Is there an ink that's reflective like ballpoint pen ink?
February 16, 2018 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I like to draw with the Zebra F-301 ballpoint pen, but it's slow, painstaking work to cover large black areas with a pen. I've tried using india ink but it's far less reflective. Is there an ink I could use with a brush that has similar reflective properties to ballpoint pen ink?
posted by yaymukund to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
I'm not sure if this helps, but Jet Pens has a guide to their drawing inks that goes into whether they have a gloss of matte finish.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:46 PM on February 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'd try FW Daler-Rowney pearlescent acrylic artist ink if you're looking to capture the "glint" rather than the "gloss," if that makes sense.
posted by xyzzy at 4:07 PM on February 16, 2018

I think part of the glossiness you're getting is from the pressure of the pen on the page. Have you tried burnishing the india ink with a bone folder (teflon bone folder if you have it) or if you don't have a bone folder try the back smooth side of a spoon.
posted by gregr at 4:08 PM on February 16, 2018

Part of the shimmer is due to the burnishing of the paper with the ballpoint pen tip, as gregr explained.

One way to replicate a slight glossiness with a traditional dip pen is by blending your own mica ink. Not sure how a brush would lay down micaceous ink but it would be worth experimenting!

The basic recipe for micaceous ink is powdered Pearl Ex pigment + a dash of gum arabic + a dash of distilled water. Adjust the quantity of liquids to affect the ink's consistency: more gum arabic = a thicker ink, more water = thinner flowing ink. For a darker ink, I'd mix together Pearl Ex Carbon Black and Antique Silver.

There are also other pre-mixed pearlescent inks out there with varying degrees of shimmer.
posted by muirne81 at 6:04 PM on February 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

According to their MSDS (material safety data sheet) [pdf], it seems the main solvents are Ethylenglycol monophenylether (ethelene glycol is the main component of antifreeze) and Benzyl alchol. I would take an Exacto knife, put the tip in the end of the refill, slit it open, wet a small brush with alcohol, and see if that works as a thinner so you can brush with the same ink. (If rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol doesn't work (like, gets all globby and weird) you might have to source benzyl alcohol, or try antifreeze, which is cheap)
posted by sexyrobot at 4:07 AM on February 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love the Moon Palace Sumi calligraphy ink. Great shine and great flow to it.
posted by banjonaut at 4:16 AM on February 17, 2018

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