White Inks Guide

White Inks Guide

As Herman Melville eloquently writes in Moby Dick, white “is not so much a color as the visible absence of color, and at the same time the concrete of all colors…” No matter how you classify white in the color spectrum, there’s no denying the usefulness of white inks for artists and writers alike. From jazzing up artwork to correcting the occasional mistake, white inks are one of the most versatile tools in our pen case.

Characteristics to Consider

Opacity

Opacity Over Paper
Comparison of opacity over paper

An ink’s opacity is determined by how well it covers paper or inks. The more a white ink covers, the more opaque it is. For example, on black paper, opaque inks will appear pure white, while inks with low opacity will come across as gray or streaky. Opaque white inks can also cover other types of inks (ballpoint, gel, marker, etc). However, the opacity of the white ink may be compromised due to a reaction between the two inks. This is called reactivity, which we discuss further below.

Reactivity

Reactivity
Comparison of reactivity between inks (white ink and watercolor)

Reactivity occurs when two inks react with one another, causing unwanted bleeding or lifting. It is important to consider the composition of the white ink and see how the white ink reacts with other inks. For example, water-based white inks may reactivate watercolors, causing the watercolors to bleed. Copic markers are also problematic for many white inks, but there are a few compatible ones that you can see in the recommendations below.

Viscosity

Viscosity
Comparison of viscosity between inks

Viscosity refers to how much a liquid resists flowing. The higher the viscosity of an ink, the thicker it will be. Viscous inks are slightly more difficult to work with as they are paints that need to be stirred before using. They are best applied with a paintbrush and cannot be used with a nib or dip pen straight out of the bottle. On the other hand, thinner inks are ready to use at a shake of the bottle. Their fluidity allows them to be paired with nibs and dip pens. The tools you use will help determine your ink’s ideal viscosity. Keep in mind that viscous inks can usually be diluted with water to help thin it out and make it usable with nibs.

Overwrite-ability

Overwrite-ability
Comparison of inks’ overwrite-ability

An ink’s ability to be written over cleanly and clearly adds versatility to its usage. Inks that resist being written over may lighten marks made on the ink or even cause a pen to stop working. They may also cause other bottled inks layered over the white ink to crack and flake off. It’s important to note a white ink’s overwrite-ability for layering different types of inks or writing over corrected areas.

Uses

Comics


Using white inks in comic spreads.

Comic artists use white inks for a variety of purposes. They are useful for cleaning up mistakes as well as adding in highlights or other details after you’ve finished inking your work. A good white ink for comics should have minimal reactivity with drawing inks and pens and also be easily written over.

Recommendations

Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink
Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink

Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink

Although the name suggests using this ink for calligraphy, we enjoy using the Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy ink for comic drawing due to how easy it is to write over the ink. While less opaque than other white inks, it sufficiently covers drawing inks and pens.

Deleter White 2
Deleter White 2

Deleter White 2

Another favorite is the Deleter White 2. This highly opaque white ink covered our black inks and drawing pens with ease. It cracked slightly when we tried drawing over it, but it is still suitable for correcting mistakes because of its high opacity.

Graphic Art


Bold white ink over black paper creates strong graphic art.

Graphic artists rely on the strong contrast of black and white, and white inks help give graphic art its high-impact look. When choosing a white ink for graphic art, look for one that is extremely opaque and easily drawn over, especially by markers and inks.

Recommendations

Kuretake Comic White Ink
Kuretake Comic White Ink

Kuretake Comic White Ink

Perfect for graphic art, this white ink is exceptionally opaque on black paper and won’t reactivate other inks except Copic markers. The ink can be drawn over by many mediums, including Sharpies and Sakura Microns. However, it will crack when used with heavy ink or watercolors.

Copic Opaque White
Copic Opaque White

Copic Opaque White

Where many have failed, the Copic Opaque White Paint is the only ink that succeeds in covering Copic markers in as little as one stroke. It also excels at covering other inks, demonstrating absolutely no show-through. Although it resists being drawn over with other inks, it is still a great choice for graphic artists who frequently use Copic markers.

Fine Art


An elegant white ink splatter adds dimension to watercolor art.

White inks are wonderful tools for fine artists to add details and highlights to works such as watercolor paintings. They’re also great for correcting and cleaning up lines, making them a viable alternative to traditional masking fluid that is often damaging to the paper and ink. For fine art, choose waterproof white inks that demonstrate high opacity over watercolors.

Recommendations

Deleter White 2
Deleter White 2

Deleter White 2

This waterproof Deleter ink proves its versatility by making another appearance on our recommendations list! It not only covers all inks beautifully, it can also be painted over, allowing for easy and painless touch-ups.

IC Comic Art White
IC Comic Art White

IC Comic Art White

Fine artists need to be aware of an ink’s composition, especially when working with watercolors. This viscous, paint-like ink won’t smudge on watercolors and is waterproof once dry.

Calligraphy


White calligraphy on black paper is an artform in itself.

There’s nothing quite as elegant as white calligraphy on black paper. White calligraphy on other dark and colored paper is also stunning. For calligraphers, a white calligraphy ink needs to be thin enough to be used with a nib, but pigmented enough to be legible.

Recommendations

J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink
J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink

J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink

The J. Herbin dip pen ink has a smooth flow with a good start, providing an excellent writing experience. While it doesn’t cover other inks well, it has a classy appearance on black paper that calligraphers will love.

Dr. Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink

Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink

This unique ink is too thick out of the bottle to properly use. However, by adding just a bit of water, it transforms into an unbelievable calligraphy ink. The little bit of water makes it thin enough to work with easily and keeps it opaque enough to show up distinctly on black paper.

Correction Fluid


Writing over areas corrected by white ink.

Bottled white inks are also nice to use as correction fluid. In order to use a white ink as correction liquid, it must be highly opaque. Of course, choosing an overwrite-able ink is a must if you want your corrections to be legible!

Recommendations

Deleter White 1
Deleter White 1

Deleter White 1

The brother of our favorite Deleter White 2, Deleter White 1 is also incredible at covering inks with only minor show-through from ballpoint and Copic ink. After it is completely dry, it is easily written over with most types of inks.

IC Comic Art White
IC Comic Art White

IC Comic Art White

The slight yellow tinge of this opaque ink is what makes it stand out from the rest–it is closer to the warm tone of paper white than the Deleter inks, making it less obvious on paper when masking errors. You can also write over the the ink effortlessly with most inks.

Tests

The tables below demonstrate the general properties, opacity, and over-writeability levels of our white inks.

General Properties

  • Opacity over black paper: Inks were swatched over black paper to test opacity (based on how much of the black paper showed through).
  • Waterproof: A wet cotton swab was run over the inks to test water resistance.
  • Viscosity: The thickness of the inks were compared with each other to determine its viscosity.
  • Nib Compatibiliy: Inks were tested with nibs to see which of them were usable.
Ink Opacity Viscosity Waterproof Nib
Compatibiliy
Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush High High
Deleter Manga Ink – White 1 Moderate High
Deleter Manga Ink – White 2 High Very High
Dr.Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink High Medium Yes
IC Comic Art White Ink High Very High Yes
IC Comic Super White Ink High Very High
J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink – White Low Low Yes
J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink – White Low Low Yes Yes
Kaimei Manga Pen Ink – White Moderate Low Yes
Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 High High Yes
Speedball Calligraphy Ink – White Moderate Medium Yes Yes

Opacity and Waterproof Image Samples

Ink Opacity (Black Paper) Waterproof
Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Copic Opaque White Paint Opacity Copic Opaque White Paint Water Test
Deleter Manga Ink – White 1 Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Opacity Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Water Test
Deleter Manga Ink – White 2 Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Opacity Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Water Test
Dr.Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Water Test
IC Comic Art White Ink IC Comic Art White Ink Opacity IC Comic Art White Ink Water Test
IC Comic Super White Ink IC Comic Super White Ink Opacity IC Comic Super White Ink Water Test
J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink – White J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Opacity J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Water Test
J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink – White J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Opacity J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Water Test
Kaimei Manga Pen Ink – White Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Opacity Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Water Test
Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Opacity Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Water Test
Speedball Calligraphy Ink – White Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Opacity Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Water Test

Opacity Over Other Inks

Inks were tested over ballpoint ink (Jetstream), gel ink (Signo), permanent marker (Sharpie), drawing pen (Micron), drawing ink (Deleter Black 1), Copic marker, and watercolor (Kuretake Gansai Tambi No. 20) to determine opacity over different types of inks. Click on the image samples below to magnify.

Legend

Low Moderate High Full
Ink Ballpoint Gel Drawing Pen Drawing Ink Perm. Marker Copic Marker Water- color
Copic White Full Full Full Full Full Full Full
Deleter White 1 Moderate Full Full Full High High Full
Deleter White 2 Full Full Full Full Full High High
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Full Full Full Full Full High Moderate
IC Comic Art Full Full Full Full Full High High
IC Comic Super Full Full Full Full Full Full Full
J. Herbin Calligraphy Low Low Moderate Moderate Low Low Low
J. Herbin Pigmented Low Low Low Low Low Low Low
Kaimei Manga Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Low Moderate
Kuretake Comic High Full Full Full Full Moderate Full
Speedball Calligraphy Moderate Moderate High High Full Moderate Moderate

Opacity Over Ink Image Samples

Ink Ballpoint Gel Drawing Pen Drawing Ink Perm. Marker Copic Marker Water- color
Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Ballpoint Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Gel Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Micron Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Deleter Black Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Sharpie Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Copic Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Over Watercolor
Deleter Manga Ink – White 1 Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Ballpoint Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Gel Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Micron Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Deleter Black Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Sharpie Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Copic Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Over Watercolor
Deleter Manga Ink – White 2 Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Ballpoint Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Gel Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Micron Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Deleter Black Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Sharpie Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Copic Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Over Watercolor
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Ballpoint Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Gel Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Micron Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Deleter Black Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Sharpie Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Copic Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Over Watercolor
IC Comic Art White Ink IC Comic Art White Ink Over Ballpoint IC Comic Art White Ink Over Gel IC Comic Art White Ink Over Micron IC Comic Art White Ink Over Deleter Black IC Comic Art White Ink Over Sharpie IC Comic Art White Ink Over Copic IC Comic Art White Ink Over Watercolor
IC Comic Super White Ink IC Comic Super White Ink Over Ballpoint IC Comic Super White Ink Over Gel IC Comic Super White Ink Over Micron IC Comic Super White Ink Over Deleter Black IC Comic Super White Ink Over Sharpie IC Comic Super White Ink Over Copic IC Comic Super White Ink Over Watercolor
J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink – White J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Ballpoint J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Gel J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Micron J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Deleter Black J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Sharpie J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Copic J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Over Watercolor
J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink – White J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Ballpoint J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Gel J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Micron J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Deleter Black J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Sharpie J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Copic J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Over Watercolor
Kaimei Manga Pen Ink – White Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Ballpoint Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Gel Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Micron Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Deleter Black Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Sharpie Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Copic Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Over Watercolor
Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Ballpoint Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Gel Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Micron Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Deleter Black Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Sharpie Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Copic Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Over Watercolor
Speedball Calligraphy Ink – White Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Ballpoint Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Gel Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Micron Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Deleter Black Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Sharpie Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Copic Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Over Watercolor

Overwrite-ability

Inks were written over using ballpoint ink (Jetstream), gel ink (Signo), permanent marker (Sharpie), drawing pen (Micron), drawing ink (Deleter Black 1), Copic marker, and watercolor (Kuretake Gansai Tambi No. 20) to test how easily they could be written over. Click on the image samples below to magnify.

Legend

No Partial Yes
Ink Ballpoint Gel Drawing Pen Drawing Ink Perm. Marker Copic Marker Water- color
Copic White Yes No No No Partial Partial No
Deleter White 1 Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Yes
Deleter White 2 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Yes No No No Partial Partial No
IC Comic Art Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
IC Comic Super Yes No No No Yes Partial Yes
J. Herbin Calligraphy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
J. Herbin Pigmented Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kaimei Manga Yes Yes Yes Partial Yes Yes Partial
Kuretake Comic Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial
Speedball Calligraphy Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Overwrite-ability Image Samples

Ink Ballpoint Gel Drawing Pen Drawing Ink Perm. Marker Copic Marker Water- color
Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Ballpoint Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Gel Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Micron Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Deleter Black Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Sharpie Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Copic Marker Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush Watercolor Over Copic Opaque White Paint with Brush
Deleter Manga Ink – White 1 Ballpoint Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Gel Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Micron Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Deleter Black Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Sharpie Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Copic Marker Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1 Watercolor Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 1
Deleter Manga Ink – White 2 Ballpoint Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Gel Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Micron Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Deleter Black Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Sharpie Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Copic Marker Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2 Watercolor Over Deleter Manga Ink - White 2
Dr. Ph. Martin’s Pen-White Ink Ballpoint Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Gel Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Micron Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Deleter Black Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Sharpie Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Copic Marker Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink Watercolor Over Dr.Ph. Martin's Pen-White Ink
IC Comic Art White Ink Ballpoint Over IC Comic Art White Ink Gel Over IC Comic Art White Ink Micron Over IC Comic Art White Ink Deleter Black Over IC Comic Art White Ink Sharpie Over IC Comic Art White Ink Copic Marker Over IC Comic Art White Ink Watercolor Over IC Comic Art White Ink
IC Comic Super White Ink Ballpoint Over IC Comic Super White Ink Gel Over IC Comic Super White Ink Micron Over IC Comic Super White Ink Deleter Black Over IC Comic Super White Ink Sharpie Over IC Comic Super White Ink Copic Marker Over IC Comic Super White Ink Watercolor Over IC Comic Super White Ink
J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink – White Ballpoint Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Gel Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Micron Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Deleter Black Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Sharpie Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Copic Marker Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White Watercolor Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Calligraphy Ink - White
J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink – White Ballpoint Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Gel Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Micron Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Deleter Black Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Sharpie Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Copic Marker Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White Watercolor Over J. Herbin Dip Pen Pigmented Ink - White
Kaimei Manga Pen Ink – White Ballpoint Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Gel Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Micron Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Deleter Black Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Sharpie Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Copic Marker Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White Watercolor Over Kaimei Manga Pen Ink - White
Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Ballpoint Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Gel Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Micron Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Deleter Black Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Sharpie Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Copic Marker Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30 Watercolor Over Kuretake Comic White Ink 30
Speedball Calligraphy Ink – White Ballpoint Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Gel Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Micron Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Deleter Black Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Sharpie Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Copic Marker Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White Watercolor Over Speedball Pigmented Acrylic Calligraphy Ink - White

Conclusion

To conclude, we leave you with another Moby Dick quote: “I try all things, I achieve what I can.” Have you tried white inks before? We’re positive that with the precision, beauty, and finesse of white inks, you can achieve so much more.


SOURCE:http://www.jetpens.com/blog/white-inks-guide/pt/841

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