Before I start complaining, I just want to say that I am NOT including shimmering inks in this discussion. Sheen and shimmer are two different things, people. Let’s just get this out of the way up front:
Sheen = Ink takes on a different color (1) at different angles (usually after drying); (2) around edges; or (3) where ink pools
Shimmer = Glittery particles added to ink for sparkle (like J. Herbin and the Diamine Shimmertastic inks…although J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor has both sheen and shimmer, and I do mention that one below)
And if you’re a fan of analogies and/or vampires:
Shimmer : Sheen :: Twilight : Necroscope
Yeah I know, that doesn’t make any sense. I just wanted to cram Necroscope into the conversation. If you like vampires and haven’t read that series, you should. Faethor & Thibor would eat those other glittery sissies for lunch and laugh the entire time. Wait…what was the point of this? Oh…ink. So keep in mind as you read this that I’m not talking about the shimmering inks. Or in other words: Don’t consider the glitter!
So when I first heard about inks that sheen, I was intrigued. Inks that change color under certain circumstances? I could maybe get behind that. I considered it a desirable property, and wanted to try some. So I tried some. And quite honestly, I find the whole thing pretty annoying.
One of the first sheening inks I played with was Emerald of Chivor. It’s a dark teal ink with some glitter in it and some wild red sheening in the areas where ink pools. It’s kind of a specialty ink for artsy use, and the glitter and sheen make it interesting. Snazzy, even. I probably wouldn’t use it in a pen, though, especially one for work. I put Emerald of Chivor away and went about my normal inky business.
Then I got a gift certificate for Christmas and decided to get some Sailor inks. Based on color samples from around the innernets, one of the colors I picked was Yama-Dori. I love dark teal and turquoise inks, so this one was a no-brainer. It came in and I immediately grabbed my Rhodia pad and a couple Q-Tips and went to work. I LOVED IT! The teal color is just fantastic. I filled up my Lamy 2000 with it and started writing. When it dried and I was like, “Where the hell did this red ink come from?”
The beautiful teal was gone, and in its place was this wicked dark teal hiding behind a sheen of glistening ruby red. From most angles, it looks purple. Purple. Not teal. Purple. Booooooo!
It was at this moment that I decided that maybe sheening inks aren’t so hot after all.
I’ve been testing out lots of inks lately (I went a little berzerk with ink samples), and I keep running into these blues and teals that have bright, ruby red sheens to them. I don’t really care for red inks…and I certainly don’t need an ink that attracts witches. Some of these colors are just phenomenal on their own, but they’re ruined for normal use by the sheen. This whole business is starting to irritate me.
I could probably deal with a verrrrrrrrrrry slight amount of sheen where you see a brief glint of another color when you look at it at juuuuuuuuust the right angle or under the right light. And the sheen color should compliment the base color, too. If I had a deep blue that had a slight green or teal sheen when the light hits it just right…that would be really cool. Or a black ink with a slight blue or purple sheen? Yeah…I think that would be nice.
But a red sheen on a blue ink? Gaaaaaah!
Seriously, if I buy a dark teal, I want it to be dark teal when I’m done. I don’t want teal that turns red or purple. If I wanted red or purple, I would have filled the pen with red or purple.
I buy an ink for the color that it is…not the color it becomes.
Although my samples are drastic and the photos accurately show what I see, this is very much a “Your Mileage May Vary” situation. Sheen depends on a lot of things, including the nib grade, how wet the pen is, the paper used, etc. Just because these inks behaved this way for me doesn’t mean you’ll have the same experience. Just sayin’.
So where do you stand on the issue? Do sheening inks make you happy or do they make you pine for the original color? Hit up the comments and let me know!