Drawing Ink versus Calligraphy Ink

Drawing Inks and Calligraphy Inks have very similar qualities when they are being used, and look equally vibrant when dry, but they perform vastly differently over time.

To demonstrate this, our friends at Winsor & Newton have conducted a little test.

They put colours from both ranges onto wet watercolour paper to show how they behave similarly when wet and dry. Then they masked the lower half of the paper and placed them in a machine which can replicate the effects of light energy in normal gallery conditions over a period of 50 – 100 years.

The papers were unmasked to reveal significant fading of the drawing inks.

Ink ComparisonThis is because drawing inks are dye based whilst calligraphy inks are pigment based and therefore fully light fast.

This is something to consider when choosing which ink to use in your work

See the test video here: Drawing Versus Calligraphy Ink Test

Note, this test is only applicable to the W&N coloured drawing inks - the black and white are actually lightfast!


Source credit: Winsor & Newton

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