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Sheening, Shading, and Shimmer. Oh my!

One of the joys of using fountain pens is the wide variety of inks and ink properties that you can access, all in your favorite pen. The fountain pen community will often discuss three different ink properties which can provide color variation to your writing: Sheen (where the reflection on the top of the ink seems to give a different color than the ink base), Shading (where the ink changes in color saturation depending on how much ink pools up at various parts of your word), and Shimmer (where glitter is added into the ink to provide a sparkly / reflective finish to the ink).

Part 1: Sheen

What might you want to know about sheening inks? A few things: 1) The appearance you get from sheening inks is very dependent upon the paper you use. Tomoe River paper provides the most dramatic results for sheening inks. On an absorbent paper (like copy paper) you really won’t see any sheen. 2) Sheening inks are prone to smudging – as if they never really fully dried. This can be frustrating. 3) Sheening inks get their appearance in part from being highly saturated. You’ll want to be careful to practice good pen maintenance, making sure you use your pen frequently and flushing it out with water periodically (I’d do that between refills of a sheening ink).

What are my favorite sheening inks? Commonly recommended highly-sheening inks include: Colorverse Quasar, Gravity Wave, Supernova, and Andromeda, all of which are offered by Street Pens. Other inks which are known for high sheen include Diamine Majestic Blue, Maureen, and Robert, Organic Studio Nitrogen and Walden Pond, Robert Oster Fire & Ice, River of Ice, and (Robert Oster x Pen Addict) Fire on Fire.

Let me know if you’d like any more information on the Colorverse inks.

…Shading and shimmer sections to be added soon…

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