Are you overwhelmed with ink choices?

Are you overwhelmed at the different assortment of inks available from Why would you use alcohol ink over pigment ink? Chalk ink over dye ink? Included is a brief description of the different inks on the market, and where you can use them.

Alcohol Inks- Alcohol inks are relatively new to the market, but they are so much fun to play with! They are only effective on non absorbent surfaces. Things like glass slides, acrylic chips, metallic accents, vellum and glossy paper. Just a note on the paper – photo paper will NOT work well. The film is designed to absorb the inks so you will not be able to manipulate the alcohol ink on the surface of the paper. To use glossy paper you must make sure it has a clay based glossy surface (most your glossy scrapbook papers will) so you get the results you desire.

Watch Tim Holtz demo how to create great backgrounds and new techniques.  Once you are comfortable use them on picture frames, candles, key rings, or anything else that catches your eye!

Dye Inks- Dye inks are available both in traditional stamp pads and liquid reinkers.  They are quick drying vibrant colors most often used for traditional rubber stamping artwork.  Dye inks are water soluble.  This feature can be used to produce great techniques, or could result in utter disappointment if you are unprepared for the running that can occur.  Dye inks can be used as a substitute for watercolor paints when adding detail to an image, either load the brush right from the corner of the ink pad or press the lid into the pad and pick up a little ink from the lid.  Thin with water and paint away!

Chalk Inks – Chalk inks are the drier sibling of dye inks.  They can be little more vibrant and less likely to run or smear as dye inks can.  They don’t work as well as dye inks for watercoloring your stamped images or backgrounds, but they are wonderful tools for distressing your photos or papers.  The pigments in the chalk inks are saturated enough that they will show nicely, even on the mid-tone papers.  They also dry quickly so you don’t have to worry about smudging or having your art work run if you are going to use a water based technique later in your project.

Pigment and Watermark Inks – Pigment and watermark inks are the heavy-lifters of the ink world.  They are heavier bodied inks that show up even on the darkest cardstock and stay wet for a long time making them the perfect medium for embossing, flocking or applying some of the glitter/floral/shimmer products on the market.  Pigment inks can be a little tricky at first.  Because the ink is heavier and it does stay wet for so long you must be very careful not to smear the ink.  When you are stamping your image make sure you have a nice amount of padding (either on the stamp block or under your work surface) and use gentle even pressure so you don’t shift your stamp while making the image.  Additionally – be patient!  These inks take a long time to dry so if you close your card, or stack your pages together before the ink is completely dry you are asking for smudges.  Even with the difficulties inherent to pigment inks they are a definite must for anyone who likes the look of embossed images, resist techniques or wants light colored images on dark card stock.

Hopefully this bit of information is helpful when you are trying to select the perfect medium for your next project.  Use the code 10ink  to get 10% off your next ink purchase at   Happy inking!

~  Nikki


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by | June 1, 2012 · 7:16 AM

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