor and Newton Sunshine Yellow 960- This vibrant ink was bright and provided faint, light colour. There was a visible fade once dry due to water-like nature of the ink.
Winsor and Newton Ultramarine 969 - This bold blue ink had excellent colour saturation, providing an instant deep hue. This colour faded as it dried, but remained strong and solid.
Winsor and Newton Carmine 956 - This pinkish red shade was well saturated upon application, with a vibrant, striking colour that had minimal fading once dry.
Encre Sennelier produce high quality inks that dry quickly, provide good water resistance are are commonly used for calligraphy, pen drawing and textile design. We love them!
Encre Sennelier Black India Ink - This black ink was quite light, the lightest out of all the inks we tested, so is better suited to more delicate illustration. Faded a little as it dried and has a very runny consistency.
Encre Sennelier Scarlet 681 - Again, this ink is fairly light and would be better suited to a more faint, hazy work.
Encre Sennelier Cobalt Blue 303 - A strong blue shade with a deep, powerful colour, this ink is the bee’s knees! Has an uneven pigment for expressive, uneven shapes.
For an all rounder ink that will produce brilliant, solid results for every use, you can’t go wrong with Daler Rowney. A renowned art brand who produce all manner of paints, inks and beyond, we looked at how three coloured inks fare on normal paper.
Process Cyan 120 - This brilliant blue was vibrant with great colour saturation and next to no fade when drying. The consistency is nice as thick, so it covers the nib of your pen completely.
Process Magenta 412 - A deep, satisfying magenta shade, no fading and a thick consistency.Daler Rowney Process.
Process Yellow 675 - As bright as the sun! This ink is vibrant with a deep, powerful hue. Again, basically no fading and a thick consistency for rich lines.
Pebeo are an excellent French brand we’ve been stocking for many years. They produce inks and a whole range of incredible mixed media to build original artworks. We tested their range of inks.
Pebeo Black India Ink - Thick, deep and dark, this is an excellent quality black ink with only a little fade after drying. Allows the artist ultimate control due to the thickness and versatility of the liquid. The only negative is the powerful odour of the ink!
Pebeo Navy Blue 06 - A deep, rich blue with a slight fade after drying.
Pebeo Orange 25 - This bright orange ink has excellent saturation, reliable thickness and virtually no fade after drying.
Pebeo Flesh 69 - This final ink has a great hue and a more water-like consistency than the other Pebeo inks we tested. Fades quite substantially after application, so perfect for use on skin tones.