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Learning tools for artists

Calligraphy and Drawing Inks

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, we pipette colours from both ranges onto wet watercolour paper to show how they behave similarly when wet and dry. Then we mask the lower half of the paper and place 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 are unmasked to reveal significant fading of the drawing inks. This 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.